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David Albert - Board Chairman, Friendly Water For the World
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THIS is What Success Looks Like – NOTHING HAPPENS

THIS is What Success Looks Like – NOTHING HAPPENS

There – when “nothing happens”, it is often a revelation. While surrounding communities are experiencing disease and even death, when “nothing happens” in the community because of a health intervention, there is much rejoicing. There is even more rejoicing, and a feeling of great pride, when not only are our new friends surviving and even healthy when the periodic epidemics sweep through, but when they do this for themselves and for their neighbors - without governments (local, national, or foreign), banks, churches, white missionaries, huge NGOs and charities, political parties. Sometimes, even without doctors or nurses (because there aren’t any!) They make “nothing happen” with their own intelligence, ingenuity, pent-up energy, generosity, and caring. (And a little knowledge sharing and training, in the case below all secondhand, tools, and some cheerleading – perhaps our biggest asset - from us.)

 

So there is great excitement outside of Gisenyi, Rwanda. Early this year, our Friendly Water for the World affiliate God in Us-Africa trained a group of 20 HIV-positive widows – of different ages, religions, and tribal affiliations - in building BioSand Water Filters, and in teaching community sanitation and hygiene. They called their group “Tunyamazimeza”– meaning “Use Clean Water” in Kinyarwanda, elected a President, and set up a bank account. They started by building and installing Filters for themselves and their children, and, as we’ve seen virtually everywhere, within less than a month waterborne and opportunistic infections disappeared, and the women got stronger. No typhoid, no cholera, no bacterial dysentery, no ambiasis, no Rotavirus. They made “nothing happen”!

 

Then they went to work. Over the past four months, Tunyamazimeza has built and installed 164 BioSand Water Filters, many of them ordered by local schools who have seen how much “nothing happens” when the kids have access to clean water. They made a profit of $835. They spent the first $225 to buy health insurance for 56 children, who can now access health care at government health clinics when they need it, and free pharmaceuticals (the bane of health care in many subSaharan environments.) Of course, most of them don’t need much of it anymore, as “nothing is happening”.

 

They are using the rest of the funds to rent land for next year to cultivate fruit and vegetables, both for the market, and for their own families to supplement their limited diets. These are now some very happy people! (And of course they are continuing to build BioSand Filters.)

 

Now, people are streaming in from other districts, pleading with God in Us-Africa and Friendly Water for the World to start programs in their communities. And local governments, too. We have 12 projects now, and a team that does nothing but monitoring and evaluation. I expect we will triple that in the next year, perhaps to include Friendly Water soapmaking, and training in building eco-friendly latrines.

 

Of course, that means we need more help from all of you. Please consider supporting us with a monthly pledge (you can do that through our website at www.friendlywater.net ); even $5 a month can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

 

Help us make “nothing happen”!

 

(And share this with your friends, so that they can, too!)

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