Jinotega Visit: Memories of Jackie; Plans for the Future

This post was written by TLWP Board Member, Jennifer Thompson. Jennifer and fellow TLWP board member, Kevin Colvett give a first hand account of their recent trip to Nicaragua.

In January, OneWorld Health dedicated its newest clinic, in the city of Jinotega in Nicaragua’s mountains. The clinic includes patient rooms, space for rotating specialists, an ultrasound room big enough for families, and plenty of space for labs and cultures.

Nine of us from TLWP traveled to Jinotega for the dedication, tied to this clinic by its water system. In the fall of 2015, Jackie England, a longtime TLWP supporter and dear friend to many connected to us, passed away from a chronic kidney condition. Jackie’s family requested that donations in her memory be given to TLWP, and we are honored to be able to so actively participate in remembering her.

Around the time of Jackie’s death, we received a message from longtime friend of TLWP TJ McCloud, OneWorld Health’s regional director in Nicaragua. TJ was in the beginning stages of planning a clinic in the Jinotega region in Nicaragua’s northern mountains, where kidney disease, especially among Nicaraguans who spend their working hours outside in the fields, is one particular concern.

Generous donations in Jackie’s memory totaled about $15,300 - just over what was needed to completely fund the water system in the Jinotega clinic. As TJ noted at the dedication, TLWP’s support via funding the water system allowed OWH to dramatically increase the clinic’s lab facilities that will grow into a regional hub for these services, allowing them to serve an even larger population.

In the days after the dedication, we traveled to communities with whom we hope to partner in making clean, healthy water more accessible. In my time on the board I’d seen plenty of photos of places in need of water, but photos cannot compare to physically standing in a coffee field where chemicals are running into an open water source, used every morning by both a woman who lives up a nearby hill and the animals that live nearby; or standing next to a beautiful, peaceful river just before being told it is essentially acting as a sewer system for several towns, and that the people who live in the houses you just walked by are nearly always sick.

But to steal a line from fellow director Kevin Colvett, this is a problem that we can do something about. We met generous, passionate engineers and community leaders who care deeply about their truly beautiful country, their communities and their work, and I am incredibly optimistic that those relationships will form long-term partnerships that can connect resources to communities and needs. (In fact, plans are already underway for more work and another trip this summer.)

We are so thankful to all of Jackie’s friends and family who, in the midst of their grief, will make such a difference in the lives of so many through the Jinotega clinic. We are so hopeful to see what this beginning - that she and her family have helped bring about - will become.

Jackie’s husband David wrote a beautiful post about the trip in his own words here.

  OneWorld Health’s new clinic in the center of Jinotega, Nicaragua; the tank in the back is part of the water catchment system  


OneWorld Health’s new clinic in the center of Jinotega, Nicaragua; the tank in the back is part of the water catchment system
 

 Community president Humberto stands next to the current, polluted water source in Yanque. 

Community president Humberto stands next to the current, polluted water source in Yanque. 

 Lab space in the new Jinotega clinic, which opened to patients on February 1

Lab space in the new Jinotega clinic, which opened to patients on February 1

  David England and Melody Gurley, Jackie England’s husband and daughter, next to the plaque and water feature in Jackie’s memory, placed in the clinic waiting area.

David England and Melody Gurley, Jackie England’s husband and daughter, next to the plaque and water feature in Jackie’s memory, placed in the clinic waiting area.

A Note From Our Director: 2017 in Review

Thanks to the hard work and generosity of so many, 2017 was a wonderful year for the Living Water Project!  Below is a snapshot of that year, and some updated numbers on what’s been accomplished since our founding. 

In 2017 TWLP funded a total of 104 new wells/clean-water projects, with a total of $302,000 committed to these projects.  Both of these numbers are all-time single-year highs for us.  The breakdown of projects by country is as follows: 
Chad   36  
Togo    23
Zambia   20
Cameroon  14
Niger   4
Benin  3
Nicaragua   1
India   1
Democratic Republic of the Congo   1
Kenya   1

Approximately 74,600 people are benefitting from these 104 wells on a daily basis.  To put this in perspective, this is almost identical to the population of Franklin, TN (74,794).

The wells in Benin and Cameroon were our first-ever to be funded in those countries.

2017 was TWLP’s 17th year of partnering with communities around the world to provide clean water.  Since its founding in 2001, Living Water has funded a total of 379 wells/clean-water projects in 22 different countries.  These projects represent a total of $968,070 committed to clean water development.

