Friendly Water for the World - May 2015 News and Notes
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Posted by: ARCSA Admin
Friendly Water for the World
1717 18th Court NE
Olympia, WA 98506 U.S.A.
The June Meeting will be held Wednesday, June 17th, 6:30 p.m. at the home of Dennis Mills in Olympia. Call number above for address. All are welcome!
Saturday, July 25th – Wednesday, July 29th, BioSand Filter Fabrication Training, at beautiful Quaker Cove Camp, Anacortes, Washington. Come join the team! Cost: $395. Partial scholarships available. Also wanted: an assistant cook for the event. Call 360 918-3642. Sign up now! Click here to Download Flyer
News and Notes – May 2015
More than 300 of you came out in May to hear the wonderful Clay Jenkinson (Dickinson, North Dakota) in his signature role as Thomas Jefferson (Monticello, Virginia), and you were so pleased with their (both Clay’s and Jefferson’s) performance that you rewarded them with a standing ovation.
Clay donated much of his usual speaking fee for the event to Friendly Water for the World, which he sees as a small-scale effort in the Jeffersonian spirit of “amelioriating the condition of mankind.” As our Board member Ron Storey noted at the event, we do this not as a charity, but as partners, making it possible for communities in Asia, Africa, and Central America to ensure their own drinking water supply. It is indeed a Jeffersonian experiment in radical democracy, where people join together, bypass governments (their own and others), big banks, giant bureaucratic (even if well-meaning) charities and church organizations, and take responsibility for each other’s most dire needs. And we get to turn it into an international venture and together we all get to be part of it!
Clay will definitely be back this fall, though, sadly, President Jefferson won’t be back out here any time soon, so he is likely to send his personal representative. Watch for future announcements.
Over in the DRC-Congo, there was another remarkable meeting, this one between Zawadi Nikuze (Goma, DRC), Judy Anderson(Monroe, Washington), and Modestine Etoy (Goma, DRC). Zawadi and members of her group CPGRBC (Centre de Pix pour la Guerison et al Reconstruction des Bases Communautaires - Peace Center for Healing and Rebuilding of Grassroots Communities) were among the participants in Friendly Water for the World’s first training in Goma, a city of a million people without any source of clean water, and where a cholera epidemic has killed over 2,000 people in the past year, and sickened more than 100,000. The participants in CPGRBC are mostly refugees who are rape survivors, often with children, unable to return to the community, but who are now fabricating, distributing and installing BioSand Water Filters in the community. Judy is the founder and director of Act for Congo (www.actforcongo.org ), and began working in Central Africa in 1972 (!). Act for Congo focuses on the needs of women, who have been the worst victims of the past 17 years of war. Modestine is director HOLD-DRC, an organization in Goma that works with teen and single mothers, many of them survivors of sexual assault during the last phase of the war (post-2012), providing peer health education and vocational training to some 500 women and their children.
Many of HOLD’s members and their children are impacted by waterborne illnesses. CPGRBC has now provided HOLD-DRC with its first two BioSand Filters, and there may be more in the offing. And if things go well (and we can find the necessary resources), the women of CPGRBC may have the opportunity to train the women of HOLD-DRC in the manufacture, distribution, and installation of BioSand Fitlers. In the meantime, with assistance from Friendly Water’s Card Fund, CPGRBC is currently manufacturing 65 BioSand Filters to be installed in the homes of local families impacted by HIV.
Across the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda, Friendly Water’s affiliate God in Us-Africa is now overseeing the work of six BioSand cooperatives, all set up within the past year, and which have now installed or have orders for more than 575 BioSand Filters. Having seen their effectiveness in the field, and in producing employment for youth, local governments are scrambling all over themselves, requesting that we start more programs! We are indeed, but urging caution, as the measure of success is not how many people we train or in how many locations, but how many active groups are actively promoting better community sanitation and hygiene, and reducing waterborne illnesses through the use of BioSand Filters. At any rate, with our assistance, God in Us-Africa is training three more youth groups starting today, and we wish them well!
We are looking forward to welcoming Honorary Chairman Del Livingston and Board member Suzanne Livingston (Tacoma, Washington) back from Kenya later this month. They’ve spent the last five months training new groups, setting up rainwater catchment systems, supporting the new Project Ahero BioSand Filter Cooperative, and much more. Most exciting to us, Del is now up at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, which houses 125,000 refugees from at least five different countries. We hope to be able (likely with great difficulty) to launch a BioSand Filter/Community Sanitation and Hygiene program within the camp itself, which will not only serve the refugee community while they are in the camp, but provide them with knowledge and training they will be able to use when they go back home.
Back in Congo-DRC, our medical officer Dr. Kambale Musubao (Goma, DRC) has (as always) been very busy! In preparation for a new project, he took these photos yesterday at Sake, in far eastern Congo. Sake is a lava plain between two volcanoes. The soil, being so porous, will not hold any water, so water is collected in large, lined ponds. There it sits, breeding ground for waterborne illnesses. Bacterial dysentery, ambiases, and cholera are rampant. People - many of whom are refugees - wait hours for water that will then make them, and especially their children, sick.
With help from Friendly Water for the World, Dr. Kambale and LIDE (The League for the Development of Congo), have started a project to provide BioSand Filters to families impacted by HIV. This will be a demonstration project, with an epidemiological component (with water testing provided by the Ministry of Health), and with hope eventually of setting up a local workshop to fabricate Filters for a much larger segment of the population. We look forward to reporting on the project in coming months.
Dr. Kambale also undertook a study of four of the 26 orphanages in the city of Goma. The orphanages are overcrowded as a result of continued military activity in the past several years (some as recent as an attack on the Goma Airport yesterday), and few (see below) have access to clean water. The already noted cholera epidemic in Goma has hit them hard. Dr. Kambale found that, in the past month alone among the 520 kids, 12 have died, and 60 have been hospitalized from cholera, and many more infected. Reporting the results to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry equipped Dr. Kambale with boxes of antibiotics for the orphanages. But the problem is that the children have no clean water with which to take them!
Now for the GOOD News! Friendly Water for the World had already equipped five of the orphanages with BioSand Water Filters. And Dr. Kambale reports that, since then, in these orphanages there hasn’t been a single case of cholera, a single death from cholera, a single hospitalization from cholera, or death or hospitalization from any other waterborne disease.
In response to the report, Friendly Water has allocated funds to equip the four orphanages with two BioSand Filters each immediately (as in, TODAY). They will be built by a joint team from LIDE and the women from CPGRBC. And we invite you (please!) to contribute to a fund to equip the other 17 orphanage with two Filters each – at a cost of $50 each, the total is $1,700. Please give through our website –www.friendlywater.net – and mark your donation “Goma orphanages”. (or mail to: Friendly Water for the World, 1717 18th Court NE, Olympia, WA 98506) With your help, we can end this scourge NOW.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the Yelm Rotary Club for sponsoring a wonderful “Turning Wine into Water” wine tasting and fundraising event. The wine was fine (I am told – I’m a coffee drinker!), the company was great, the wine makers were fabulous, and the Rotary Club members outdid themselves. I am hoping this is the “start of a beautiful relationship”, and an event that can be repeated.
Finally, our training July 25-29th at beautiful Quaker Cove Camp in Anacortes, Washington is soon upon us. We still have some room for folks, and it is going to be very exciting. If you’d like to call me and kibbitz about it, my number is 360 918-3642, but please get your registrations in soon, so we can plan.
Pamoja Tunaweza! “Together We Can!” in Kiswahili,
David – your Friendly Board Chair
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We surmount barriers!