Three years ago, when my sister was becoming a Bat Mitzvah, my uncle had flown in from California to attend the event. This was shortly after my Aunt Lynly, his wife, had passed away from Metastatic Breast Cancer. My uncle sat down with us and told us that to honor her memory and to continue her desire to improve the lives of young women in the developing world, he had become actively involved in an organization called Wells Bring Hope.
He had just raised enough money to drill a well in a small village in Niger, West Africa, immediately changing the lives of so many people. We sat down and had a long talk about what prompted him to take on such an important endeavor. He told me horrible stories about children, mostly girls, who wake up at 4am, walk 4-6 miles, several times a day collecting dirty, unsafe water to bring back to their villages. He told me that girls didn't have the opportunity to go to school, couldn't read or write and had no time to play. He said that the water that was collected was so dirty and unsafe that infants and children frequently died from unsanitary conditions and water-borne diseases, with a majority of them dying before they were 5 years old. This was hard to believe, since water was never even a thought in my mind.
Now, 3 years later, I am becoming a Bar Mitzvah on December 6, 2014. The conversations I had with my uncle and the stories he told about those girls, remained in my thoughts.
One of the responsibilities of becoming a Bar Mitzvah is creating a Mitzvah Project. A Mitzvah, in Hebrew, refers to a charitable, beneficial act performed by another person. This is now my opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself to have a better life.
My goal is to raise enough money to have a well drilled in one of those villages and be able to meet the most basic necessity of clean, safe water. One well in one village, can change lives dramatically. It can provide girls with good health, sanitary living conditions and the ability to go to school - these things that we take for granted.
I invite you to join me in supporting this very meaningful humanitarian project.
I organized a Water Walk and Bake Sale at my middle school to raise awareness for the need of clean, safe water. We carried containers filled with water to see what the girls in Niger have to do on a daily basis. Thanks to everyone who participated.