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Water of Life changing lives locally and overseas


BROOKFIELD - Dale Roberts looks at water differently than she did in the past.

The South Colchester Academy Grade 11 and 12 teacher recently went to Maasai Mara, Kenya with her daughter Olivia through KPMG, where Olivia works, in support of Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner empowering youth to be agents of change.

While there, among other things, Roberts helped build schools and learned about the desperate need for clean and accessible water.

“There was no running water” in homes, Roberts said. “Women walked two kilometres to collect water up to five times a day” from nearby rivers, which are often dirty. “They carried it on their back … the jugs were 50 pounds with water.”

Roberts said after attempting the journey, she had to pass the jug to her daughter about halfway. The hardship remains on her mind.

“I don’t turn my water on the same way anymore. I don’t leave my tap on and I use the dishwasher less times a week.”

Since her trip, Roberts is even more eager to help local fundraising efforts for Water of Life, an initiative that helps build wells in Africa, Liberia, Nigeria and Haiti.

While she’s supported the initiative through SCA and her church since it was first co-ordinated in Colchester County 11 years ago, it “now means so much more” since seeing Africa’s poverty first-hand.

“I think everything we do one person at a time will make a difference … and sharing experiences makes you think about it.”

Placide Chiasson, who has been an advocate of the initiative since it began locally, confirmed 24 wells have been built in 10 years thanks specifically to local support, several pumps were repaired and health clinics have been provided. Each well costs between $3,000 and $3,500 and schools, businesses, churches, organizations and individuals are encouraged to continue supporting the cause by organizing and participating in local fundraisers.

Chiasson said it’s been heartwarming to not only see wells built for the poor, but also exhilarating to witness the community rise to the challenge. Chiasson has heard children saying they want to make a difference by starting their own simple fundraiser, other children have raised $50 on their own and other similar stories have been shared.

“To me, they are heroes,” Chiasson said.

The current efforts will continue until the end of June 2015, when donations will be given to Lifewater Canada, which oversees Water of Life. Only five per cent of funds raised go to administration costs.

Donations can be made by supporting various community fundraisers, online at www.lifewater.ca, and through St. John’s Anglican Church, 23 Church St. Checks should be made to Water of Life Project, and for a tax receipt, make the donation to Lifewater Canada.

After wells are built, specifics of the project are sent to the fundraising community, including the depth of the well, the number of gallons per minute it provides and where the old and new well locations are. A letter from the community is also included to share how the much the wells mean to them.

 

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique 

INFO BOX:

Did you know?

- Some women carry up to 70 pounds in a barrel on their back when retrieving water from a river.

- Permanent damage to women’s health can be attributed to carrying heavy jugs of water including chronic fatigue, spinal and pelvic deformities, reproductive health and spontaneous abortions.

- If there was a solution to water issues in poverty-stricken lands, sustainable agriculture would be possible. Children could get back to school instead of collecting dirty water all day or being sick from air-borne illnesses.

- Seventy per cent of the world’s blind are women who have been infected with trachoma, a blinding bacterial eye infection occurring in communities with limited access to water.       

* Information from www.thewaterproject.org/poverty and www.gender.cawater-info.net/what_is/facts

                                   

 

The South Colchester Academy Grade 11 and 12 teacher recently went to Maasai Mara, Kenya with her daughter Olivia through KPMG, where Olivia works, in support of Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner empowering youth to be agents of change.

While there, among other things, Roberts helped build schools and learned about the desperate need for clean and accessible water.

“There was no running water” in homes, Roberts said. “Women walked two kilometres to collect water up to five times a day” from nearby rivers, which are often dirty. “They carried it on their back … the jugs were 50 pounds with water.”

Roberts said after attempting the journey, she had to pass the jug to her daughter about halfway. The hardship remains on her mind.

“I don’t turn my water on the same way anymore. I don’t leave my tap on and I use the dishwasher less times a week.”

Since her trip, Roberts is even more eager to help local fundraising efforts for Water of Life, an initiative that helps build wells in Africa, Liberia, Nigeria and Haiti.

While she’s supported the initiative through SCA and her church since it was first co-ordinated in Colchester County 11 years ago, it “now means so much more” since seeing Africa’s poverty first-hand.

“I think everything we do one person at a time will make a difference … and sharing experiences makes you think about it.”

Placide Chiasson, who has been an advocate of the initiative since it began locally, confirmed 24 wells have been built in 10 years thanks specifically to local support, several pumps were repaired and health clinics have been provided. Each well costs between $3,000 and $3,500 and schools, businesses, churches, organizations and individuals are encouraged to continue supporting the cause by organizing and participating in local fundraisers.

Chiasson said it’s been heartwarming to not only see wells built for the poor, but also exhilarating to witness the community rise to the challenge. Chiasson has heard children saying they want to make a difference by starting their own simple fundraiser, other children have raised $50 on their own and other similar stories have been shared.

“To me, they are heroes,” Chiasson said.

The current efforts will continue until the end of June 2015, when donations will be given to Lifewater Canada, which oversees Water of Life. Only five per cent of funds raised go to administration costs.

Donations can be made by supporting various community fundraisers, online at www.lifewater.ca, and through St. John’s Anglican Church, 23 Church St. Checks should be made to Water of Life Project, and for a tax receipt, make the donation to Lifewater Canada.

After wells are built, specifics of the project are sent to the fundraising community, including the depth of the well, the number of gallons per minute it provides and where the old and new well locations are. A letter from the community is also included to share how the much the wells mean to them.

 

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique 

INFO BOX:

Did you know?

- Some women carry up to 70 pounds in a barrel on their back when retrieving water from a river.

- Permanent damage to women’s health can be attributed to carrying heavy jugs of water including chronic fatigue, spinal and pelvic deformities, reproductive health and spontaneous abortions.

- If there was a solution to water issues in poverty-stricken lands, sustainable agriculture would be possible. Children could get back to school instead of collecting dirty water all day or being sick from air-borne illnesses.

- Seventy per cent of the world’s blind are women who have been infected with trachoma, a blinding bacterial eye infection occurring in communities with limited access to water.       

* Information from www.thewaterproject.org/poverty and www.gender.cawater-info.net/what_is/facts

                                   

 

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