Eight College of Charleston students are devoting their Spring Break to installing safe water systems in a remote Kenyan village that benefited from the students’ fundraising efforts. In essence, they will finish what they started last fall when they raised $25,000 to fund the project.
Inspired by Water Missions International and working in conjunction with Possibilities Without Borders, the College of Charleston students will now invest sweat equity along with their dollars in Bidii, Kenya. The group of students, under the leadership of hospitality and tourism management professor Dr. Andrea Canberg, will spend nearly ten days digging trenches and helping install a safe water system. They will also help mobilize a community – formerly without clean drinking water – and join the Water Missions Kenyan Team as they train the residents on how to operate and maintain the new sustainable water system designed and built by volunteers and engineers at the Water Missions International headquarters in Charleston, S.C.
This opportunity enables students to see firsthand how their hard work helped to transform lives in a developing country. They will also see the difference their health and hygiene tips they are making for Bidii’s villagers, as well as being able to join the celebration of the installation of the community water project.
“You should see the dirty water they have now,” says Dr. Andrea Canberg from Kenya. “Many of the children would be dead in a few years without this new system.”
“Dr. Canberg and the College of Charleston students will return from Kenya with a new understanding and appreciation for the most basic of all human needs, safe water,” says Molly Greene, co-founder of Water Missions International. “This is such a unique opportunity for college students to experience the full cycle of casting a vision, planning an event, raising funds and participating in the celebration of a safe water project. This will be a one of the most impactful times in their lives.”
After arriving in Nairobi on March 3, the students were flown to the Water Missions International office in Kitale. While in Kenya, the students will visit other safe water projects that have been completed in Mima and Bondeni; they’ll witness firsthand how safe water improves people’s health, lives and development.