I met Frank on my very first trip to Uganda. He was filling a glass with clean water from a tap stand the Acts community built 30 years ago in Bujaga – a project that is still serving 20,000 people with clean water thanks to so many of you. Frank was a healthy 12 year old boy, attending a private school up the road that his parents paid for from their earnings as shop owners. He had no idea what it was like to walk to the huge marsh to fetch water like his parents did before this water system was built. In many ways, Frank is the picture of an ideal outcome for a charity like ours: there’s health, economic growth in the region, and opportunity for education.
Frank’s story took on a much more meaning this past year, when I learned that for every 10 water access points (things like taps or wells) that our sector has built, 7 are no longer operating. And, in the past 20 years, $1.2 billion dollars has been spent on Sustainable Water Projects that are not currently functioning. Our sector has a critical sustainability problem; however, we are in a totally unique position to address it – if we act boldly today.
I’m so excited to showcase this new plan called A Better Way to Give Clean Water. It involves a framework for providing water more sustainably and holistically and a lot of awesome innovation coming out of Uganda – some that came from COVID, some just bubbling up right now.
While all of our systems are still working, we plan to go back to them and apply new technologies so they last for decades to come, reinvest into the water and sanitation education of the next generation, and find ways to extend the clean water you’ve helped us provide to new communities who’ve never experienced this gift. It’s such an exciting time to be a part of this community! Read all about it here: acts.ca/givewater.
With your help, we will serve 100,000 people in the next 5 years with clean water in a more sustainable, more holistic way than ever before because of the incredible past you’ve helped build and the future that youth like Frank represent. I want to invite you to join us on this new $4.5 million dollar capital campaign, through either a pledge or a monthly membership commitment. Both of these actions help get us off the expensive fundraising treadmill and build more sustainability here in Canada, just like we’re doing in Uganda for Sustainable Water Projects
Frank is now 17 years old and likely working in Bujaga, still drinking clean water from this tap. The investments we make today into the systems of the past and the present, and how we build them going forward, will ensure his children don’t see the gift of clean water fade.
Join us in the exciting journey ahead.
– Jeff Golby