June 26, 2014
The wide smiles of the driven, young students and moving stories of the many villagers in this video, demonstrate the true “ripple effect” that access to clean water can have on whole communities. Voss Foundation is proud to have implemented two successful clean water projects in the village of Kalebuka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to see the impact of our work in the latest Georges Malaika Foundation (GMF) video.
Voss Foundation and GMF first worked together in 2010 to install a well onsite at the Georges Malaika School for Girls in Kalebuka. This clean water project was funded by Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women initiative, which like GMF, is committed to improving and empowering the lives of women and girls. Voss Foundation’s well is the school’s only source of water. The school depends on the well for their kitchen, toilets, sinks, health facilities, and agriculture. The nutritious meals shown in the video are grown in the school garden, which is irrigated by the well. The building itself is constructed of bricks that are made using the well’s water. The school provides girls from Kalebuka with free, quality educations, and we continue to be inspired by its progress!
We collaborated with GMF again in 2011, to address the need for access to clean water for the Kalebuka community surrounding the school. Rather than drinking water from the river, the video shows villagers using the hand pump we installed to draw clean water from our second Kalebuka well. The benefits of this well on the health, sanitation, hygiene, and development of the village are significant. As Mr. Kelly KALALA KABUNDI mentions in the video, the “water from the river makes the skin itch;” “the water that really helps us is from these wells.” Access to clean water, like from Voss Foundation’s wells, helps counter the epidemics and diseases that contaminated water can often spread. Another Kalebuka villager featured in the video, Mrs. Kapinga remarks, “Ever since this well was opened our lives have improved. It has been three years since this well was built, and now we have drinking water.”
Together, Voss Foundation and the Georges Malaika Foundation were able to provide the local community of Kalebuka and the Georges Malaika School for Girls with access to clean water. We were proud to do a donor trip to attend the opening of the school in 2011 and inaugurate the second well. Now with two reliable wells in Kalebuka, the obligation of many young girls to collect water is further reduced, allowing them to spend time more time at school. The success of both wells shows the powerful “ripple effect” that clean water can have. Speaking about Voss Foundation’s work in Kalebuka, founder and 2010 Voss Foundation Women Helping Women Honoree, Noella Coursaris notes, “It is really great to see from that little well that we [built], the impact that it has on the village.” For Voss Foundation, this impact starts with a drop.