Message from the Executive Director

It’s hard to believe another fiscal year has come and gone, the 44th in ACTS’ long and storied history of coming alongside communities to help provide for the most essential of needs. This year, thanks to your support, that story continued to unfold with 13,000 new Ugandans receiving clean water in Kintu and Rwera.

As we celebrate new beginnings for these communities, we know that the completion of the Rwera-Kintu Project in March also marks a significant end to a partnership between ACTS and the Canadian government. We’re so grateful for these years of fruitful partnership, and I’d like to extend our thanks to all of the government representatives we’ve worked with through the years.

This ending has presented a major challenge for ACTS. It will require us to find new and creative ways to rebuild our funding and make major transitions in how we operate as an organization: developing new partnerships and investing in new staff with gifts in networking, storytelling and fundraising.

We’ve already made important steps in this transition, and I’m grateful (and quite humbled) to say that we’ve been blessed in a big way this last year.

As we enter a new fiscal year with excitement and uncertainty, I remind myself again that this story has been developing for over two generations. As we join with God in writing a story of renewal and generosity, thank you for being a part of it. I hope you’ll join us in both supporting and sharing the story over the coming year.


Nate Lepp
Executive Director

Transforming Rwera

Thanks to your support, our latest Gravity Flow System (GFS) in Rwera is now complete, serving 2,600 Ugandans with clean water!

When I visited Uganda in February, three tap stands (out of a total of 25) had been built in Rwera. Villagers assisted the construction team by carrying sand, bricks and concrete. Many people in the surrounding areas who did not yet have a tap stand in their neighbourhood were walking long distances to the few that had been built, knowing the water is safe.

While construction was underway, the education team met with community members to teach about effective hygiene and sanitation practices. As I met with the people in this community, three individual stories stood out to me:

Viola


Two-year-old Viola can’t carry much water, but her parents still send her twice a day. It’s part of growing up in Uganda. Before the GFS, Viola would have walked to a nearby swamp, where it was much more dangerous to wade in and fill her heavy containers.

During the 30 minutes we spent at Rwera’s very first tap stand, dozens of children turned up to fill containers of many sizes and colours. It was still Christmas holidays, so many of them were making extra trips since they weren’t in school. We asked them whether they prefer to be at home or at school, and they all agreed: “We want to go back to school so we don’t have to do so much work at home! And to learn, of course.”

We asked them where they prefer to get water from, the tap stand or the swamp, and they all agreed: “The tap stand! We never want to go back to the swamp.”

John


I was encouraged when I saw more grown men filling up containers at this tap stand than I have anywhere else in my previous two visits to ACTS water projects. Usually women and children bear the burden of fetching water.

We asked John what was different about having the tap stand. “I know this water is clean,” he said. “It’s been tested, so we know it’s safe. My family used to get sick from the swamp, but now we don’t see that illness anymore.”

Jacenta


As women return from the gardens, they start making their way to the tap stand for their evening water collection. Jacenta and her daughters arrived shy but smiling. We asked Jacenta how the water has changed her family’s life, and she said, “We have health. Before we didn’t. The swamp was making us sick.”


This change was already happening when only three tap stands were created and as of March 2016, all 25 were fully functioning. I’m always amazed by what our Ugandan team—and the volunteer community members—can accomplish with only the most basic tools and their own sweat and energy. With well-designed but simple solutions, together we are transforming the lives of an entire community and meeting this most basic human need for generations to come.

—Nate Lepp, Executive Director

Donate to provide life-giving water for Ugandans

Up Next: Kataraka Gravity Flow System

ACTS’ construction team has a busy year ahead of them. Over the next 18 months, they’ll be completing three separate projects in Kataraka, Bwirambere, and Nkomero.

They began work on Kataraka, the first of those projects, in May. Kataraka has been fully funded by our partners, Living Water International (LWI). We’ve been working in partnership with LWI for the past five years, and Kataraka will be the largest ACTS project they have funded. LWI sought us out because of our Ugandan team’s expertise in building Gravity Flow Systems. Because of the number of freshwater springs available in southwestern Uganda, these water systems are better suited for bringing clean water to the region than drilling bore holes (wells), which is LWI’s expertise. As our partnership with the Government of Canada closes and we seek to develop new funding partnerships, our relationship with LWI is a great blessing to ACTS and to the people of Uganda.

Over the next seven months, this partnership will enable the creation of 24 kilometres of pipeline and 25 tap stands to bring clean water to 3,000 Ugandans living in the community of Kataraka.

See how a Gravity Flow System works

Financials 2015/2016

April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016

At ACTS, we’re beyond thankful for generous people like you and we’re dedicated to being transparent in our operations. Your gifts are the reason that so many Ugandans are able to access clean water within their communities. Below is a breakdown of our financials from the past year.

Donations & Income

$987,340

Donations

56% / $556,000

  • 693 Donors
  • 383 New Donors
  • 92 Source Supporters

Other Income

44% / $431,270

  • Canadian Government – 32%
  • Foundations – 11%
  • NGO Contracts – 1%

Expenses & Designated Funds

$1,064,500


Administration & Development

31% / $329,200

  • General & Administration – 18%
  • Fundraising & Development – 13%

Programs & Projects

69% / $735,300

  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) – 54%
  • Education – 10%
  • Other – 5%

This financial information has been prepared by management and has not been audited.

Thank you for your outpouring of gifts over the past year! Please continue to give generously as we move forward with new projects to bring the freedom of clean water to even more Ugandan communities in need.

Give a One Time Gift

Every single Gravity Flow System that we build is only possible because of donors like you. And with projects like Kataraka underway, we’re still in great need of funds. Would you consider making a one-time gift today to continue to transform Ugandan communities, through clean water?

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