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Water to Thrive Selects New Executive Director

 AUSTIN, Texas -- Water to Thrive, a faith-based non-profit dedicated to relieving the water crisis in rural Africa, is pleased to announce the selection of Susanne Wilson as its new executive director. Wilson, chosen by Water to Thrive’s board and current president after a lengthy selection process, will be the first executive director in the organization’s six-year history.
 
“After six years of volunteer leadership, the Board of Water to Thrive believes that it is time to have a full-time, dedicated Executive Director leading the organization,” said Dick Moeller, president and founder of Water to Thrive. “This appointment will dramatically increase our ability to serve more people, giving us greater capacity to reach those with a heart to support our mission and providing continuity of leadership to ensure Water to Thrive’s long-term success.”
 
Wilson comes to Water to Thrive from an eight-year appointment as Executive Director of Henderson Community College Foundation in Henderson, Kentucky, and as board chair of Companion Community Development Alternatives and a member of Rotary International, has been deeply engaged in work to alleviate the global water crisis.
 
“Susanne is a great match for Water to Thrive,” Moeller said. “She is an experienced, successful non-profit Executive Director, and her work to address the water crises in Africa and Central America demonstrates her passion for serving people in developing countries. We are excited about the future of Water to Thrive under Susanne’s leadership.”
 
Wilson’s years of experience in non-profit and education leadership include executive planning, administration, communications and marketing, development, financial oversight, and higher education. She received her MBA from Auburn University and is further certified in fundraising management by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Philanthropy. In her work with Rotary International, she served as chair of an international water project and on the board of Rotary Club of Evansville.
 
“Joining Water to Thrive gives me a tremendous opportunity to align my passion for making an impact with my background in philanthropy,” Wilson said. “I have witnessed what having access to clean, safe water means for people in developing nations – it provides hope and unlocks human potential. I look forward to taking the mission and service of Water to Thrive to new heights.”

Live Auctions: Where the competition heats up!

Mark your calendars for Chef’s Table Austin on May 6th, 2015.

You’ve heard it in movies, TV shows, maybe even experienced it yourself but the live chatter and loud caller at auctions is a unique experience that cannot be compared to any other sort of gathering! You can experience this plus some great food at Chef’s Table Austin hosted by Water to Thrive on May 6th at the Long Center from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

What are you bidding on? Having a once in a lifetime dining experience with Austin’s greatest chef’s. Including executive chefs from Uchi, Foreign and Domestic, Congress, Fabi+Rosi, Fork & Vine, Barlata, Nova, Salt Time, and Greenhouse. There are other prizes besides dining with one of these fantastic chefs, come out to see what these other items are!

What is the theme? Blue Party. Grab your blue dress, shoes, purses, tux, anything blue to have a great night out with your family, friends or co-workers!

For more information visit chefstableaustin.org

RSVP HERE: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chefs-table-austin-2015-the-blue-party-tickets-15438281315

 

Daily Inspiration

Everybody has those days were you need a little inspiration to keep on doing what you’re doing. It could be a busy job, staying at home with the kids, or just facing the daily challenges life throws at you can be hard to handle. To keep you going, here is a list of great quotes via W2T’s Pinterest!

1.  “You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

2.  “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

3.  “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

4.  “Be the change you wish to see.”

5.  “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” 

Hope these inspired you, for more check out W2T’s Pinterest!  https://www.pinterest.com/watertothrive/inspiration/

 

How New Water Technology Can Shape Africa’s Future.

Progress is on the way for many African nations along the Nile River. It is unprecedented for the government, the private sector and for the welfare of the people to be put side by side, except for in the new and innovative plan created by the leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. New ideas are bringing modern water technology to a region where change has slowly been advancing into the communities through small projects. Water to Thrive is one of just a couple non-profits dedicated to solely bringing in new water technology (water wells) to the communities in need  while at the same time specifically meeting their individual water problems. Although the agreement is preliminary, but this is a step in the right direction to bring basic needs to rural Africa. W2T is anticipating for these changes to happen in the next couple of years so that we can better help the communities through the new dam that the Ethiopian government is constructing along the Nile River. Be on the lookout for news about these countries incredible partnership! Read more on the Egyptian based news source, Egyptian Streets.

