We’ve all heard the adage ...”water is life.” In Uganda, water scarcity is a serious issue that plagues thousands of people every day, creating a vicious cycle of poverty and disease. For more than ten years now, Call To Care Uganda has sought to eliminate this crisis by bringing health, safely and education to over 60,000 people… and that’s just the beginning!
It all started in 2006 when I took my first trip to Uganda and saw entire communities whose children weren’t able to regularly attend school, were struggling with their health, and lacked opportunities to provide for their families. Inspired, I came back to the States and started Call To Care Uganda as a 501c3 nonprofit with the mission of helping vulnerable children in Uganda through health and education initiatives.
It wasn’t easy to figure it all out along the way, but as president and founder of Call To Care Uganda, I’m thrilled to say our dedicated team of volunteers is now into our 12th year of service! I've been to Uganda eight times, have brought 30 people along with me, and a lot has been accomplished...
This last decade we’ve raised funds for and spearheaded many empowering projects, including building a primary school that opened in 2018, creating and distributing malaria prevention education tools with hundreds of nets, sending tons (literally) of medical supplies overseas to hospitals and clinics, and connecting schools here in the US with schools in Uganda, just to name a few.
We also discovered something incredible along the way. As we became more involved with the communities, we learned that the most important factor to their long term success was access to clean water. We witnessed community after community whose only water source was a germ infested pond, half a days walk away. Often the same watering hole used by livestock. Plus, the chore of walking to collect the water kept the children (mostly girls) from attending school. It was a vicious cycle of poverty, disease, and hopelessness. We learned that helping others gain access to water is where it all starts. It’s the springboard. It is the very first sensible intervention point, and nothing can be successfully done until this basic need is met.
So, we began to shift focus to providing clean, accessible water and have already drilled borehole water wells in 62 Ugandan communities! Where access to clean and safe water was once considered a LUXURY… it is now a REALITY!!! Over 40,000 lives have been saved as a result. THIS IS GOOD STUFF!!!!
Yes, water is LIFE!
I just got back from Uganda a few weeks ago, and I was able to check in on many of our projects and visit with the folks living remotely - "out in the bush" - who have directly benefited from projects we have initiated. The difference clean/safe water makes in their lives is completely transformative.
Let me tell you about a woman named Agnes. Her days used to be spent walking from her remote village to a contaminated spring to fetch water every morning. It was about 5 miles away and when she got back, she would turn around and do the trek again - in the heat of the day, with a 40 lb. jerry can on her shoulders. She did this all day long. Every day. 365 days a year. Her nine children and family were often struck with typhoid and dysentery, because the water she gathered wasn't save to drink. She sometimes didn't have the time or energy left to gather the firewood needed to boil it before drinking. Her children didn't get to go to school very often because they were always sick, or also needed to help with water gathering. The route to and from the spring was dangerous as well, and Agnes and her children all suffered from that on numerous occasions.
However....today there is a new story.....it has been rewritten.
Today, there is a deep water well drilled in Agnes’s community. She no longer needs to make that journey all day, every day. She and her children are clean and safe. They are attending school regularly, and when they go off in the morning, Agnes is now busy working on her new fruit stand business. She is also the community health care worker for her village. She tests and treats children 5 and under (the most vulnerable) for malaria and other illnesses. She has been given back the gift of time. It's impossible to put a price on that! Her whole family is healthy...and so are the others in her village. History was made when a well was drilled there in 2008, and life has been transformed for the entire community.
AND...life has been transformed for 62 entire communities...and with your help, that number will continue to grow as we MAKE A SPLASH into our next decade.
Because, let’s face it. The world doesn't stand a chance without water.
It is what is standing between nearly a billion people and their health, safety, and the opportunity to unlock their true potential! When a school and village gets clean and safe water:
Overall Health Improves
Safety is Enhanced…especially for girls and women
Community Development Soars
With our TV news and apps on our phones laden with such negativity lately ...isn't it great to focus on something this positive? We are the big dreamers. We are the world changers. Together we can honor the inherent worth of all individuals by helping them gain access to clean/safe water.
In the next decade, Call To Care Uganda will strive to multiply our impact reaching over a hundred thousand people. We plan to reach 100 wells in 2020! Thank you for helping to imagine a world with clean and safe water.
Let’s make a splash together,