Water to Thrive founder Dick Moeller is observing our Tenth Anniversary with a trip to Ethiopia to visit water projects from our decade of service and to strengthen the partnerships that will carry us into a sustainable future. This is his report on a very special well from one of our favorite supporters, Kaleb Lamb, a young man who was adopted from Ethiopia by an Austin family and who has dedicated much of his young life to providing clean, safe water for children from his home region.
Today and tomorrow we are visiting projects with our implementing partner in southern Ethiopia, Mekane Yesus (Lutheran Church of Ethiopia) near the city of Hawassa. Today it was seven projects from 2012 to 2016 and tomorrow will be projects from 2017 & 2018. Today was a special holiday in the local Sidama region, so many of the community members who would normally be around to greet us are taking a much deserved day of rest.
All seven projects we visited today continue to serve their communities well, providing clean water for almost 3,000 people. All were operating with a good bank account balance for maintenance, and the water committees were fully operational as well. Very gratifying to see such commitment more than six years in some cases after the completion of the project.
One of the projects we visited today, located near Bushe, resonates with a special story about children helping children. This project was sponsored by Kaleb Lamb, a native of Ethiopia, actually born near Bushe, and adopted by the Lamb family in Austin TX.
Kaleb gave up his birthday gifts to raise money for his first projects so children just like him could have clean safe water, and he asked classmates, family, and friends to pitch in to help. Since then, he has raised enough money to fund not one but two wells, and he has made a terrific start on funding his third.
At the Bushe project, we met Tesfaye Delacha, 8 years old, gathering water for his family who lived nearby.
It was a special moment to realize the special connection halfway round the world between Kaleb and Tesfaye, two boys coming together through the blessing of clean, safe water.
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