Bringing water to African schools

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Bringing water to African schools

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A Spring of Hope helps African students, who normally take time from their studies to walk miles to retrieve water, by building wells and health clinics at schools.

About You
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Your idea
Field of Work

other

If Field of Work is “other” please define in 1-2 words below

building wells

Year project started (or projected start date) (yyyy)

2007

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What is the primary problem your venture is trying to address and how are you addressing it (or planning to address it)?

A Spring of Hope now encourages high school and college students of the United States to raise awareness of the struggles African students experience by starting a club and screening A Spring of Hope's documentary, "Water" at their school.

Innovation
Project Description

A Spring of Hope helps African students, who normally take time from their studies to walk miles to retrieve water, by building wells and health clinics at schools.

Unique and different

The African continent is currently experiencing a massive lack of clean drinking water known as the world water crisis. In addition to dehydration, many Africans suffer from malnutrition and disease. Food supplies and temporary medical care do not offer permanent cures for this crises. A Spring of Hope has chosen water as our mission because it allows for self-sustainability. 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, to prevent the spread of illnesses. With their source of water, schools grow gardens, which provide food for the students and faculty. The surplus food is sold so schools can buy necessary supplies. We say, "Just Add Water," because we know that with it, one can stay healthy, strong, and independent.

Project plan

We have identified 7 more schools in need of water and are working on getting then adopted by different high schools and colleges in the US and abroad for fundraising projects.

Partnerships

We are speaking with Living Water International about possible partnerships in the region were we are currently working.

Impact
Impact

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, to prevent the spread of illnesses. With their source of water, schools grow gardens, which provide food for the students and faculty. The surplus food is sold so schools can buy necessary supplies. We say, "Just Add Water," because we know that with it, one can stay healthy, strong, and independent.

Effectiveness

Approximately 3000 students now have clean drinking water from our 3 completed wells.

How do you engage and impact the community?

By providing water to the school, the surrounding community is involved in the gardening project.
Many adults come to school to help plant, weed, and harvest the crops. Some crops are sold to supplement the school.

How do you measure this impact?

This impact is evident in the general health of the students. They now have clean water to drink, and nutritious vegetables to eat from the garden.

Obstacles

The only obstacle we face is that there will be times when we drill that there is no sustainable water source.

Sustainability
Financing source
(or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)

We raise money from local chapters of A Spring of Hope through screening of our documentary "Water" and receiving donations.

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow and sustain your project?

Our goal is to continually add chapters of A Spring of Hope at high schools and colleges around the world.

Finance details

We have raised over $100,000 in 2008. We have 5 people on our board of directors and three students who founded the organization. We are a 501c3 organization.

Creative funding

We will be having an auction soon of photographs of South Africa, taken by me, printed on canvas.

Other non finance needs

We could use a driller rig and truck. Drilling becomes costly and once we begin to drill multiple wells at the same time, we will need our own equipment.

The Story
Motivation

During the summer of 2005, Brittany Young and her mother Joanne Young traveled to South Africa. While staying in Limpopo, enjoying game drives and Africa's vibrant culture, the two decided to visit a local rural school. Aware that the school was most likely very poor with little supplies, Brittany brought a few packs of stickers and crayons to pass out to the children.

The number of students at Beretta Primary was a complete surprise. When they expected about forty children to greet them, over 1,200 fit into the small and dirty classrooms, eager to learn. Upon arriving at Beretta, located in the center of the poorest province in South Africa, Limpopo, Brittany and Joanne were shocked to learn the school did not have running water.

The lack of nearby running water made life at Beretta extremely difficult. The gardens, their only source of food for the children, only grew during the rainy seasons. Volunteer mothers endured miles of walking to retrieve a pale of water from a government pump to prepare lunch for the children. The school wasn't clean and the students were not able to wash their hands and keep from spreading illnesses.

It was apparent the lack of water had deleterious effects on the students and faculty and obstructed the development of healthy, educated, and thriving children. Brittany was so moved and saddened by Beretta's conditions, that she decided she would do all she could to make a difference in the students' lives. When she began her freshman year of high school the fall of 2005, she began fundraisers and eventually raised over $10,000.

The construction of the well began in 2006 with the help of South African friends Brendon and Sheri Schmikl, without whom the construction of the well would not have been possible. Although the addition of the well at Beretta was a major accomplishment, Brittany understood that there were many other schools near Beretta with far greater needs. With the help of donations, school friends Jonathan Ossip, Christian Hall, and Marianna Del Raso returned to Africa with Brittany to film a documentary on Beretta.

This trip, entitled "The Beretta Project," sparked the creation of A Spring of Hope Charity. The documentary, "Water," promotes A Spring of Hope's mission to provide necessities for African students. The documentary is screened at middle schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the United States, raising awareness about Africa's schools, and ultimately helping A Spring of Hope grow.

Awards

Super Teen Award
Teen Ink Community Service Winner
Gloria Barron Young Heroes Distinguished Finalist Award

Broader context

"One thing a visitor to Africa may notice about its people is their spiritual wealth. Africa is constantly bombarded with struggles related to war, social strife, poverty, and economic instability. However, Africa's population possesses a happiness and positive outlook towards life most peoples of other continents could never understand. I can only imagine what Africa could accomplish if it was not enduring those hardships. With such exuberant and resilient people, how successful could this continent become if it obtained the help it so desperately needs?

In today's rapidly transforming technological world, distant countries are becoming next-door neighbors. The world is becoming less of a system of divided countries, and more of a unified planet. With this in mind, I feel that it is my responsibility as a human being to utilize every advantage I have to assist those who are less fortunate...whether they be within my country, or on the other side of the world. Africa's children are Africa's future. Education is the gateway out of poverty, and if I can help even one child in Africa succeed and make a difference, then I feel I have lived up to my purpose."
-Brittany Young
You can make a huge difference if you...Just Add Water.

Ongoing

I will be attending college next year and plan on bringing A Spring of Hope as a service project to my university. I will be studying African studies, Anthropology and English in college. I see myself as the head of my foundation throughout my adult life. Creative writing and poetry are two of my passions. I would also one day like to own a publishing company.

What is your age?

How did you hear about this competition?

I heard about it from the people at the Gloria Barron Young Heroes Award. They suggested I enter the competition.