December 2021 Update
Last month we celebrated the third anniversary of our first water project in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. In addition to celebrating the completion of our first project, we completed our 23rd and 24th water projects last month. The November 2021 water projects represent the final two projects we will finish this year, our most productive year to date. In 2021 we completed 11 water projects. For comparison sake, we completed seven projects in 2020, four projects in 2019, and two in 2018.
The primary factor in our growth has been the continued support of our partners through regular donations combined with increased corporate support. In 2021 Parsons Corporation continued its support of PFW while well-known companies such as Netflix and Experian became supporters through their respective employee charitable donation-management platforms. As more individuals and organizations become familiar with our mission, performance, and effectiveness, I anticipate that PFW will continue to see increased corporate involvement through employee matching programs and direct philanthropic ventures. An additional added revenue stream has been increased donations through Amazon Smile (if you buy from Amazon and haven’t added PFW as a recipient of Amazon Smile donations through your purchases, please consider doing so).
The most important update I can provide is that all 24 completed boreholes continue to produce clean water. Our boreholes serve over 13,500 people with clean, safe, and easily accessible water every day. When water, the most primary health and sanitation need of all, is no longer an uncertainty, more pressing issues such as education and vocation become the focus.
This is precisely what has begun to happen in the communities we serve. Folks whose previous primary mission was to find water to survive the day are now looking toward long-term self-sustainment and moving beyond a survivor’s mindset and into a sustainer’s mindset.
Gratitude and Giving
Last month wasn’t just the anniversary of our first water project; it was Thanksgiving (it’s a serendipitous coincidence that we celebrate our water project anniversary at the same time we celebrate Thanksgiving). Showing gratitude is done in many different ways. For a farmer in the village of Rija (the location of our first water project), it meant sharing the best of his sweet potato harvest to say thank you for the clean water brought to his village.
Rija relies on seasonal farming for its sustenance (both nutrition and marketplace economics). Thus, offering the first of his best was a wonderful gesture, one the team and I will never forget. Seeing someone with limited resources give their best was transformative for me. I have always been a giver, but I realized that my gifts are often out of my abundance, and my giving deteriorates when things are scarce. I resolved then to approach my giving to PFW not based on my abundance but the need.
2022 and Beyond
COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in the world. One of those things has been my ability to travel to Nigeria; I haven’t been there since November of 2019 (I previously averaged two to three trips per year). While it has been an enormous frustration for me not to be on the ground with the team, our work has continued as efficiently as ever. I hope to make a trip next spring; however, travel restrictions could hinder that plan. Despite this, our team in Nigeria is driving on, and we expect to have a productive year in 2022, with two projects already scheduled for January 2022 and at least two more planned for March 2022.
As I look into the future, I feel the sky's the limit for PFW and our partners, and I am eager to ride the wave of whatever is next!
To stay up to date with everything PFW, please follow us on Instagram @partnersforwater.