Just like a drop of water in a bucket, access to clean water creates a ripple effect in a community.

When we build a well:

  • Employment statistics go up immediately: we employ local laborers to build the projects, local cooks to provide them with food while they’re working, and we train local individuals to maintain and secure the well in the future.
  • Mothers can give birth in clean healthcenters with a much lower chance of getting an infection.
  • Children do not die from diarrhea, cholera, or other water-borne illnesses.
  • More children can go to school:  In the village of Latawken, Kenya, where we built a water system, local authorities had to build a bigger school because there were more students after there was clean water.
  • More of these students are girls who no longer are removed from school to help their mothers carry water when their families get too big:  In Kalebuka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we’ve built a well at the area’s first all-girls school.
  • Children can grow without developmental problems that they otherwise incur from carrying such heavy loads on their backs and heads at such a young age.
  • Women now have the time to pursue their own education and earn an income:  In Pel, Mali, where we built 5 wells, one of them is at a garden owned by a local women’s cooperative.  This co-op functions like a sort of savings-and-loan organization, whereby the women pool and save their money altogether.  We’ve helped them grow healthy vegetation for themselves and, in the process, helped them double their income.
  • With money comes power: once women are contributing to their families’ income, they begin to achieve parity.
  • Women also gain political power through their positions on newly-created water management committees. Each of our projects creates a local council to oversee the well or water system. Every water management committee must be composed of at least 50% women.

As our President says,

The availability of clean water in a village makes the village grow… it is an engine for growth.

All of these changes can come about from the installation of one well or water system. By providing access to clean drinking water, we just provide the supplies and administration to allow people to improve their own lives.

The Voss Foundation Ripple Effect