Tuesday, July 14
I am awakened in the early dawn by sounds on the roof above us- what? animals? Walking outside to enjoy the sunrise, I am overwhelmed (and deeply embarrassed) when I see what is happening— we Americans, in Uganda on a medical mission, have used up all the water, and our generous hosts are replenishing the rooftop tank. By hand. Climbing up a ladder onto our roof. They use Jerry-cans, the ubiquitous yellow plastic jugs we see on the heads and in the arms of women and children everywhere we go.
Our neighborhood well is 1.5 miles away, down the hillside on a rutted dirt road, past the prison. It also serves the school, church, mosque, and every family who can send a child down into the pit you see in the photos below. A Jerry can of water holds 20 liters (5.3 gals ) of water and weighs about 40 lbs. It takes 65 pumps at the borehole to fill a can.
Can you imagine the amount of time and work it takes to supply a family with water? And the vast majority of water gatherers are children and women. People in Africa spend a billion hours walking to water each year, and we saw them everywhere…in the morning, after school (at the same time we’d be driving our kids to soccer). There is so much to this statistic, and I don't want to proselytize, but perhaps the images below willgive you some idea of what it’s like.
And here’s the biggest statistic for me right now— that morning, as I chatted with Pastor Stephen, I asked what it would cost to build a well at this small farm and worship center, a well that could serve his neighborhood for years to come…
The astonishing answer? $3500.
Yes, that’s all. Want to help me build it? I know it will get done because Pastor Stephen and his family have a strong and accountable relationship with the people of the ministry I worked with to provide our medical mission. I’m not sending this email out to very many people, but if we get more than $3500 I will use any extra contributions for another project that we can finish (one of these, depending on the dollar amount: anti-parasite medicines for a school or the clinic, a goat or cow for a family living with HIV, or even a second well).
I’ll keep you updated!
To donate, just click on the link below and select "Families of Hope" and in comments type "well project".