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May 17, 2017

The community begins work in Mela Gagula!

Locals collecting building materials
Locals collecting building materials

In the past month work has started on the Water and Sanitation project in Mela Gagula.  This is monumental news for the 672 households that have never had access to clean water previously!  We are very grateful for those of you who recently donated to this project (including those of you who sponsored Kendrick on his 10k run), as it meant that the project could go ahead as planned.

Before work could start, members of the community had to first build a road to their village so that HOPE's vehicles and lorries could deliver the necessary building and plumbing materials.  A road that was accessible to vehicles never existed previously.  This was back-breaking work for the community, but one they knew would be the start of a different future.  The road was completed at the end of April, but poor weather conditions meant there was a delay until the materials could safely be delivered.

In the meantime, HOPE construction staff (a hydrologist, foreman and truck driver) as well as our HOPE health educationalist have set up their tents in the village and will be living in Mela Gagula until their work is complete.  This allows them time to develop genuine relationships with the local people and model using good hygiene and sanitation decisions.  They will also provide much training - for the 20 Water Caretakers that have been appointed to repair and maintain the water system - and for 15 Community Educators who will teach each household about practicing improved hygiene behaviours (such as building pit latrines and the hygienic use of them, hand-washing with clean water, safe food preparation and storage).  This training for local people is essential to ensure that the community fully benefits from access to clean water by changing their previous habits, but also so that the system will continue to be operational years after HOPE has moved on.  From this early stage, there is already a sense of local ownership of the water system, which will essentially lead to sustainability and an increased confidence in local skills.

Since the beginning of May, the weather conditions have stabilised and the HOPE construction team have requested the community to collect and provide local materials that are available.  These include rocks and stones for the water tanks and points, as well as sand.  Wood from local trees will also be needed for fencing around each of the 10 water points to ensure they are kept safe and not damaged by animals.  For this project, two springs are being capped to ensure there is enough water for each of the water points.  Soon pipe lines will be dug 5.9km, from the spring to the village, to carry the clean water.  This will be the next task for members of the community which will take many weeks.

 

Thank you again for your support of this project.  You can see how work is progressing and, assuming there are no more interruptions to the work, the taps should be turned on August!  We will keep you informed.  Immediately after the lifestyle and quality of life for women and their children, in particular, will change as they will no longer need to walk 3-4 hours for water each day.  Health of the community will improve rapidly as they drink, cook, and wash with water that is safe and not contaminated.  The health of their livestock will benefit as well.  More food will be grown and consumed. Children will therefore be able to attend school regularly and their parents can then devote themselves to efforts to earn needed money for their families.  In addition, 240 women will soon be starting new, small business as a result of their new training from HOPE staff on entrepreneurial skills, as well as fundamentals of saving and lending money.   

Work will continue to progress in Mela Gagula but in the UK, we are now turning our attention to our next project in another Ethiopian village called Alugube and Durbe.  Join us by making a donation to bring life-changing water to that community of 1,986 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 admin@hope-international.org.uk.

We appreciate your donations and support which have helped to bring hope to the rural village of Mela Gagula.

Some members of Mela Gagula
Some members of Mela Gagula's new Water Committee!
The new road to the village
The new road to the village
Materials can now be delivered!
Materials can now be delivered!
Locals counting the days until clean water arrives
Locals counting the days until clean water arrives

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Feb 16, 2017

Getting closer ... to clean water!

The daily routine for most children in Mela Gagula
The daily routine for most children in Mela Gagula

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 admin@hope-international.org.uk.

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!

The village of Mela Gagula, in rural Ethiopia
The village of Mela Gagula, in rural Ethiopia
Homes in Mela Gagula
Homes in Mela Gagula
Inflicted by flies that carry disease
Inflicted by flies that carry disease

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Jan 30, 2017

Phase one complete!

Dil Maya and her family with their new home
Dil Maya and her family with their new home

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! 

New computers at Balbalika Sudhar School
New computers at Balbalika Sudhar School
Pratima starts a grocery store business
Pratima starts a grocery store business
Man Maya starts a poultry farming business
Man Maya starts a poultry farming business

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