You don’t have to wait until the project begins to help, you can start right now! Water to Thrive accepts donations and campaigns year-round from schools, churches, individuals, or maybe just a group of friends and family members that want to raise funds towards a good cause. Contact lizzie@watertothrive.org to begin!

 

 

Chef’s Table Austin 2015

Living in Austin, you quickly come to realize that the city LOVES food. From bar- b-q to breakfast tacos to holding some of the best fine dining restaurants in the country, Austin has it all. Lucky for you, Water to Thrive is hosting Chef’s Table Austin to bring some of the best chefs in the community to showcase their talent (aka creating yummy food) to support our cause. Think of it as a live auction with the prize being a great meal while at the same time surrounded by great people! So far we have chefs from Congress, Fabi + Rosi, Uchi, Fork and Vine, and Greenhouse Craft +Food that are participating in CTA.

In the meantime, explore some of the best restaurants in Austin! Here is a list of some of my favorite casual spots to eat (vegetarian friendly too) to enjoy the Austin community.

Slake- Honestly some of the best yellow tofu curry you can find downtown at a cheap price.

Hopdoddy’s- What is life without a good burger? La Bandita black bean burger is a good pick.

Maoz Vegetarian- Falafel and tons of it. It’s a little bit of a drive up north but definitely worth it!

888- Vietnamese food that packs a punch with big servings for those late night cravings.

Ramen Tatsuya- Japanese ramen that is surprisingly not what we all ate during college.

 

Don’t’ forget about Chef’s Table Austin after you tried these recommended spots; enjoy Austin’s best cuisine at CTA! RSVP through this link:

 http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chefs-table-austin-2015-the-blue-party-tickets-15438281315

When? May 6th, 2015 from 6:30-9:30pm

A Little Time Makes a Big Difference...The United States 100 Years Ago: Then and Now

Have you thought of how much has changed in the world around you? Health, economic, and social statuses have continued to improve in developed countries for the past couple of years. It’s time for W2T’s partner countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) to get in on this too! Now imagine what is possible for Africa. Global aid flowing into Africa can catapult the start to changes that are capable of occurring! Here are a couple of interesting facts of the U.S. 100 years ago to put into perspective:
 
                                                    
·       The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
·       Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
·       Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
·       The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
·       The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
·       More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
·       Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent
of all Americans had graduated from high school.
 
Many of these are occurring in Africa today: low life expectancy, low literacy rate, and low income. But with continued progress by outside organizations dedicated to improving the basic needs such as clean water and good health, the countries can see some change! Clean and accessible water wells play a huge rule. The literacy rate increases when there is more time to spend on going to school than in walking long distances to get water. Extension of life expectancy because there is clean water!! And income may increase because of the greater opportunity to go to school.

Let’s see what just a couple of years can do to impact Africa! 

5 Myths About Lent

Here are a few myths circling around Lent and its practices:
 
Myth #1:
It’s only 40 days. Nope it’s actually 46 days, if you count Sundays!
Myth #2:
It’s a time when you give up Facebook? Not quite, it’s a time to leave unnecessary aspects in your life and bring yourself closer to God.
Myth #3:
Wait…so I can’t eat meat…  Don’t worry you can! Just not on Fridays and Ash Wednesday.
Myth #4:
Fasting and Abstinence sound the same so they must be the same? Fasting requires only one meal per day while abstinence is a ‘no meat’ day.
Myth #5:
Easter is the last day, so I can eat my guilty pleasures again?! Good news for you: it ends the Thursday before!
Fact #1:You can do this.

