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TWP embarks on Public Health Campaign in Northern Kenya

TWP has been slowly working towards establishing a presence in Northern Kenya for a couple of years. During this time we’ve brought clean water to both the House of Hope Orphanage as well as Kakiring Community.  Working in

Community members at Kakiring use the TWP funded water source.

Northern Kenya is a challenge, conditions are tough and success is not guaranteed. Mobilising equipment from Nairobi is time consuming and expensive, and the road north is slow and dangerous. But despite the challenges we’ve had great success. The children at House of Hope are able to focus on their learning, the people of Kakiring no longer need walk for hours everyday to collect water from the river.

So what’s new? Well, over the past few months we’ve been talking with our partner SERV International about maximising the benefit that clean water brings. We want to build upon the hygiene and sanitation training that comes as standard in our work, and develop a public health agenda that demonstrates a long term commitment to the welfare of the people with whom we work.

To that end, TWP is committed to developing, funding and  supporting an 18 month Public Heath campaign in Northern Kenya, with a focus on the children of House of Hope, the people of Kakiring, and those of a neighbouring community, Lolupe.  The campaign will focus on regular community level visits, reinforcing health and hygiene messages and empowering communities to engage with local government and the health care provision in and around Lodwar Town.

During the programme, staff will be focusing on the following issues:

  • Hand washing
  • Disease transmission routes and how to block them
  • Household sanitation
  • Human waste management
  • Menstrual health
  • Accessing local services
  • Managing a water point – Operation and Maintenance of project hardware
  • Nutritional understanding
  • Agricultural knowledge and skills

It’s a broad focus, but one we feel confident about. Once the programme is up and running we’ll be able to report of specific programme activities and experiences from the field. It’s an exciting programme, with a demonstrable long term focus on developing local knowledge and skills, and we feel it will impact greatly on the lives of those we are committed to.

It all kicks off in January 2013. Watch out for more updates as things get moving!

 

Can you Walk on Water?

We can’t help but smile when we see these amazing women from Delta Sigma Theta! Over 100 people participated at the Harford County Alumnae Chapter’s (DST-HCAC) annual Walk On Water 5K this past July, and the pictures tell the story. They know how to have fun while raising money for clean water!

Delta Sigma Theta is “A Sisterhood Called to Serve”. Four core principles of the sorority are Courage, Hope, Wisdom, and Strength. To-date, over ten Delta Sigma Theta chapters have donated to the clean water projects we do, raising over $15,000 when combined. For the Harford County Alumnae chapter, by hosting this community-based event, the 100 participants in Maryland are unlocking the potential of over 350 people in a community 4500 miles away in Sierra Leone.

But one event wouldn’t do for DST-HCAC. They already have their 2013 event scheduled for June 22nd, and are beginning the planning. Are you in the Maryland area? Mark your calendar and join the team as they walk, run, and laugh to the finish-line of this fabulous 5K. Can’t join them? Support their efforts by giving to their 2013 fundraising page, here. Together we are better; and serving together we are a force.

 

My Heart Will Not Sit Down

What are you reading this summer? A great spy novel perhaps? A mystery that has you on the edge of your seat, reading long into the night when you should be sleeping?

Here at The Water Project we have a reading list.  We challenge each other with concepts from the books we read.  Books on international development and theologies of service often top the heady list.  But this summer, it wasn’t one of those books that touched me the most. Instead, a little book that Becky Pichler told us about really grabbed my heart. Becky is a teacher from Wilson Elementary in West Allis, Wisconsin and she shared with us how her classroom of 4th and 5th graders read My Heart Will Not Sit Down together this past year.  Then, in response, they worked together to help fund a water project!

The story takes place in Cameroon where the main character, a young girl named Kedi, learns about the Great Depression of the 1930s and of children in New York City who didn’t have enough to eat.  Kedi just couldn’t forget the children in New York and her ‘heart could not sit down in peace’ until she did something to help.

One passage really captured my attention.  In it, we hear Kedi’s Mama question her plans to help.

Continue Reading »

 

Amanzi Awethu!
An amazing bike journey across Africa

Alex and Murray are cycling from Johannesburg to northern Lake Victoria.

In February of this year, Alex Antrobus and Murray Beaumont, two young South Africans, began cycling 10,000km through sub-Saharan Africa to experience what life in rural Africa – and the struggle for fresh water – are really like.  One of their goals is to help raise over $15,000 to support a water project!  Another was to visit some of our work…

“On the journey we will visit some of the communities that have been reached by development NGOs like The Water Project, who provide funding and management to build wells, boreholes and other water providing infrastructure. We will also be visiting some of the communities that have yet to be reached and seeing how desperate they are for life giving water.”

 

Above: Alex and Murray charted their bike course and then over-laid our GPS-mapped water points to plan a couple stops along their route.

 

Children wash hands at a TWP Project site.

Just this past week they arrived at one our of favorite new partners in Kenya – IcFEM.  We are so pleased to hear first hand accounts from water projects we recently funded.  It’s obvious how they are helping in the communities IcFEM serves.  The Amazi Awethu team noted…

“In several communities people living near to the schools [where projects have been installed] have been able to open small businesses thanks to the pumps – like vegetable gardens and brick manufacturers… As an organisation, IcFEM seems to be making real progress in empowering the Kimilili community to help itself. “

The Water Project began work with IcFEM late last year by providing funds to not only build wells, but also to hire and train staff in water and sanitation (WaSH).  We are greatly expanding our work with IcFEM in 2012-13 with 42 water projects planned alongside over 100 hygiene interventions at local schools.  It looks to be quite exciting and your donations make it possible.

You don’t want to miss the rest of what Alex and Murray found when they stopped by.

Click here to continue reading on their blog »