Community Water Solutions

To implement community-level water treatment businesses in communities of the developing world that: - are run by members of the community - provide clean water for residents of that community - generate economic growth and - empower women in the community
Jun 21, 2011

The 2011 Summer Fellowship Program

The Salaminga Snails: Annie, Christine, Nate & Ben
The Salaminga Snails: Annie, Christine, Nate & Ben

Another busy quarter for Community Water Solutions! In March, we welcomed Samantha Derrick and Kathryn Padgett to the CWS Team. Both Sam and Kathryn participated in the 2011 Winter Fellowship Program and now join our team as the US Director of Operations and Development (Sam) and the Ghana Country Directory (Kathryn). We are so thrilled to have them as part of the CWS family and have been very impressed with their work thus far! 

In addition to Sam and Kathryn, CWS also welcomed 28 volunteers to Ghana this summer for the fourth session of the CWS Fellowship Program. The Program was a great success, and resulted in the opening of 7 new water businesses in rural Ghana. Throughout their time in Ghana, each Fellowship team took turns writing posts for the Community Water Solutions blog. We thought it would be interesting to include one of their posts in this report, so that our supporters can learn about the Program through the Fellows' perspective! Without further ado, here are some "voices from the field":

Voices from the Field: The Salaminga Snails!

June 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Fellowship ProgramImplementationTacpuli | Leave a comment Edit this post

Hey there from the Salaminga Snails! You might be wondering how we got our name. Salaminga is the local word for “foreigner/white person” and then snails because we make everyone look so slow! Our trip to Ghana has been great so far, we have been working in the village Tacpuli and loving every minute of it. This past week we have been working on setting up our treatment center and preparing it for our opening day on Wednesday. We bought our Polytank, blue buckets, and all other necessary supplies, fitted them on our beautifully crafted Polytank stand and just started the first treatment process today.

We spent the morning training with the two women who would be running the center, Mariama and Laseechey (forgive the butchering of the spelling) who are awesome. They had already used alum in their water before, so the first half of the training was super easy. Afterwards we began distributing buckets to individual households in the hottest part of the day under the blazing African sun. Needless to say every member of our group came out of the field with some pretty gnarly sun burns. We managed to distribute 31 buckets, nearly half of our 68 household village, and look forward to an early morning distributing the buckets tomorrow (a 6:00am wake up is totally worth it to beat the heat). We’re also excited to keep working with Laseechey and Mariama! Tomorrow we will show them how to take the alum-ized (new word?) water and treat it with chlorine.

We also should mention that we have the best translator in CWS history, Peter Biyam. Peter also happens to have the greatest sheep in all of history, “Don’t Forget,” which we purchased from our very own Tacpuli as a way of thanking him. He promises to take very good care of her and we like to know that he will not forget us with Don’t Forget!

Overall the Salaminga Snails are having a great time in Ghana! We’re loving our village, loving our translator, loving our team, and are super excited for our opening day on Wednesday!

-Nate, Annie, Christine and Ben


Peter translating for Annie at our village meeting
Peter translating for Annie at our village meeting
Leaving our mark on the polytank stand!
Leaving our mark on the polytank stand!
Christine training Mariama & Laseechey
Christine training Mariama & Laseechey
Bringing "don
Bringing "don't forget" home in the truck
Awesome kids at Tacpuli!
Awesome kids at Tacpuli!

Links:

Feb 18, 2011

The 2011 Winter Fellowship Program

The 2011 CWS Winter Fellows
The 2011 CWS Winter Fellows

This winter, Community Water Solutions brought 28 volunteers with us to Ghana for our second and third-ever sessions of the CWS Fellowship Program. As we mentioned in previous reports, the CWS Fellowship Program is a three-week water education and leadership training experience in Northern Region Ghana. The purpose of the fellowship is to teach individuals about the global water crisis, and inspire them to become leaders in the field of international development. Fellows are grouped in teams of four and paired with a rural community in Northern Region Ghana. Each team works together to raise enough funds to cover their trip expenses before coming to Ghana  On the ground, teams are first trained in water quality testing, and the CWS water treatment methods. They then spend two weeks in the field implementing and monitoring a CWS water business in their village.

