One of our “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” (WASH) projects is the building of a clean water well in Chad, providing access to clean and safe water to a whole community. Having a source of safe water drastically decreases the risk of waterborne illness for everyone, including the most vulnerable population — children.
This project was initiated by a group of 20 youth between the ages of 11 and 20 from Rawdon, Quebec, who raised $9000 over the past year for a new well. With the completion of the book study and an ambition to find a goal that would be a challenge, they connected with Canadian Global Response to fund a well in Chad. They put on parades, hosted garage sales, collected cans for deposit refunds, and asked for donations from many people.
By the time the group had raised roughly $3,000, one of the youth suggested they meet together and start knitting scarves and toques to be sold. The idea quickly expanded, joined by adult friends and family members. From there, a Facebook page developed by the name of OMEE (Our Mission: Extreme Expectations), which creatively documents the milestones, colourful sock puppets, and items already sold to help reach their goal.
In French-speaking Chad, there is currently one well for over 7,500 people. Because of the funds raised by the youth group, in January the team began a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) training, which enables communities to analyze their sanitation conditions, understand the impact, and help people decide together how they will create a clean and hygienic environment that benefits everyone. Leaders helped equip twenty-three trainees over a one week period. The funds allowed for the trainers to come from a far distance, paid for the trainees to attend and have meals together, and enabled the entire group to travel to five villages and give the training to the community.
One well is in the process of being drilled. The drilling began on May 31, and they have yet to find water in a location that can support a well. Although delays and breakdowns have occurred, the additional time has given leaders more time with the community.
Inspired by the youth group’s initiative? If you’d also like to be involved, contact us and we would be more than willing to resource and partner with you in providing safe, accessible water in an area where it is needed the most, or a different project that interests you. Anyone wishing to help the youth group’s water well project in Chad can assist by donating to CGR’s Water Well project fund by visiting our donation page, or by purchasing a gift catalogue item related to water. Downloadable cards through the catalogue are available, allowing gifts to be sent in the name of someone else.