Leone (MNN) — A group of people from the Rotary Club from Fishers, Indiana,
in the United Sates traveled to Sierra Leone in late November to observe the work World Hope
International does to provide safe drinking water for villages there. By the end of the trip, the group made a
commitment to play a large role in that work.
"I think that the experience of seeing the difference, the practical
difference, that water makes, solidified for them an amazing goal," said
David Erickson, COO of WHI, who was on the trip. "They're
just one Rotary Club, but they have embraced the goal of raising enough funds
to drill 100 wells in Sierra Leone over the next 2 years. And that will make a life-and-death
difference in the lives of 70,000 people in that impoverished country."
Rotary Club is a civic organization, not a religious organization. One member of the group was the pastor of an
Indianapolis church that already had funded some wells through WHI. On the trip, the whole group had the
opportunity to see the love of Christ tangibly demonstrated through World Hope
International's high-quality work.
"Part of what they
experienced…was the difference that our commitment to Sierra Leone and our
motivation make in the quality of our work," Erickson explained. He referred specifically to "the ways that we connect with the community
and build relationships with them; the
quality of the wells that we drill and the pumps that we install; and the ways that we train people to get
maximum benefit through good hygiene training, and nutrition training… Entering the community in that spirit gives tremendous credibility."
group also had the opportunity to meet with the president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma. Koroma thanked WHI and the Rotary Club for their work providing clean
water for the people of his country.
said that less than 30% of the population of Sierra Leone has access to clean,
safe water," Erickson said. "And he
said, 'We are working as a nation to build infrastructure and create opportunity.
But if people don't have safe water, enterprise,
opportunity, work, education, and health–everything suffers.'"
difference made by clean water was obvious as the group visited villages that
have received reliable new wells and villages that need them. One village elder explained that the hygiene
training and well provided by WHI have protected his community from a cholera
outbreak in the area.
also change the lives of many young girls, allowing them to attend school because
they no longer have to spend much of their time collecting water for the family. Clean water also dramatically impacts the ability
of mothers to care for their children and keep them healthy.
works in five African countries: Sierra
Leone, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Nigeria.
It plans to drill 220 wells in 2010. Your support can help change the lives of thousands forever.
are people who are suffering now because they don't have access to safe water,"
Erickson said. "They are begging God to
meet their needs…and in amazing ways, God invites us to be part of His answer to
their prayers. This season as we
celebrate God's goodness and great gift to us, we have this amazing opportunity…to
respond to God's generosity toward us with gifts to other people."