Martha and Irene
Martha and Irene were the ‘baby sisters’ of the GWWI 2011 Training! At 18 and 19 years old, they hail as the youngest participants to ever attend a GWWI training. But they are far from ‘babies”! Their vibrant spirit, fresh perspective and youthful curiosity was only overshadowed by their incredible leadership! Martha and Irene came to us from Educate!, an award-winning organization that trains select high school students to participate in a 2 year program to become social entrepreneurs. This was an exciting collaboration forged by Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur Fellows Gemma Bulos, Director of Global Women’s Water Initiative and Eric Glustrom, Executive Director of Educate! As part of Educate’s program, youth work in collaboration with communities to help them identify their most urgent needs, and water has emerged as one of the priorities.
Martha in action
With Global Women’s Water Initiative Director Gemma Bulos
Enter GWWI and Martha and Irene! All of the GWWI participants, young and old were so impressed by Martha and Irene’s inspiring public speaking savvy and their capacity to lead, despite their young age. Martha and Irene learned how to build various rainwater harvesting systems and were the first of the 15 teams to be able to implement their technology! Within 2 weeks of the GWWI Kampala training, they were on site in the village of Kagulu in northern Uganda. They were able to build a roof catchment and ISSB tank (interlocking stabilized soil block) at the Blessed Family School in 5 days as well as offer a community workshop on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) education and introduce the Solar CooKits – making a solar cooker out of cardboard and reflective material for cooking and pasteurizing water.
In the following interview, Martha and Irene talk about their experience – what they learned, what they were able to do, and how the GWWI support team of Fellows and Trainers helped them to realize their goals!