Water for Hope and Change Project

Thu Nov 1, 2018 at 08:55 AM

Kiserian residents collecting water

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Water is life, and clean water means health.”

In order to bring fresh water to an isolated village in Kiserian, Kenya, the Blue Ridge Community College National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) Team and Enactus Team students are raising funds to drill a well. In partnership with Well of Hope, the groups have established a GoFundMe page with a goal of $30,000 to drill one well.

Alejandra Mendez, a part-time BRCC student, is passionate about this project because of similar experiences in her native Mexico on her grandparents’ farm, where water is also scarce and requires daily effort to acquire it.

“I believe I am stronger because of my past and I believe helping these women and their families will help me grow into a stronger person,” says Alejandra. “These women are isolated and get no help from anyone because they have HIV. We have the power and knowledge to help these women and their families by making it easier for them to access water. By helping these women, I hope to feel like I made a difference in someone’s life.”

Young Kenyan girl carrying water jugsThe residents of the remote settlements of Kiserian, Kenya, are HIV-infected women and their children. The closest water source is a strenuous five-hour walk away. That’s a 10-hour round trip to collect the most basic of human needs for survival. Over the past four years, BRCC students have worked with these women by training them to make products such as solar lights, biomass briquettes, and soap to earn income. While these projects were certainly successful, they realized that solving their lack of water was most pressing.

Access to clean water through having a well close by will enhance the efforts of these families to raise livestock and agricultural products, and also earn extra money by selling water.

Tax-deductible donations to the Water for Hope and Change Project deposited through the GoFundMe page go directly to the BRCC Educational Foundation. The fundraising period runs from November 1, 2018 to April 2019.

If your church or community organization would like to learn more, contact Rebecca Evans at 540-453-2366 or evansR@brcc.edu to schedule a presentation by NSLS and Enactus students.