…..and, as always, all of this was work has been done by unpaid volunteers!

We are so grateful for the role that so many of you have played in making all of this possible, and we look forward to seeing how God blesses this ministry in 2018.

This report was written by Jon Lee, Director of Operations.

The Living Water Project would like to thank volunteer Cara L. Harris for designing the graphics below!

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2017 Goal Exceeded!

You did it! To date, TLWP has received $256,322.14 this year! Thank you for entrusting and joining us in this effort. We are amazed and humbled by your generosity. 

Reaching this goal means more people in Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Kenya, Niger, Togo, and Zambia have access to clean water, and we have grown even more inspired by the community making this possible. From donors to ministry partners and diggers, it is an honor to partner with God in bringing clean water to His people. We are reviewing grant requests for $200k in new water projects. If you or someone you know would like to join in this, please let us know!  

Aiming High

It’s been said that it is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit your goal. How much better is it to aim high and hit the goal?  TLWP board aimed high for 2017 by setting a goal to raise $250,000. We are praising God that by His grace and your generosity, we are only $5,000 away from reaching our goal. $5,000 may not sound like much, but it is enough to fund a well that will serve and better the lives of a whole community. Will you join us in our push to hit our goal by the end of the year? 

Visiting Our Partners at Sharptown

This article is written by Board Member Jessica Schwieger. Jessica and her husband, fellow board member Scott Schwieger recently traveled to New Jersey to visit our partners at Sharptown Church. Here is an account of their trip!

Almost three years ago, Cindy Dutton of Pennsville, NJ felt a burden to do something about the millions of people (currently it's 844 million) who lack clean water.  She began planning an event to raise money for the cause before she even knew who she would give it to.  After a lot of research, she found the Living Water Project and chose this organization because we are completely volunteer run and all but the small amount that Paypal takes goes to the water projects and not to overhead costs.  

For the last three Augusts, Cindy has organized and spearheaded The Sharptown Water Walk.  It is put on by Cindy and fellow members of the Sharptown United Methodist Church in Pilesgrove, NJ.  The Water Walk is an interactive, hands on event.  Held at Fort Mott State Park, participants choose whatever size bucket they want - from 1/2 gallon to 5 gallons - walk to the Deleware River, fill up their bucket(s) and then walk a 1.25 mile course through the park and back to a picnic pavilion.  Part of the course goes through a semi-wooded area that has the feel of being in the wilderness, an experience many people around the world no doubt have as they walk long distances to obtain clean water.  The course ends with an obstacle course that is meant to mimic some of the difficult conditions people have to navigate just to obtain clean water, something we take for granted.  

Before August, no one from the Living Water Project had ever met Cindy or her friends.  We've been amazed at the creativity and generosity of these people so many states away who have trusted us with the fruit of their labor.  In August, right after our 2nd annual fundraising dinner, Scott Schwieger, one of our new board members (and my husband) and I had the pleasure of going to New Jersey to meet Cindy, her husband Stu, the missions committee at Sharptown and many of their fellow church members.  Stu and Cindy opened their home to us and took us to Fort Mott State Park to walk the Water Walk course.  While we were in South Jersey, we also spoke in their church services, answered questions during Bible Class and had lunch with the missions committee.  It was a great weekend and we were blessed to meet Stu and Cindy as well as many others at the Sharptown Church.  

Our visit to Pilesgrove and Pennsville was another experience that confirms God is at work everywhere!  He loves all of us and will use us to minister to those who are hurting. Also, Stu and Cindy's faith was uplifting and contagious.  They are a couple devoted to God and thankful to Him for all He's done in their lives.  That faithfulness and gratitude no doubt equips them to do great things like plan and organize the Sharptown Water Walk.  We'd all do well to learn from them and mimic their thankfulness as well as obedience to God's leadings.

Please contact us if you are interested in hearing more about opportunities to partner your community with The Living Water Project. 
 

  Members of Sharptown Church participate in the Water Walk Fundraiser this year.

Members of Sharptown Church participate in the Water Walk Fundraiser this year.

  Participants of the 2017 Water Walk carry water to raise money for clean wells in Zambia.

Participants of the 2017 Water Walk carry water to raise money for clean wells in Zambia.

  LW Board Member Scott Schwieger with Stu and Cindy Dutton during their recent visit.

