October 10, 2014
Voss Foundation launched our Women Helping Women campaign in the United States in 2010 by fundraising for our first project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a borehole at the site of the Georges Malaika School for Girls, founded by our 2010 Women Helping Women honoree, Noella Coursaris Musunka. This year, Voss Foundation will return to the DRC, partnering with the Georges Malaika Foundation again, to provide access to clean, safe drinking water to the community of Kalebuka, for our dedicated 2014 Women Helping Women project.
The first borehole in 2010 initially brought clean, safe drinking water to the entire community. It also provided water, the first raw material in construction, on-site during the construction phase which enabled the school to be built. When the school opened its doors in 2011, Voss Foundation was there at the ceremony to dedicate the borehole for the sole use of the school, its kitchen, infirmary, garden, latrines and sinks. As a result, Voss Foundation drilled a second borehole outfitted with a manual pump in the village of Kalebuka to ensure the community would not lose access to water in 2011. We also inaugurated this well, funded by our Give A Drop partnership with Virgin Unite and Jewel’s Project Clean Water, on the site visit. As a result of these two projects, both the village of Kalebuka and the Georges Malaika School for Girls continue to have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Georges Malaika Foundation (GMF) exemplifies the attributes we look for in a partner. They implement projects efficiently and effectively, maintain a high level of transparency, have an exceptional rapport with the community, and have a long-term commitment to the area. Moreover, they are dedicated to follow up. We want to know what happens to our water points and the people and communities we work with, and Noella and the GMF team send regular updates on our projects. Even the most informal updates like a photo of the queue at the pump or the girls brushing their teeth with clean water at the school, an e-mail, or meetings whenever the team is in town, keep us informed and have allowed us to see the ripple effect of clean, safe water – and that of our Women Helping Women supporters’ contributions – at GMF School and within the community of Kalebuka.
Noella, the GMF team, and GMF students evaluating one of the proposed sites for the new boreholes in the community of Kalebuka.
The community of Kalebuka has grown since Voss Foundation and GMF drilled our first borehole in the community. The two boreholes no longer provide enough water for all the residents. Overuse, has contributed to unnecessary wear and tear on the existing hand pumps, and as a result of the long distance people on the outskirts have to walk to get to the pump, people often use hand dug wells that are not properly protected or treated because they are more convenient. For this reason, Voss Foundation has decided to fund a third and fourth boreholes outfitted with manual hand pumps in two areas of Kalebuka that lack access to a clean, safe water supply as our dedicated 2014 Women Helping Women project. In addition to providing two new water sources for the community, including the families of the GMF students, the project also builds local capacity by establishing water committees trained in sanitation, hygiene, and technical and financial management of the boreholes to ensure sustainability.
100% of funds raised through our 2014 Women Helping Women events are restricted to this project until it is fully funded.
Read the 2014 DR Congo project description to learn more about this year’s dedicated Women Helping Women clean water project with GMF.