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According to the UN, 2.6 billion people across the world do not have access to basic sanitation, and 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. The world water crisis is one of the main causes of poverty and poor health in developing countries. Polluted water can cause diarrhoeral diseases, which, coupled with malaria, killed 3.1 million people in 2004. Poor access to clean water even reduces productivity: Students (especially girls) often miss school because neither their homes nor their schools have running water. (Source: WHO & UNICEF http://www.wssinfo.org/essentials/water2.html) Burdens at home, illness, and the lack of separated bathrooms keep children out of the classroom and mired in a cycle of poverty.
A Spring of Hope has chosen providing water as its mission because it allows for self-sustainability and development. Our wells are constructed in schools where the greatest number of children can use the water. The presence of water in a school in an impoverished area is inviting to students and can lead to a more hopeful and happier learning environment. Not only do our wells offer clean drinking water from deep within the earth, but the water is used for cleaning and to prevent the spread of illnesses. With the reliable source of water, schools grow gardens, which provide food for the students and faculty, and a steady flow of income to purchase necessary school supplies.
But we do not stop there.
We believe that schools should be community centers in developing countries. This is why A Spring of Hope maintains close relationships with all of its schools and assists with the implementation of academic programs. In 2010 and 2011, we look forward to establishing writing courses and women's rights classes at our schools. Our dedication to our schools and the growth of our students is unprecedented. We promise to stay true to our roots and always stay committed to the students.
We say, "Just Add Water," because we know that with it, a school can improve, grow, and offer promising futures to its students.
1)A Spring of Hope searches for rural, underprivileged schools in Africa in desperate need of water. These schools are often identified during the A Spring of Hope Team's trips to Africa or when people contact us who know of a school in need. Each school that A Spring of Hope records is documented through video or pictures. High school and college students from around the world contact A Spring of Hope and adopt a school with our form page on our site. The students establish an "A Spring of Hope Chapter" at their schools and organize fundraisers to benefit the school they have personally adopted. Through this fundraising and donations A Spring of Hope receives, we are able to plan for a well construction.
2)Once a school has been located, Brenden Schmikl, our Director of Construction Management, visits the school and performs a preliminary search of the school's grounds. He performs a basic scan for water known as divining, during which he holds two metal rods and positions himself over the land that may hold water. Divining is useful to check for any minute activity of water beneath the surface. Then, a geohydrologist is called in to inspect the land. Once it has been confirmed that the location is promising, Brenden organizes the construction. If students funded the well, they will be set photographs and video of the work they have done.
3)Drilling begins when A Spring of Hope acquires the appropriate funds from donations or fundraising through clubs at schools. Drilling is a highly delicate process during which a driller uses machinery to reach 100 meters or more below the ground. A powerful flow of water is needed for our wells since the water we draw is usually used to operate toilets, sprinklers, and faucets. Once a strong enough stream is located, we plan for the installation of the electric pump, protective cage, and appropriate piping.
4)Volunteers from our partner Seeds of Light visit each of our schools to educate faculty and students about the proper use of water, sanitation, and agriculture. We believe that education must be coupled with the new source of water.
5)We maintain relationships with our schools and provide repairs of wells if needed. Our team visits schools annually to begin educational classes and to provide other assistance.
- Joanne Young
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