LW Board Member Scott Schwieger with Stu and Cindy Dutton during their recent visit.

  Board Members Jessica and Scott Schwieger on their recent visit to Sharptown Church.

Board Members Jessica and Scott Schwieger on their recent visit to Sharptown Church.

  Community members of Kabele, Zambia rejoice over their well that was funded by the Sharptown Congregation. This is one of the many wells Sharptown has funded. We are so thankful for their passion and partnership!

Community members of Kabele, Zambia rejoice over their well that was funded by the Sharptown Congregation. This is one of the many wells Sharptown has funded. We are so thankful for their passion and partnership!

2017 Celebration Dinner!

The second annual TLWP celebration dinner will be held on August 17, 2017! This year, we will be focusing on our partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a Congolese menu and stories of how your partnerships have changed lives and helped communities all over the world. We are so excited to share this evening with you. To RSVP for this free event, go to tinyurl.com/tlwpdinner2017. Please feel free to invite others to celebrate with us!

Zambia Campaign 2017

The Living Water Project: Zambia Well Challenge!

Over the past six years, The Living Water Project has funded 37 Zambian wells. We are so appreciative to those who have been helpful in this project, and we are excited to see what we will be able to fund for the 2017 drilling season!

Our Zambian well coordinator, Shadreck Sibwaalu, has a list of over 105 areas in need of wells. Many Zambians resort to digging ground holes and collecting rain water throughout the rainy season. This is the only water source in areas that have no government-provided well access. Shadreck works with Namwianga Missions in Zambia and is an outstanding water project coordinator and partner with The Living Water Project. Every year, he surveys villages to find those areas in the most need for clean water wells. The Living Water Project hopes to commit $30,000 for the building of 8 wells this drilling season (August to October). Our goal is to raise $30,000 by June 30, 2017.  We hope you will consider joining us in this endeavor!

To donate:

- Go to http://www.livingwaterwells.org/donate

- You can pay via Paypal or mail in a check.

- Please indicate "Zambia 2017" in your donation.

Questions? 

Contact Jon Lee at jlee@livingwaterwells.org
To learn more about the Living Water Project, visit www.livingwaterwells.org.

Please see below for before and after pictures from the Sibalwa Village Well funded and built in 2016.

Thank you!

The Living Water Project


SIBALWA VILLAGE: BEFORE

These pictures show the previous water source for the Sibalwa Village. 

 Notice the color of the previous drinking water in the village of Sibalwa. This is the standard drinking water of hundreds of villages in Zambia who do not have access to clean drinking water.

Notice the color of the previous drinking water in the village of Sibalwa. This is the standard drinking water of hundreds of villages in Zambia who do not have access to clean drinking water.

 Villagers walk miles to gather this water for their households. The collected water from the rainy season typically only lasts 2-3 months.

Villagers walk miles to gather this water for their households. The collected water from the rainy season typically only lasts 2-3 months.

 These water holes are the only resource the villagers have to collect water during the rainy season.

These water holes are the only resource the villagers have to collect water during the rainy season.


SIBALWA VILLAGE: AFTER! 

The well at Sbialwa Village was completed in the Fall of 2016. This was directly funded by our wonderful supporters who donated to the Zambia 2016 campaign.

 Happy Sibalwa villagers collect water from their new well. This well was built in the fall of 2016. The funds for these wells were provided by our wonderful donors in our Zambia 2016 campaign!

Happy Sibalwa villagers collect water from their new well. This well was built in the fall of 2016. The funds for these wells were provided by our wonderful donors in our Zambia 2016 campaign!

 The wells provide water not only for drinking, but for cooking, irrigation, vegetation, etc.  People come for miles to utilize the wells.  All are welcome to partake of the clean water.

The wells provide water not only for drinking, but for cooking, irrigation, vegetation, etc.  People come for miles to utilize the wells.  All are welcome to partake of the clean water.

 The wells built in Zambia have a hand pump (pictured).  The village work together to build a fence around the well to protect it from wildlife and livestock. The village forms a committee to take responsibility for well maintenance. The man pictured here is the Elder of the Sibalwa well committee.

The wells built in Zambia have a hand pump (pictured).  The village work together to build a fence around the well to protect it from wildlife and livestock. The village forms a committee to take responsibility for well maintenance. The man pictured here is the Elder of the Sibalwa well committee.