Partners For Water April 2021 Update
I have told Petros' story to almost anyone who will listen. We first met Petros in the Village of Rija (the location of our first water project) in October of 2018. When we first met him, he was playing at a swimming hole near his village with other children from Rija (he’s the one with his head poking out of the water). After spending time with Petros and the other kids, we pegged him as a natural leader amongst the bunch, although he was by far the youngest (only four at the time). It turns out his mother and father were leaders in the community. We left Rija that day, knowing it had to be the location of our first water project, and it was.
Petros's story goes beyond being the spunky toddler who immediately made an impression on us. He was the kid who would continuously remind us of the health benefits of clean water. Although Petros was full of life and excitement when we met him, there were limits to his energy, and he wasn't very healthy. Like many others in the community whose primary water source was filthy, Petros experienced a myriad of skin, intestinal and digestive ailments. However, I noticed on my subsequent visits to the community that he looked and behaved more and more healthily. This was highlighted when I took my 13-year-old son Brandon to meet him, and Petros took him to task on relay races. Gone was the lethargy that I had previously observed. This was fantastic! But it also presented a new challenge. We could no longer stop at water. We had to give these kids and families something to do with their newfound health and hope. We have since built a new school in Rija, but the experience in Rija is only a microcosm of what every community will experience once clean water comes. What now?
This is where community development and education come in. We have engaged our local partners (Chuga & Friends Foundation) to design and implement programs focused on elevating understanding and capability related to borehole maintenance, social & economic innovation, and entrepreneurial and vocational training. I am happy to report that the first training will be held in May and will be focused on community capacity building related to borehole maintenance, supervision, management, and sustainability.
Regarding water project development, I am ecstatic to report that we completed two water projects in the first quarter of 2021 (Angwan Jatau and Angwan Ambugame). We have just funded our next two projects (Ninkada Community and Ngabar Community), we expect these two projects to be complete by the end of May. We are targeting funding and completing two more projects by the end of June. If we hit this target, we will have completed six projects in the first two quarters of 2021; this will put us well on the way to our most productive year yet. Special thanks to all of our partners; none of this is possible without you.
In case you are keeping track, the table below provides insight into the specifics of each of our projects to date.