Today we’d like to tell you a story about Global Women’s Water Initiative (GWWI) graduates Florence Acharit and Eunice Aliamo of Orphans and Widows Association for Development in Uganda. Because of their leadership, 200 girls at Amuria High School no longer miss classes or face violence because they have to fetch water. Remarkable transformation was possible in 2012 because YOU got involved. Because you share our posts, introduce us to your friends, host house parties, attend our Weaving the Worlds Events, join our Giving Circle and contribute financially to our work – the world is changing.
If WEA raises $75,000 by this year’s end, we will launch into 2013 ready to support and unite more grassroots women leaders working tirelessly on issues of clean water, sustainable agriculture, and climate resilience. Please join us by making a donation today. We will be awarded a challenge grant of $10,000 if over 100 of you give to WEA by December 31st!
Florence and Eunice were one of 16 teams to attend the 2012 GWWI Grassroots Women and Water Training in Uganda. GWWI, our partnership with Crabgrass, has been hosting trainings since 2008. This year participants learned water and sanitation technologies, entrepreneurial tools and leadership skills. And for an entire year, GWWI provided follow-up financial, technical and peer support to the teams.
So, what was it like before Florence and Eunice participated in a GWWI training? Girls had to fetch water during school, which could take 3-4 hours and put them at risk of being attacked. Girls would sometimes faint from dehydration while waiting for water or meals that were prepared late because there was no water. The school spent around $150 every week to buy clean water and cover medical expenses for students who fell ill from water-related diseases.
Florence and Eunice applied their skills to build two 15,000 gallon tanks to catch rainwater in a primary school and high school in Amuria, Uganda. Now, the girls have safe water to drink. Money that their school once spent on water and medicine will go towards a well that will that serve the entire community for years to come. 2012 is full of stories of bold women leaders like Florence and Eunice protecting the earth and redefining our future. The grassroots women and groups WEA partnered with this year brought 15,000 people access to clean water and trained 2,400 women farmers in sustainable agriculture and native seed saving practices, along with climate change awareness programs. From East Africa to India to California, we supported women leaders to share water and sanitation practices, develop strategies to adapt to a changing climate, and build relationships critical for creating change.
With your help, we can respond more fully to our partners’ call. In 2013:
- The India Program will expand its support to South Asia with the launch of a small grants initiative for indigenous and rural women’s groups working to promote human rights, traditional knowledge, sustainable agriculture, and environmental justice.
- GWWI will launch the WASH Service Center Training Program for graduates of Women and Water Trainings to deepen their knowledge of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene strategies, and become professional implementers, trainers and social entrepreneurs.
- The North America Program will continue to coordinate legal advocacy support in partnership with North American Indigenous women leading environmental justice campaigns.
We are reminded by the collective efforts of grassroots women that resilience – the ability to rise up stronger from a difficult situation – is possible when we stand together. The more we unite, the greater strength we have to persevere against all odds. When you donate to WEA, you stand with a global network of women leaders moving together towards resilience in the New Year and beyond. Please give today and be 1 of the 100 donors who make our challenge grant and $75,00 goal possible.
Amira, Caitlin, Gemma, Kahea, Melinda, Rucha and Tejeswi
P.S. If you are still shopping for Holiday gifts, you can make a donation to WEA’s work in honor of your loved ones and we’ll send them a beautiful, personalized card!