Golden Foundation Elementary and Junior High School is located in the Boe community, which is part of Ganta City, in the province of Garr-Bain.
The school originally used an open hand dug well that now produces contaminated water and often has long lines of people waiting to gather water. It is not a deep hand dug well, so it takes time to pull water from the well. Or the students go out daily in search of water before they go to school.
Everyone in the community is in the same situation, and tempers can get heated if a child has water and someone else doesn’t want to go searching for water themselves. Children have come to school with teeth broken out and bruising from these fights. Community members struggle with waterborne illnesses as well. Mothers can have issues feeding their babies when they do not drink enough water to nurse. Water is so difficult to find, that they use it sparingly. Growing a garden is not possible because it is too difficult to water the plants. Lack of food is another issue. The water they do find to collect is contaminated with parasites and waterborne illnesses such as dysentery and typhoid. This causes the students to miss school, and adults to feel sluggish and weak, or to miss work themselves. What money they do earn often is spent in search of medication for “runny tummy”/diarrhea. There is a cycle of hopelessness throughout the community.
Living Water International’s program implementation through WASH Program Areas is unique in that it aims to bring lasting
physical and spiritual development in communities, through a multi-year program that is focused on specific regions, thoughtfully integrating and contextualizing principles of water access, sanitation, hygiene, church mobilization, gospel proclamation, and sustainability. This project is within our WPA of Garr-Bain, Liberia.
Living Water International will provide training and backstopping support during the first six years, until the local water committees and community have gathered enough fees to build a reserve for funding future maintenance. Water users will pay small monthly water user fees by household, and these funds will be collected and managed by the water user committee for future repairs and maintenance of the system. The well caregiver will be equipped to do the ongoing general care.
Life will be different for this community once the new well is completed. This project will be located at the local school, which will allow the children to take safe water home with them after school, and close enough to home to gather water before school. Community members will also have access to the new well. Hygiene and sanitation education will be taught in the community and at the school. It will become part of their daily life, stopping the transmission of germs, and spreading the understanding of waterborne illnesses and how not to get these.
Women will be able to grow a small garden or have time to sell items at the marketplace, instead of spending hours collecting water.
Children will not be missing school, so they can complete their education and concentrate while at school. Families will be able to keep the money they earn, and use it towards food and other physical needs. There will be a feeling of hope and opportunity within the community.
Living Water employs a pastor within each country’s staff. Their purpose is to engage with the local churches/pastors/church members, speaking to unity, spiritual growth and how to be health advocates within their communities. Bibles are given out to new believers or believers who do not have access to a bible in their own language. Other pastoral trainings or pastoral fellowship activities to unite Christians throughout the WPA in sharing the gospel and uplifting believers.
The water crisis was an everyday reality for the students attending Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School. The school’s hand-dug well was shallow, and the water supply was difficult to reach. The students and school staff had to draw the water using buckets and ropes. It was a time-consuming, difficult chore. This method of collecting water was also dangerous in two ways: children could potentially fall into the well and drown, and using the bucket system introduced contagions into the water supply.
Instead, most of the students would leave the school to collect water from a local swamp. But this only posed more danger for the students. The residents competed for scarce water, fighting against their neighbors to get the water they needed for their own families. Moreover, the contaminated swamp water wasn’t safe for consumption. Diarrhea, dysentery, and other waterborne illnesses ran rampant amongst the student body and were made worse by water rationing. Without sufficient water, the students were unable to practice good hygiene. And when the students were sick, they were unable to attend their classes, which put them at risk of dropping out of school altogether.
Yah Sendolo is a teacher at Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School. She and her fellow teachers knew the lack of safe water was making it difficult for the school to provide an effective learning environment, putting the students’ health, safety, and futures at risk.
Many times, the students went out in search of water. Sometimes they were beaten by aggressive community members who also were looking for water.
When school administrators heard about Living Water International’s work in their region, they knew they had found the answer to their water crisis. Living Water Liberia responded to the school’s great need by coming to drill a new well!
The Living Water staff also helped Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School establish sustainability practices to help ensure a future of safe water access. They guided the school administration in the selection of a water committee which will oversee the care and maintenance of the well. Living Water will stay in contact with the water committee to support sustainability efforts and monitor the well’s functionality.
And in order to help the students understand how to use the safe water you gave them as a means of improving their health, the Living Water staff held a hygiene and sanitation promotion activity. These interactive lessons included topics such as proper handwashing technique, maintaining good oral hygiene, and how to safely transport and store water from the new well.
The Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School can now provide an effective learning environment, one where students can realize their full potential. They are excited about sustaining their new well, modeling good stewardship for generations to come. And Yah believes safe water will change everything for the students of Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School
Yah Sendolo, a teacher at the school, stands by the completed well
This water is a breakthrough for our school. At last, the students will be safe and stay in school.
Bringing Living Water
During their time with the school community, the Living Water team shared God’s great love with the students, teachers, and other residents. At the completion of the safe water project, the Living Water staff held a well dedication service. Here, 237 people heard the good news that Jesus offers his living water to everyone. The staff also distributed 163 pieces of gospel literature.
Community members hear the life-giving message of the gospel during an evangelistic service
|Pump type:||hand pump|
|Project type:||new simple water project|
|Depth of well:||40 m (130 ft)|
|Previous water source:||hand dug well, swamp|
|Main water collectors:||students|
A Ingomar Living Waters donor, a true WORLD CHANGER, made this project possible. They have provided safe water which has changed everything for the Golden Foundation Elementary and Jr. High School. Thanks to you, the students and teachers can access abundant safe water right outside of their classrooms. They no longer have to spend time trying to get water instead of investing in their educations. All of the students will benefit from having safe water, free from the distractions of thirst and illness. Your gift also serves as a reminder of God’s great love for each person at the school and the entire community, evidence that he cares both for their physical and spiritual needs.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.