Message from the Executive Director

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll have just returned from my third trip to Uganda as ACTS’ Executive Director. As we approach our fiscal year end on March 31, I feel so grateful for your generous support. Our second annual Vancouver Water Bash was a huge success and a meaningful evening. And our Christmas match campaign challenge was met with a flood of generous gifts. You helped us maximize our $75,000 match goal to raise a total of $157,326, more than doubling our impact on clean water in Uganda!

Because of your support, thousands of Ugandans now have clean, accessible water for the first time in their lives. Families are experiencing freedom from disease and unproductive labour, relishing the newfound time and energy that will transform their communities’ social and economic life.

But the need for clean water remains great, especially as funding for Uganda from the Canadian government ceases. Your continued support is vital!

To help, a Vancouver family foundation—loyal supporters of ACTS for 17 years—will match donations of $2,500 or more, until March 31st, up to a total of $100,000. They’ve also agreed to match anyone who can fundraise $2,500 or more.

We’re so humbled and honoured to be stewards of generosity like yours, and we can’t wait to turn your gifts of gratitude into water for thousands of families over the coming year.

All blessings for your 2016,


Nate Lepp
Executive Director

No Time for Rest

Millions of Ugandan Women Walk Hours to Collect Water Every Day

The noisy caw of a glossy ibis wakes you in the morning. The sun hasn’t risen and you feel the cool dew on your blanket as you rise from the dirt floor. Before the children wake, before your husband stirs, you grab your jerry can and head out into the valley.

You’re happy to make this walk instead of your children. The roads are dangerous. Motorcycles zip by. Drunk men are known to take their anger out on children through beatings, or worse. There have even been kidnappings. But you know they must often take their turn. There is just too much work to do.

“When you’re not praying that your husband finds work and that no one gets sick from the water, you pray for rest.”

You walk for an hour along the road and then down through a banana plantation to an open swamp. You fill your can with 20 litres of murky water. You plug the top with a green banana and begin the arduous journey home.

You’ll repeat this trip three times today. Once home, there’s no time for rest: you have cleaning, cooking, washing, and gardening to do. When you’re not praying that your husband finds work and that no one gets sick from the water, you pray for rest.

This is the story of millions of Ugandan women. One such woman is Christine, who is 18 and lives in Bwirambere. One day, she hopes to run her own boutique clothing store.

But it’s hard to imagine this dream becoming a reality when she spends six hours retrieving water each day. “I’m so tired when I get home,” she says. But there’s still so much work to do, plus her job at a nearby coffee shop.

Last April, Executive Director Nate Lepp spent some time with Christine. To understand the difficulty of her daily chores, he walked with her to the swamp where she collects water. “After five minutes of walking with 40 pounds of water on my head I had to stop for a rest.” After an hour his neck and shoulders were in pain, his head pounding.

Last year, Christine’s mother contracted typhoid from the water. They sent her to a doctor who treated the typhoid and they were overjoyed at her recovery, but were forced to use money they were saving for her niece’s school fees.

It doesn’t have to stay this way. ACTS is fundraising to build a water system in Christine’s community, bringing water and freedom to her and 8,000 of her neighbours. Together with projects in Nkomero and Kasanda, our goal is to bring clean water to 18,000 new Ugandans by June 2017.

Donate to relieve Ugandans from needless labour.

Meet Rachel and Hilda

Two of our Health Educators

Rachel and Hilda are health educators on our Ugandan team. When clean water is brought to a new community, they meet with each family in the area to teach them about cleanliness so the families can experience the full benefit that clean water brings. They also teach communities about their responsibility for the gravity flow system (GFS).

Rachel and Hilda always join the widows group in each community to provide special support for women like Feredian, an older widow who farms coffee and beans in addition to caring for her two grown sons and their two children. Rachel and Hilda have taught her how to build a fuel-efficient stove, which uses less wood and funnels smoke outside so she doesn’t have to breathe it.

When they meet with a widows’ group in the cool dark of a church, they commend them to take care of each other and stay united. Rachel and Hilda are doing their part to help that happen.

Donate to help bring freedom to Ugandans through clean water.

World Water Day

Match Campaign Announcement!

From March 1 through March 22—which is World Water Day—we’re looking for 10 champion supporters to commit to raising $2,500 in support of our upcoming projects in Bwirambere and Nkomero. All funds raised, up to $100,000, will be matched by a generous Vancouver family foundation.

Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

Lack of access to clean water affects women and girls the most, as they are most often tasked with collecting water.

Every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation means $3 to $34 for the local economy.

90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old.

Liz Kirk is a generous donor and fundraiser who selflessly gave up her birthday last year, asking friends and family to give to ACTS in lieu of gifts, and raised $3,190 in the process.

“I love that by supporting the work that ACTS does, I’m somehow a part of the story and reality that makes clean, healthy water available for Ugandans.” —Liz Kirk

In addition to Liz giving up her birthday in support of clean water, we’ve also had supporters walk six kilometres to experience the journey to water, and write stories in exchange for donations from friends and family.

Learn more about partnering with ACTS

or email Joel at joel@acts.ca for a creative brainstorm.

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