This winter's Fellowship Program sessions were a huge success! In just 5 weeks, our 7 teams of fellows provided permanent sources of safe drinking water for over 4,200 people. We were so impressed with the Fellows' positive attitudes and incredible work ethics. It was a pleasure to work with such passionate young people and we are lucky to have all of our Fellow Alumni as part of our CWS family. We can’t wait to see the amazing impact that they all will undoubtedly have on the world!

Thank you to all of our donors who have made it possible for us to offer this incredible opportunity to students and young professionals. This program has enabled us to bring safe drinking water to thousands of people in just a few short months and helped CWS spread awareness about the global water crisis!

Team 1 celebrate a successful opening day in Chani
Team 1 celebrate a successful opening day in Chani
CWS Fellows, Lauren and Kathryn, at a CWS WTC
CWS Fellows, Lauren and Kathryn, at a CWS WTC
CWS Fellows teaching community about safe storage
CWS Fellows teaching community about safe storage

Links:

Nov 2, 2010

A Busy Quarter

Boy in Gidanturu collecting donations for Hati
Boy in Gidanturu collecting donations for Hati

The past few months have been very busy for Community Water Solutions! Over the past 6 months we have opened two new water businesses, hosted 5 volunteers in Ghana, endured the rainy season, and recruited 28 more volunteers, who will be coming to Ghana this January! 

At the end of April, we officially opened our sixth water business in the village of Gidanturu. Gidanturu is located on the Salaga Rd (the same road as Jarigu, Cheko, Nyamaliga, and Gbong) about 90 minutes outside of Tamale and is the home to ~650-700 people who were desperately in need of safe drinking water. During our first visit to Gidanturu I noticed that many of the children were wearing funny looking hats. After looking closely, I noticed that the children were raising money for Haiti at their school! It was truly amazing. This tiny village in rural Ghana – that we have a hard time reaching in our 4 wheel-drive truck, where people live on less than $1 per day, was raising money for Haiti!

After a few weeks of monitoring and follow-up visits in Gidanturu, we switched our focus to the 2010 CWS Summer Fellowship Program, which took place during the month of June. The CWS Fellowship Program is a three-week water education and leadership training experience in Northern Region Ghana. The purpose of the fellowship is to teach individuals about the global water crisis, and inspire them to become leaders in the field of international development. Fellows are grouped in teams of four and paired with a rural community in Northern Region Ghana. Each team works together to raise the fellowship fee before traveling to Africa. On the ground, teams are first trained in water quality testing, and the CWS water treatment methods. They then spend two weeks in the field implementing and monitoring a CWS water business in their village. 

The 2010 Summer Fellows implemented a CWS water business in the village of Wambong. The village, originally thought to have had a maximum of 35 households, turned out to have over 104! So they’ve definitely had their hands full during their 2.5 weeks of field work. 

The program was a huge success and we had a great time teaching and working with the 2010 Summer Fellows. Here is what some of the Fellows had to say about their time in Ghana:

"I really enjoyed working with CWS! I shared an experience that can't be found with other organizations."

"I felt like we accomplished a lot in a good amount of time, while still being able to enjoy ourselves and enjoy being in Africa."

"I'm really fortunate to be a part of CWS, and so excited to stay in touch and help out with future fellows!"

After the Fellows returned home, the rainy season in Ghana began and most of the CWS team came back to the United States to focus on fundraising and recruiting more volunteers for the 2011 Winter Fellowship Program. Our Ghanaian staff switched from "implementation mode" to "monitoring mode" and spent the rainy season checking up on our 7 water businesses to ensure a smooth seasonal transition. As we have seen in the past, many families in rural Ghana collect rainwater during the rainy season, and therefore water sales dropped in almost all of our villages. However, when the rains slowed in October, sales began to pick up again - proving the long-term sustainability of our business model.

In October, we announced the 2011 Winter Fellows, who will be coming to Ghana to work with CWS in December and January. 16 volunteers will be participating in session 1 of the Fellowship Program, which takes place from December 27th - January 14th and 12 volunteers will be joining us for session 2, which takes place from January 8th - 29th. With the help of these fellows, CWS will be in more than 14 villages by February 2012! 

 

The 2010 Summer Fellows in Wambong
The 2010 Summer Fellows in Wambong
Boy helping us monitor water sales in Gidanturu
Boy helping us monitor water sales in Gidanturu
Opening day in Wambong!
Opening day in Wambong!
Girl in Gidanturu w/her CWS safe storage container
Girl in Gidanturu w/her CWS safe storage container

Links:

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