Gandhi inspired us to “be the change you wish to see in this world.” As a high school student, we can try to set an example in our daily lives but it is really difficult to have any impact beyond one’s circle of friends. Wells Bring Hope (“WBH”) gives us just that opportunity – to change people’s lives.
In 2013, with the support of the Harvard-Westlake community and all our other friends, we raised over $5,600 in donations. As a result, the villagers of Tondi Banda in Niger experienced clean drinking water for the first time. On behalf of the villagers, we thank all of those who made this possible. It is my hope you will join us again by helping WBH bring clean water to another village.
There are still roughly 11,000 rural villages in Niger awaiting the life-changing event of fresh water. For $5,600, we can bring clean water to another rural village like Tondi Banda. Drilling a single well can drastically affect the lives of everyone in a village. Women and girls no longer have to walk for miles on a daily basis to collect water, water that is still often contaminated and the cause of deaths and diseases. In villages where a well is drilled, child mortality is reduced by 70% and girls have the opportunity to go to school, often for the first time in the history of the village.
Harvard-Westlake’s Water Circle is a project that Kaira Muraoka Robertson (’16) and some of her friends started working on during the fall of 2012 thanks to the encouragement of Barbara Goldberg at WBH and Kaira’s sister, Keane Robertson (‘13”), who, as a recipient of a HW Junior Fellowship, traveled to West Africa during the summer of 2012 to study firsthand the effects of clean water on African villagers. Keane videotaped interviews with village women about water issues and gave plaudits to the work of WBH and its partner World Vision, which provides matching funds and actually drills the wells and helps maintain them.
Our belief is that drilling wells in Niger, which is the poorest country in the world according to the UN Human Development Index, is an extremely effective, ideal form of charitable giving. Foreign aid is often criticized for creating a relationship of dependency. Drilling wells does not create dependency, except maybe dependency on a continual supply of clean water. It is the kind of transformative event that is the catalyst for sustainable economic development and self-sufficiency.
Our goal in the 2015-2016 school year is to raise at least $5,600 for a second well for another village in Niger. Whether you are a student, parent, friend, acquaintance, colleague or corporate sponsor, we would love to have your support. Your donation, however large or small, will be the change you wish to see, for generations to come.