Meet Gashaw!

My Background:

My name is Gashaw Simeneh. I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My father was a famous photographer, and I was raised with that profession. I also worked in his photographic studio and shop in my spare time during my childhood. I had a dream to be a civil engineer from my youth but was not able to join the school due to the tough competition. My second dream was fulfilled after I joined the School of Earth Science and was able to study Hydrogeology. For the past 23 years, I have been studying and supervising borehole sites and water projects, building wells in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

My Why:

I am passionate about my work, seeing rural girls and women have access to clean water sources in their villages. I have received many blessings and appreciation from our project beneficiaries in those countries, witnessing tangible life-changing testimonies from people, schools, and health clinic staff. I am grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to help my people, as well as for my family’s support in continuing my career. I am married with one boy and one girl.

What My Team says about me:

I have traveled with Gashaw through Ethiopia and Uganda a couple of times now. The experience is always wonderful. He is a joy to be around and brings so much light and positivity to those around him. But I have to say that witnessing him in his element is quite the experience. Gashaw ensures our partners are performing the most adequate projects needed for the communities and that every dollar for our water projects from our donors is used as efficiently as possible. Gashaw will not settle for less than the absolute best from our partners and is there, on the ground to ensure everything is running smoothly.

The most impactful experience I have had with Gashaw in the field would have to be when we visited the Kyamujumbi well site in Uganda. This site was home a village of people who were beyond desperate for clean water access. They had suffered for countless years collecting water from a contaminated swamp that was far from their homes. The people here were dying of many diseases and enduring horrific illnesses related to the poor quality of the water they were drinking and bathing with.

Sanitation was extremely poor and so when word got out about a well coming the community members were ecstatic! After attempting to drill several times it appeared that the well was not going to be possible, geographically, for this community. Gashaw refused to give up on these poor, desperate people and ensured the drillers that he knew a water aquifer would be hit soon. Even though the drillers, and even the people of the community, were ready to abandon all hope for the success of the project. To their surprise, the driller successfully hit a huge aquifer that would supply the community with clean water for many years to come! The people celebrated and thanked Gashaw to no end for not giving up on them and for standing his ground on the success of the project. The community hugged him and gave him several gifts. Which included a chicken that he immediately named “Cookie”.

-Jamie Morris