"That which is good is never finished"
8 W.A.T.E.R. trip participants and our W.A.T.E.R. intern, Courtney, visited villages Datoku and Kwanania in the Upper East Region of northern Ghana. Four communities now have clean water from boreholes very near to the maternity and newborn clinics. One of the biggest challenges of these areas is infection and death of mother and/or baby during and following childbirth. Clean water makes a world of difference. Our celebrations were filled with gratitude on all sides; we for the hospitality and welcome, our new friends for the gift of clean water. Thanks to ALL of our donors; this water's for you! Jan Kline, W.A.T.E.R. board
The celebration at Datoku
Tom & Kathy Dube made a special donation to W.A.T.E.R. for painting a school. The village of Farinsa was recipient. Our group had 50 paint brushes varying in size. Close to 200 people from the school community came to help paint and we barely touched our hands to a tool. SInging and dancing and a soccer game all were part of the day.
Our group with some of the village members who showed up to paint the school in Farinsa.
Our group participants received many experiences. 2010 found us in Wiaga, home of Thomas Awiapo,
Paga, a slave gathering site on the Burkina Faso border,
In Bolga at a women’s basket making NGO site,
Working 3 days in Tolon with Habitat for Humanities,
Touring the Ashanti king’s summer palace (now museum) in Kumasi, walking 40 feet above the ground at Kakum National Reserve.
We also had the privilege of visiting our Savelugu borehole. This was funded in 2006 in a Guinea Worm endemic area. It is in great working order these 5 years; the village water and sanitation team meets monthly, and repairs that were needed were made by the community. BEST OF ALL, Guinea worm is now reduced 100%. Sustainability is the answer for communities everywhere. W.A.T.E.R. partners with Catholic Relief Services because of their amazing track record in water and sanitation.
The first borehole we visited in Datuko. This borehole was financed by Becky Roe, Kathy Goater, Jeff Robinson, Debi Preston's Seattle Legal community fund raiser, Oct 2009.
Blair Howisey and Jan Kline at Datuko
Jan Kline receiving a a gift of gratitude from the village of Datuko.
Our group with the cheif of Wiaga, hometown of Thomas Awiapo.
Each group member has a few words to say about their experiences so far.
Before I came to Ghana, I heard and believed that water is life. But visiting villages, I really saw that a bore hole is cause for singing, dancing, and celebration. A bore hole means that guinea worm is almost eradicated. A bore hole means that women give birth safely in the maternity ward next door. A bore hole means that clean water, a basic human right, is now available to hundreds of men, women, and children. I will never look at water in the same way again.
Before I came to Ghana we recieved a t-shirt with the logo "Water is Life" across the heart of the t-shirt. At that point it was just a logo, and now after a week in Ghana I see it's truth in so many ways. Water is a necessity to life in ways that I had never had to think about, and being here we learned that childbirth is one of them. Clara Weobong said it perfectly when she said, "Water is life, so what better way to bring in a new life than with clean water." Water has too often been a resource I have taken advantage of, and I know after this trip I see it's true value. Water is life.
This trip has showed me once again that there are people in this world that are thirsty, and that is unacceptable. Water is a right, not a privilege. It is a humbling honor to be a part of bringing entire village communities the gift of life through water. I am forever changed and my life is filled with so much more beauty.
The best part about Ghana are the people and their attitudes. For them, every day is a celebration with SO much singing, dancing, and drumming. Their constant smiles are like nothing I have ever seen and their gratitude is inspiring and something I consider a gift to experience. I hope that more people can witness and be a part of bringing them WATER!
This first week in Ghana has been delightful, exhilarating and sobbering. We spent a majority of the week in the northeast district where W.A.T.E.R. has been providing funds to drill boreholes for the past several years. We had the honor to attend two dedications of the well. At each we were greeted with drummers and dancers and seated and treated as dignataries. The people were joyful and happy that WATER had provided the borehole. They showed again and again their gratitude for receiving something that we all take for granted. This has been a very special experience.
Wow, what an amazing experience this past week has been! This is my first time in Africa, and I have seen so much already. The people of Ghana are more loving, happy, and helpful than any other place I have been. The dedication of the boreholes at the villages was an amazing outpouring of thankfulness towards us. It has been humbling to see the impact on tens of thousands of this organization has made.
-Christopher Dubé, webmaster
We've had an incredible first week here in Ghana! My friends and I have had an amazing opportunity to connect with communities that W.A.T.E.R. has supported this year. The joy, gratitude, and friendship that each community has shared with us is SO much more valuable than what we have given them. In the village of Datoku, we danced, sang and commissioned a new borehole. The image of David (lawyer and grandfather and one of my newest friends!) dancing with the drummers and women from the village, will stay with me forever. In the second village - Kanania - hundreds of villagers came to celebrate the comissioning of the borehole. My friends from Microsoft provided the funds for this borehole, and I was able to give a speech to the community on our behalf - what a transformational experience. More details and stories to come.....
This year's shirt has been extremely popular. We are even thinking of making it into batik. Stay tuned!