It is just six weeks before HOPE plans to start work in the rural village of Mela Gagula. There are 2,400 people who are desperate to gain access to clean water, just minutes from their homes, to free up time for schooling and pursuring income generating activities, whilst also benefitting from improved health and hygiene. They have observed neighbouring villages work with HOPE to build a water system, capping a nearby spring and digging trenches to pipe in the clean water, to local water and wash points distributed around the village. Local women have seen their neighbours learn new business skills and proudly sell new items at the local market to raise money for their households. They have seen lives improve as a result of HOPE's investment and the residents of Mela Gagula are more than ready to experience the same.
Since September 2016 HOPE UK has been working hard to secure the needed funds to press ahead with the project as planned. In October a couple of HOPE supporters hosted a 'Party with a Purpose' with live music and raised over £1000 for the clean water project in Mela Gagula. In November HOPE ran two 'Evenings of HOPE' to share a powerful 20-minute film about our work (do click here to view it yourselves!) and benefitted from increasing our number of regular, monthly donors. In December we raised over £2000 on craft items that were made and sold by supporters.
In January we were deeply touched to receive confirmation of a personal donation of £50,000 to this project. When asked why they decided to give to a water project in particular, they responded, ‘With water there is a clear need, it is essential. It doesn’t get more basic than water. Similarly, the success of a clean water project is easy to evaluate. Are things positively different? Is the difference tangible? Is it verifiable? Ultimately we want to back people and equip them to have a better life. We knew that by ‘investing’ in this water project, we could change the future for a least 2,400 people and their future generations as well. This project addresses poverty in a way that helps people to change their own circumstances.” The donor continued, "HOPE is a charity my wife and I support for a number of reasons. It is locally run and lean; your money goes to where it makes an impact. It offers a ‘hand up, not a hand out’; the projects only run if the villages proactively ask for them and village inhabitants provide labour (and any materials that are locally available). It is sustainable; there is no complex machinery so the locals can look after it themselves. It is transformative; what value would you place on your child not dying from an easily preventable disease?"
Therefore, along with your donations, these generous efforts move us much closer to our fundraising goal. We are also awaiting news from three Foundations on whether we have been successful in obtaining grants for much of the remaining money needed. Knowing how a water system will change the future of Mela Gagula, we have done what we can to ensure the necessary 'investment' is available so that the work will begin as planned and that a sustainable approach and transformative result will occur.
Thank you for playing your part as well. If you would like to keep up-to-date with our ongoing investment in rural Ethiopia by receiving HOPE's e-newsletters, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, please spread the news of HOPE's life-changing work with friends and colleagues. They, too, can be a part of helping people help themselves out of poverty!
Thank you for your generous support of families struggling to rebuild in Nepal. Because of you, Phase 1 of the three-year project to help put these communities back together was successfully completed!
Our goals for this phase were to rebuild 60 homes that were destroyed in the earthquake and construct 2 temporary learning shelters. We are thrilled to report that all 60 homes have been completed – 40 in Sindhupalchowk and 20 in Nuwakot. During the project, the government of Nepal changed their regulations and no longer allowed temporary learning shelters to be built. However, other generous agencies were able to step in and construct permanent schools for the two communities. After meeting with teachers, parents, and the management committees of the two schools, we were able to support them in other ways. Kumbeswor Secondary School in Nuwakot requested 4 computers and funding to pay the salary of a computer instructor for 1 year. Balbalika Sudhar School in Sindhupalchowk requested 3 computers and school uniforms for 100 students. We were happy to support these critical needs for these two schools so that the children of these communities are able to continue their education.
The project’s long-term goal is to empower the women of the communities and give them the tools and training they need to increase their income and pull themselves out of poverty. During this project phase, 22 women have taken a loan and started their own small business. A huge accomplishment for these women! The 90 women who are participating in this portion of the project attended and completed their Adult Education classes and Cornerstone Training.
We are thrilled with the success of the first phase of this project, and the communities of Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot thank you for your generous support! Over the next two project phases, women will be provided with additional, more specific training on the businesses they can undertake, as well as support and oversight for their small groups and savings and loan programs. These communities are well on their way to a brighter future thanks to you!
In late December, with the help of the local community, HOPE successfully completed the construction of the new water system in Gezesso. This means that now an additional 2,300 people are drinking, cooking and washing with clean water and are significantly improving the quality of their lives. Much joy has been displayed and expressed amongst a community that until last month, spent most of their days just trying to survive to the next. Now there is hope for the future and increased energy to plan and invest in their future.
In Gezesso four springs were capped and a pipe line dug and laid 8 km long, allowing water to flow to three newly built water reservoir tanks and then to 13 new water points and 11 wash basins. In addition to helping advise on the construction of the water infrastructure, HOPE continues to work with families to educate them on building and using household latrines and practicing basic hygiene and sanitation, such as hand-washing, to help them fully benefit from their new access to a nearby source of clean water. For example, thus far, families have dug and installed 120 pit latrines with technical support from HOPE field staff. This is an excellent indication that families have embraced the lessons they are learning in their hygiene and health sessions. An additional 144 pit latrines are planned to be built in 2017 as health and sanitation education continues to reach all community members.
Twenty members of the community have been also trained as Water Caretakers to maintain the system’s infrastructure and 40 people have been elected by the community as members of their Water Committee, working together to properly manage the water usage in the community (ensuring that taps stay clean, fences are maintained, water fees are collected and paid, etc.).
This new water system in Gezesso was completed just weeks after the water project in the village of Kalebo Laka (see final report). Both communities are situated near one another and are presently undergoing much positive transformation change. Health is improving, children are attending school regularly and women are receiving an additional investment of basic business education (see project report). Similar to Kalebo Laka, a school in Gezesso with 291 pupils now has a water point as well as a local health centre, which services people from the surrounding area and is staffed by local people.
HOPE has historically seen the beneficiary community take pride in and ownership of their water system after its public handover, due to their personal investment in construction, managing the system (through cleaning and repair) and paying regular, affordable maintenance fees. Therefore, a 50-year life span for each system is realistic because HOPE uses high quality and durable materials and local people have been trained to appropriately maintain the system for themselves. Whilst HOPE staff stay in touch and can provide technical and other support as needed, the local government also has an on-going commitment to ensure that clean water continues to flow in villages with recent access to water, like Gezesso.
Thank you again for your support of this project. If you would like to keep up-to-date with our ongoing investment in rural Ethiopia by receiving HOPE's e-newsletters, please email us at email@example.com.
We are now turning our attention to our next project in Mela Gagula. Join us by bringing joy to that community of 2,400 as well.