Industrial machinery giant Gardner Denver has donated a state-of-the-art drilling compressor to Drop in the Bucket! This top of the line compressor has found a new home at our compound in Soroti, Uganda, and will be instrumental in speeding up water drilling efforts. Thanks to this partnership, we will get more women off the path fetching water, and onto the path towards a higher education. For more information about this partnership please click here.
Sean decided to set up a lemonade stand to benefit “Drop In The Bucket” over the summer. His little sister, Isabella, helped too.
He even had a mascot!
On separate weekends, Sean set up stands at:
City Hall Park:
At his old public school:
At Rockaway Beach
And he even educated tourists about “Drop In The Bucket” at the Brooklyn Bridge:
Thank you Sean and Isabella, you two are amazing!
Norah Aligoyi is 18 years and is in Grade Seven at Aakum Primary School in Katakwi district of Eastern Uganda. She has one brother and one sister. They all walk about one mile each day to get to their school. At school, they had to walk another
mile to get to the nearest water source. Norah told us “I’m happy that Drop in the Bucket decided to dig a borehole (well) at our school because it has relieved us from the burden of having to walk so far to fetch water. We shall save so much time
that we were wasting walking for water. I think this will help us concentrate on our studies and perform better. I’m also happy that I will get the opportunity to wash and bathe at school. We are so happy that we now have clean drinking water at our school.”
Recent violence in South Sudan has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths and over 950,000 people being forced to flee their homes. Right now these people are now living in temporary shelters called internally displaced persons (IDP) camps which have been set up in or around South Sudan. The IDPs often contain over 50,000 people per camp and some of the larger ones have over 110,000.
While aid groups like UNICEF and the World Food Program are working to provide food, water and plastic sheets for basic shelter, the threat of disease is always looming. An outbreak of typhoid, cholera or dysentery would be catastrophic for the people in the camps, particularly for the elderly, children and to people with already compromised immune systems.
The solution is simple: SOAP! Something we take for granted in our everyday life, can literally keep people healthy and alive in South Sudan right now. A recent assessment by the UN stated that in many of the camps no soap was available at all. The report also stated that with so many people living in such close proximity, access to soap is often more effective in saving lives that any medicine or vaccine.
Our goal is to provide 1,000 cases of soap to the IDPs in Eastern Equatoria and across the border in Uganda. With your help, our experienced field teams and the fact that we have the transportation already in place can provide the people in the camps with locally made soap right now. There are 110,000 refugees who may not survive without you.
Please check out SOAP FOR SUDAN www.soapforsouthsudan.com and see how you can help. Soap saves lives!
It’s that most wonderful time of the year, and the stores are all about to be filled with people frantically shopping for that perfect gift for that special someone. This year you can avoid the crowded stores and pick up the perfect gift without having to brave the traffic or the cold weather. We are happy to bring you the new Drop in the Bucket Holiday card!
The cards are printed with a photo from a well we built this year in Uganda and this particular photo really does a great job of showing the life changing effect of clean water. The cards come in packs of 10 and 20, are printed on high quality glossy paper and come with their own envelopes.
Inside the cards have the words “Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year” in large letters, and below that “A donation has been made in your name to help build wells and sanitation systems at schools in Africa.”
This year give the gift that keeps giving. The gift of water is the gift of life!
To pick up your cards please click this link.
Having been a huge Mighty Boosh fan for over a decade, I was beyond excited when Noel Fielding agreed to perform for our charity Drop in the Bucket. Then when I was told that all of The Mighty Boosh would be performing, I almost dropped the phone in shock.
Bobcat Goldthwait was hilarious and after his performance adlibbed what may be the funniest and most politically incorrect PSA ever made by a water charity.
Ian Edwards and Nick Youssef both delivered great sets that had the sold out Comedy Store crowd in hysterics. Justin Martindale did an amazing job as the evening’s host. He managed to keep everyone laughing while still making sure the audience knew exactly why they were there.
The Mighty Boosh opened with the group coming onstage dressed as monks for the first song. Their performance proceeded to show everyone why they are one of the most beloved and creative comedy groups ever to come out of England. The laughs were non-stop and everybody in the room knew they were witnessing a night they would remember for years. We were so honored to have it be on behalf of Drop in the Bucket.
The night exceeded all expectations and all of the performers really got into the spirit of the evening. The event raised over $12,000, enough to pay for Drop in the Bucket to drill two more wells for schools in Uganda.
Water wells at schools make it possible for children to go to school and when properly maintained, wells can last for decades. To keep up on the progress of the wells that this show made possible, please check out Drop in the Bucket’s Facebook page . We will also be posting videos from some the performers that were shot backstage during the event.
We cannot thank everyone enough at High Voltage, the Comedy Store, all of the artists and everyone who came and showed their support. One night of fun will continue to change thousands of lives in Africa for years to come.
Gulu High School is a mixed boarding school in northern Uganda, with a population of 1065 students: 464 girls and 601 boys.
In 2007 Drop in the Bucket first visited this school and found that near the main part of the school there were only toilets for the boys. The girls had to either walk to the dorms or wait until after class was done for the day.
