We’re focussing on projects that bring opportunities to children through education, health and sport. Sustainable projects that local governments and communities will support long term, eg, teachers for school buildings, and pump committees for water.
Why Ethiopia first? Well Medi was never supposed to be an only child, complications were explained to Medi and we chose pen-pals instead. We chatted about visiting them to see how we could help, sadly alone, we made this trip in October 2014.
The video we put together to show Medi’s friends is at http://youtu.be/053ksMaf-cl
Project Number 1 is to get water to Gey, Ethiopia. Gey Talt Primary School, the Mehal Meda Health Post and Mehal Meda Village all have no water. The community collects water from small springs, but these springs dry up a few months after the rainy season leaving the women and girls walking up to 12km through the night to fetch just 20 to 40 liters of water.
The major charities have not helped the area as the solution is not cheap. Our initial geo-physical research concluded that a shallow well at the school would not be possible, the solution is a deep well further away.
The study pin points the best site as 2km northwest of the school (GPS 10.370779N, 39.51698E). The water will then need to be pumped to a reservoir, from where it will flow (by gravity through pipes) to the school, the health center and two points in the village as well as to the Kebele Administration office and the Farmers Training Centre. To ensure sustainability it is the Farmers Training Centre that will protect and supply water to the village long term.
We’ve already secured government support
The community live about 5 hours beyond any real road, only reachable by land rover up rocky hills. The best news to date is that we have secured government and community support to construct/repair the access to where the well can be drilled, else machines and rigs could not get there.
How many people will benefit?
The Mehal community is approximately 3,255 households, so assuming 4-6 persons per household just short of 19,000 people will benefit.
How much will it cost?
Putting aside the support committed by the government and community the cost is just under £216,000 to cover
– deep well drilling
– sandwich masonry
– pressure line and electromechanical work
– transformer installation
– water points construction x 4-5
What other benefits will the project bring?
Many girls in the village do not get to school because they spend hours walking to collect water. Boys suffer too because lack of water and sanitation causes illnesses. And, without learning the basics of nutrition, farming, and other life skills it is hard for them to be the best they can be.
Why Africa first?
Worldwide, children living in sub-Saharan Africa are the least likely to have spent even 4 years in school, leaving them without the basic skills that can help them improve the poverty stricken conditions that they live in. Since age 4, Medi wrote to Bekalu and Destaw in Ethiopia – we’d planned to visit them with Medi to see how we could help, raise a little money and do an assembly or two.
- An Ox for the generous hearted gentleman we met who had taken in 5 orphaned and vulnerable children. Just £350 would make a difference.
- Jobs for disabled people – we met members of the community who had lost limbs or been born immobile. The community helped them get the skills to sew, and we saw them making working suits for farmers. They need 2 sewing machines to expand the business and bring in other disabled workers. Just £600 would make a difference.
- A safe house & school for street boys in Rwanda – Becky, a British graduate who did her gap year in Rwanda, fell in love and married a local street boy, orphaned by genocide. They now sleep on the floor and run a safe house for street children and orphans in Rwanda and desperately need extra capacity. To double capacity and give 40 children somewhere safe to live and build a future for them and others that that will follow them after we need to raise £40,000.