Good Luck!  Check out W2T’s Lent Calendar: https://www.watertothrive.org/sites/default/files/lentcalendar.pdf 

Mission Trip 101

 

Going on a mission trip changes people for the better, they become more adaptable and open to new cultures and traditions that may have seemed strange at first. However, before even hopping on the plane to Africa, Latin America, or whichever region, you should learn the basics of preparing yourself for a mission trip! Check out our Pinterest for some ideas on dress and packing lists: pinterest.com/watertothrive
 
What to pack?  
You need clothes that are versatile and easy to move in, capable of surviving any sort of unexpected mishaps that are bound to happen. A poncho or even a windbreaker can be a lifesaver if you’re heading to a more highland region. For girls, a maxi skirt or dress is so comfortable to walk around in during those days where you can explore the town!
* There is a cultural difference about what is “modest” so keep that in mind (both women and men)! So capris or long pants are always a good choice.
*Climate and/or altitude change can affect your body’s overall equilibrium, so make sure to bring medicine that you think will help you. Examples include pain relievers, Pepto-Bismol, etc. And a small first aid kit! Here is a list on what you need:
 
 
While you’re there remember why you came: to help a community!
 
If you’re interested in participating in a W2T mission trip: May 14-28, 2015 and on June 4-18, 2015. Check out the information for both on our website: https://www.watertothrive.org/mission-trips
 

 

Amplify Austin: Austin Comes Together for a Day of Giving!

   It is not often that hundreds of non-profits can get together and be given the change to receive support from a large community, but on March 5th this is exactly what will happen! Amplify Austin is a sort of go all out day of giving aimed to raise funds for great organizations through the help of great people in the Austin community. Around the same time World Water Day is coming up and we’re all so excited to share our passion for increasing awareness on global water issue, come out and join our cause!
 
 
  Use the hashtage #AmplifyAustin as you help spread the word! You can also post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: “I Amplify Austin because…” and always use #AmplifyATX 
 
  W2T is still a small organization with so much room to grow and to help even more communities not only in Africa but around the world. One of the most basic and vital things that all of us need no matter who you are or where you live is water. Not just water, but clean and safe drinking water! The effects of lack of access to clean drinking water in Africa widens the gender gap, lowers the education level that can be reached by children in a family, and lastly can risk the life of people wanting to break the poverty cycle in which unsafe water is putting them in.
 
To break this cycle, W2T hopes to give one of the most vital necessities but only with your help! Living in Austin is a blessing because of all the generous and caring Austenite’s always looking for a good cause to support. We hope to see you and all your best friends, co-workers, family participating at Amplify Austin to support our campaign for World Water Day!
 
Here are some quick details on Amplify Austin, so mark the date!
 
When: March 5th   at 6pm to March 6th at 6pm. It is a 24 hour giving day! Drink some of our coffee to keep you awake!
Where: Your own computer! Go to AmplifyATX.org to make a donation to W2T and many other great organizations in Central Texas.

“A Typical Meal in East Africa: Doro Wat Edition”

 

There is richness in African food that cannot be rivaled in any other genre of food. The flavors of Ethiopian, Ugandan, and Tanzanian cuisine are unique and full of depth because of local spices and ingredients available year round. Here is a peek of different yummy African dishes that are definitely worth trying!

Let’s start off with one of W2T’s most active partners, Ethiopia! Common national dishes include wat (a close relative of curry), injera (think of it as a thin flatbread), and Kitfo (spiced raw beef). Not one dish is like the other but together they complement each other so well. Here is one recipe for a version of chicken wat called Doro Wat:

Doro Wat Recipe

·         3 pounds boneless chicken, breasts and thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 large onions, chopped, 4 cloves garlic- minced, 2 sticks (1 cup) butter              

                         

·          1 cup red wine

·          2 cups water

·          2 teaspoons salt

·          1 teaspoon ground cardamom

·          2 tablespoons garam masala

·          1/3 cup hot smoked paprika

·          1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

·          2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

·          1 tablespoon dried thyme

·          3 tablespoons tomato paste

·          1 tablespoon sugar

·          1 lime, juiced

Place all the ingredients, minus the lime juice, in a slow cooker and cover. Cook for 4-6 hours--depending on your slow cooker settings--until the chicken is tender. Then mash the chicken to shreds with a potato masher (or the bottom of a ladle.) Stir in the lime juice and keep warm.

If you’re brave enough, come out and maybe you’ll see this recipe at Chef’s Table Austin hosted by Water to Thrive, contact team@watertothrive.org for more information!

 

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