We’ve been out making the presentation circuit a lot lately- chatting up our new projects and the impending Shower Strike- and the guilt for not posting here has become heavy enough to affect some action. We were actually speaking to Austin’s green (before green was cool) EnviroMedia group this morning (they are going on Sower Strike with us, thunderous applause!), and I really struggled to fit our updates into a 10 minute schpeel, so I had better relay them to you now before I’ll need to post a treatise instead.
Partnerships for Long-term Community Success
In a post earlier this year, I explained that Well Aware is teaming up with strong nonprofit partners who will work in the communities where we provide water in additional areas of need- so that we can truly provide each community with the tools, planning and resources they need to succeed and sustain (you’ll hear that “sustain” word a lot from us now- it’s the only way we wanna work). We’ve added new partners and invite you to check ‘em out if you like on our website- Partners of Well Aware.
One of our more recent and super exciting new partnerships is with The Nobelity Project. Also an Austin-based org, this group (founded by actor/author/filmmaker, Turk Pipkin) has been working on education projects in Kenya for the past several years. Just last year, they completed the construction of a school (including high school) with a rain water court that supplies more water than they can even consume right now. Nobelity is a a solid, ethical and effective organization, and we are pretty darn stoked about working with them on joint projects. We know that the struggle that Kenya faces, on a whole, can most effectively be addressed by educating its future citizens and leaders.
You can actually check out the projects that are already underway with Nobelity on our website. That’s a pretty convenient (and only minimally annoying) segue to our next new thing.
Democratized Giving to Well Aware
We decided that YOU should be able to select exactly which water system you would like to contribute to- and also be able to easily keep up with what’s happening with that project. So, we have “packaged” each of our water projects in a menu page on our website. This page lists every water system we are currently working on, as well as the overall deets, including our Partner Organization, number of people effected, power source used and long-term work there.
Each project also has its own Project Page where we post even more info, such as images, maps, project proposals, status changes and more. So, you can know exactly what is going on where you have given your dollar. As soon as the water system is completed, the same page can still be found in our Completed Projects section, and we will continue to post updates on that community’s growth and needs indefinitely.
The thought behind our new “democratized giving” concept is to give our supporters get to choose which project means the most to them (and they are all individually unique) and also know how that project is advancing because of their help. We like it. We hope you do, too. Well Aware’s Current Projects
We have been evaluating the true needs and possibilities for community success pretty thoroughly over the past several months. We have found that without appropriate community involvement and commitment, these projects have a significantly lower chance of long-term success and sustainability (there’s that word again). So, we’ve implemented some measures that will ensure that our communities are fully involved and have a plan for their own responsible growth once they have a brand new water system.
How so? There are several levels here- we launch community awareness campaigns and employ local labor- but so that I don’t lose you here to prime time TV, I will point out the key component. We require that each community and/or partner organization submit a project proposal to Well Aware for our review. We work very closely with our friends in Kenya on these plans, and once they are accepted, they have a very clear and realistic plan for their community for decades to come. You can find these on our project pages on our website, too. It’s a win-win. We have faith that each community will thrive on their own. And the community has confidence in the same.
Other Cool Organizational Stuff
- We have recruited a hydrogeologist (and super guy) to our team who is helping us be environmentally responsible with our water systems; ensuring we select the most sustainable (the winning word!) and realistic water option in each area; and providing consistent technical support- he translates things like “submersible cable splicing joint” and “crystalline solar module”
- We have two part-time employees in Kenya now. They are awesome and make us so much more efficient!
- We have an amazing new Board of Directors that is keeping us solid and strong.
- We’re back to Kenya in August!
- Our annual public fundraiser, the Shower Strike is new and improved… another segue, you see.
This Part Stinks (But it Really Doesn’t)
Dum-du-dum-dum. Shower Strike 2011 is coming soon to a friend or family member near you! We’ll post another blog later this week with the Strike skinny (there’s too much good stuff to tell, and you’ve already been a trooper to read this far). But, you can sing up to go on Shower Strike with us today at ShowerStrike.com!
We have made it simpler and funner (what, we like that word) than ever! You can be a part of this event from anywhere on the globe- and from your couch if you want. Even if you can’t join the Strike (we know, we know- clean is a good thing), we would really, really appreciate your support by joining our event on Facebook. And maybe you could spread it around a bit? The event, not the filth. Our goal is 100K this year, and we’re pretty sure you guys are going to help us get there!
If you made it through all of that, thank you! We have been busy. It means everything to us to be working in Kenya the very best way we know how, and we always love new ideas and feedback, so bring em on!
More soon. Thank you for clicking in!
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