This past June, we organized our very first 5K run to fundraise for a water well in Kombolcha, Ethiopia. We are happy to announce that the water well, after months of geological surveys and site adjustments, is finished!
Ethiopia was gripped in a devastating drought that was affecting hundreds of communities this year. Farms were drying out, people were becoming ill, and livestock was dying. Parents were keeping their children from going to school because of lack of water close to the school. Bread and Water for Africa selected to build the well at Harb Full Circle Elementary School! Their primary source of water before the well was unprotected springs, the only source for bathing and cooking.
Now, with the water well at Harb Full Circle Elementary completed, the enrolled class of 2,840 students of grades 1-8 will benefit from clean water. Attendance will improve and children will get the education they need for a bright future! The school will be able to retain its teaching staff of 50 professionals and support staff because having a clean water source is ideal for employment. We cannot wait to hear about the increased performance the school will inevitably report in the coming semesters.
We are extremely grateful to all the runners and walkers who raised the money needed. We would like to thank the local DC staffing and consulting firm, Eliassen Group for their contribution and runners as well as the local talent agency, Pinch Harmonics for their support! We also are appreciative of all the donors and volunteers who made this event possible and water well a reality!
A serious drought is having “immense impact” on people’s lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia, stated a United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator who visited the country in January.
The UN News Service reported that Ethiopian farmers are “still living on the brink…and struggling to sustain themselves and their families. Farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water.”
And this is the case in a region of the country known as Kombolcha.
“Tragic,” you might say to yourself in sympathy for those affected. “But what can I do?”
For one thing, you can participate in the Bread and Water for Africa® Generosity Series 5K to be held Sunday, June 11, at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC. At only 3.1 miles, the event accommodates runners of all ages and abilities, walkers and the differently-abled as well.
Our mission has long included bringing clean, safe water to those communities in Africa most in need.
Through the 5K run/walk, Bread and Water for Africa® is hoping to make our goal of $11,500 to dig a water well in a region of the country known as Kombolcha. The well would serve an estimated 130 families – each with an average of six family members – providing water to 780 children, women and men.
“Woha hiyiweti newi” means “Water is life” in the Amharic language spoken in Kombolcha. The “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K will help us in our mission to give water, and indeed life, to families in Ethiopia.
As the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator stated after seeing the dire situation in the country, “We need to act now before it’s too late. “We have no time to lose.”
For more information on the “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K Run/Walk, or sign up to participate, please click here.
Every year on the fourth Thursday of November millions of Americans across the United States gather with their families and friends for a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings and giving thanks for all the blessings they have received in life.
In sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few Americans residing there, it will be just another day.
But despite the hardships and challenges facing citizens of countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works in partnership with grassroots organizations including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and elsewhere, there are tens of thousands who have plenty of reason to be thankful.
In 2016 alone:
- In Cameroon, more than 250 children benefited from the completion of a school, and another 142 orphaned and destitute primary and secondary school students benefited from school fee support.
- In Ethiopia, 86,000 citizens are thankful for the medical services they received through five hospitals and a clinic supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while another 12,400 students benefited from a shipment by Bread and Water for Africa® of 22,000 books which was distributed to 20 secondary school libraries.
- In Kenya, 74 orphaned an abandoned children are thankful to have found a loving home at the Lewa Children’s Home, while another 400 Kenya students from nursery to grade eight benefited from an education provided to them at the KipKeino school, constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa®.
- In Sierra Leone, more than 76,000 residents are grateful for the healthcare services received through hospitals and clinics supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, 3,000 students and local residents benefited from having access to clean, safe water by a well dug by Bread and Water for Africa® on the school grounds, and another 1,006 students are thankful for the education they received at four nurseries, four primary schools and three secondary schools.
- In Zambia, 93 orphaned children are thankful to have a loving home which provides for all their basic needs and another 146 children living in foster care are grateful for the food support, assistance with school fees and basic health care support they receive.
- In Zimbabwe, 207 children are thankful for an orphan feeding program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while 35 secondary school students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their education through our school fee support program.
But the credit doesn’t belong to us – it goes to you – supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who without which none of this would be possible.
While we strive to ensure African children have proper nutrition and access to clean water, we also realize they will likely not get far in life without an education. To that end, Bread and Water for Africa® has partnered with Books for Africa for years to ship books to primary and secondary school in Ethiopia. In the past two years, we have shipped nearly 50,0000 books to Sierra Leone and Ethiopia and plans are underway to ship another 20,000 more to Ethiopia in the next few months.
Our partner in Ethiopia, Harmaya University, sponsors more than 50 high schools with a total attendance of nearly 27,000 students who are eager to get more books. The high school students in Ethiopia will benefit more from these books since all the subjects in the secondary schools are taught in English.
This initiative is in line with our mission to promote literacy for African children in the strong belief education aren’t just an investment in the future of Africa – education is the future of Africa.
When the books soon arrive in Ethiopia after weeks of crossing the sea on a cargo ship, scores of young Ethiopian scholars will be able to read new books made possible through your generosity. Supporting programs like this give thousands a chance at a better life and future.
Clean and safe water is such a scarce resource for so many, including in Sierra Leone. Mothers, children, the sick, and indeed entire communities suffer from inadequate and unhealthy water in far too many communities of Sierra Leone.
That’s why this month, with our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, Bread and Water for Africa® will be drilling a much-needed well in Waterloo Community Sierra Leone to provide clean, safe water not only to the school where it will be located, but to a nearby clinic where uncontaminated water is critical to survival of the patients, as well as the community as a whole.
We have launched a 14 for 14 Matching Grant Challenge to raise the necessary funds – just $14,000 – to build this critically needed well. This week, as World Water Day was celebrated on Sunday, March 22, there are so many reasons why this well is vital to this Waterloo community – including the 14 we are listing on our website through March 30. 14 facts for $14,000 life saving dollars. Every dollar will be matched and will bring life-saving water to an entire community. We are working to raise awareness about the plight of so many that suffer from a lack of clean water with 14 important facts and raise $14,000 to drill that well.
Learn more facts about the necessity of clean and accessible water, and join us in our mission to ensure that the residents of the small village of Waterloo have something we all here in the United States take for granted – a steady supply of clean, safe water.