Message from the CEO

Hello!

I returned from a brief trip to Uganda in August where I got to witness the beginning of Nkomero, ACTS’ next project. I witnessed hundreds of local volunteers come out to participate in the work of bringing clean water to this community of 4,500.

I saw mothers carrying bricks on their heads and babies on their backs, helping however they could, knowing that it means a brighter future for their kids. I saw men working in the mud, smashing rocks with pick axes and clearing away brush to make space for the foundation of their new reservoir, knowing that water has the potential to lift their entire village out of poverty.

The ambition, sacrifice and participation blew me away. I thought about how many Canadians have already joined in this story with similar resolve: ambitious hopes for a future with clean water for all, sacrificial giving to see this vision fulfilled, and active partnership with people on the other side of the world.

The road ahead for ACTS is an exciting one. We’ve just started a new monitoring and evaluation program to better understand the impact your gifts are having in Uganda. We’ve begun an active pursuit of partnerships to more effectively deliver water. And we’re looking to return to some of our past projects to update and maintain them so that clean water can continue to flow for a lifetime.

I am eager to connect with you to learn more about why you’ve joined with us. My email is jeff@acts.caI would love to hear from you.

Thank you for continuing to join with us as we bring clean water to thousands more Ugandans this year.

It All Starts With Water

Loreen’s life transformed with the gift of water

Loreen Nimwesiga sits in a small shop selling clothes, bread, tea, and kitchenwares. She holds her newborn boy, Austin, who is just three months old. His sister, Able, is four.

As we are talking with Loreen, admiring her shop and her beautiful children, she puts her hand on her chest. “I feel some pain,” she says.

When she was young, she would lift a heavy jerry can up onto her chest, then onto her head. This was up to forty pounds of water. Loreen would walk about 1.5 kilometres to a stream, seven times a day. She still feels the weight of that jerry can every day with the ache in her chest. It’s a reminder of life before clean water.

In 2008, ACTS built a Gravity Flow System in Loreen’s community of Nyakyera (“knee-ah-chair-ah”). One of the tap stands sits right across the road from her shop, where she collects clean water every day.

Loreen’s daughter Able can just walk across the street with a cup to drink water. No jerry can required.

Before clean water came, Loreen was a housewife. Her days consisted of digging, washing clothes, and many long walks for water. When her seven long walks were eliminated, doors opened. “Since water was near, it helped me to do other activities,” she says, explaining how she opened her shop. “It was my dream,” she says.

“My children are going to grow much more than I. For them, they are fetching water near here. They are lucky.” – Loreen

Loreen’s been operating her shop for six years now. “Do you have more dreams?” we ask. “Yes, I have!”

“I have many dreams for my children. I want to put them in a good school.” she says. “My children are going to grow much more than I.” Sometimes they just walk to the tap across the street with a cup and drink what they need. No jerry can required.

Loreen’s story is one of many in Nyakyera. Her friends and neighbours have seen a transformation take place in their community, with electricity and other services arriving. It’s a modern village now, a place of hope and opportunity, and it all started with clean water.

Give today to make Loreen’s story a reality for more women in Uganda.

Staff Stories: Meet Asaph

Asaph has lived a life touched by compassion. “God has done a big thing in my life,” he says.

When he was just two years old, his father passed away. Following his father’s death, he was taken in by a family friend, who unfortunately died when Asaph was only 8 years old. With no one to pay for his studies, he spent three years out of school.

Eventually, Asaph caught a break. A new school was being built in town and he struck a deal with the headmaster: Asaph would provide materials for the new roof in exchange for four years of education. Asaph didn’t have any money, but a friend stepped in and covered the cost for him.

When Asaph graduated, he was hired on with ACTS as casual labour. Richard Musinguzi, ACTS Project Manager, was impressed by his work ethic and desire to learn, and asked him to join the team full time after the project was completed.

Asaph has been on the ACTS team for nine years now. In that time he has gotten married and welcomed three children into his family.

“Whenever I see a Canadian, I feel happy. I see it as if God has helped me very much.”

“ACTS is a good company,” Asaph says. “In my home town, people are dying of hunger. But I am not among them,” he says. His income allows him to help his extended family in this time of crisis from the drought.

While he has had many troubles throughout his life, Asaph has continually persevered and is now thriving in his family and in his community. He is thankful for the people who have helped him along the way. “Whenever I see a Canadian, I feel happy. I see it as if God has helped me very much.”

 

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