Studies have shown overwhelmingly, that a lack of decent toilets is a major contributing factor in girls dropping out of school. After puberty, the female dropout rate increases dramatically, mainly because many girls do not have an effective way to manage menstruation. Missing up to one week of school every month, causing them to fall behind with their studies and ultimately leading them to drop out.
Earlier this week we visited the school and sat down with the school’s Deputy Head Teacher, Sarah Jokit Odong (pictured above). She told us that the toilets have contributed to the school’s 70% girl retention rate. “The girls are happy and feel like they are being listened to and taken care of.”After seeing the problem, Drop In The Bucket decided the girls needed their own set of toilets. The system we constructed at Gulu High School consists of a hand-washing station, ten pour-flush toilets, and our unique septic system, that actually treats sewage rather than just storing it.
Today is International Day of the Girl and hearing this news from one of our schools was a great way to commemorate the day. There is a sign you often see at schools in Uganda that states: “If you educate a girl, you educate a nation”. Installing toilets at Gulu High was just the first step of many as we continue to build wells and sanitation systems throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Let’s take today to be grateful for the girls that can now harness the life-changing power of education, and let’s also use today as inspiration to join together to fight for the rights of the many girls still out there whose voices are still not heard.
Sanitation and menstrual hygiene management keep girls in school. It’s time to break the silence.
Abdallah Linos is 31 years old and works as a teacher at the Oguruny Primary School in the village of Oguruny in South Sudan. He has been teaching at the school since 2010. The school has only six classes, P1-P6, with 408 pupils.
When the civil war broke out, Abdallah left the village to live in the Kahuma Refugees Settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2009 he came back to his village with his wife and family and started teaching.
Since the well was completed in May everything has changed for the school. For a large part of the year the students would get their water from the nearby hills, but during the dry season this water source from would dry up. He explained to us that once the waterholes dried up and there was no water for drinking, there was also no water to use in food preparation, so the children would be forced to be at school all day hungry. This made things very difficult and affected the children’s ability to learn.
I recently watched a segment of the HBO show Vice about the Fat Farms of Mauritania. In it, a reporter traveled to the West African country to profile the ancient practice of brutally force-feeding young girls to fatten them up to make them more attractive for marriage.
In their culture, a fat woman is seen as a symbol of a man’s wealth. So the fatter the girl, the higher her perceived value. Girls are used to elevate the social status of fathers and husbands, to forge alliances between families. It’s about buying into the girl’s family. The girl herself is just bait.
I spend half the year in East Africa with Drop, constructing water wells at schools to help girls get an education. Without those wells, education is not even an option for many girls in this region. Instead, they are forced to serve the family by spending a major part of every day fetching water. Another way they are meant to serve the family is through their bride prices or dowries.
A dowry is when the groom’s family makes a payment to the bride’s family, usually in the form of cows or money. Protecting this exchange is of great importance to a girl’s family, so her childhood is very often cut short by an arranged child marriage. Many girls are married off as soon as they reach puberty. This avoids the risk that she could lose her virginity before marriage, or worse, that she might get pregnant. These families have been counting on these dowries since the girls were babies. They often need it to feed the family and provide for the brother’s dowries.
In Mauritania, the girls don’t want to eat all of that food. If a girl refuses to eat because her stomach hurts, the family beats her or cracks her feet with a stick, sometimes breaking her toes. If she can not hold down the food and vomits, she is often made to eat the vomit.
These girls are being dragged into a pattern of bad health that they will carry for the rest of their lives. In other parts of Africa, a girl is fed less than her brothers. It’s the same oppression, just opposite extremes.
Whether it is fattening a girl to marry her off or marrying a 13-year-old who then dies trying to deliver a baby that is too big for her small frame, the girl’s health is of little concern. Imagine being a young scared teen delivering a baby in the deep village with no medical assistance. According to the UN, in South Sudan, a 15-year-old girl has a higher risk of dying in childbirth than of finishing secondary school.
Regardless of how it’s packaged, it’s a systematic, long-standing acceptance of objectifying, oppressing and abusing young girls.
From birth, a girl is viewed as a product to be owned by men. Since she will eventually be married into another family, there is generally little concern for educating a girl. It is expensive, and everybody knows she will be traded off at 15 years old in a family arrangement, in which she has no say. And her husband can do with her as he pleases, since he paid for her. Until that time, she is merely a female form to be manipulated and molded in order to meet a standard that will hopefully lead to a higher bride price. After that, her primary duties will be bearing as many children as possible and serving her husband.
In a study conducted by Mifumi, a non-government organization in Toroto, Uganda, 60 percent of the women surveyed believed that bride prices contributed to domestic violence. Women are treated as possessions, which leads to inequality. But the system is slowly changing. In many countries, including Uganda and South Sudan, the government has outlawed underage marriage. But long-held traditions are hard to break, and these laws are rarely enforced in the deep villages.
I enjoy watching Vice, and I think it is a brave show. I just wish they had delved a little deeper into this topic. It’s not about men preferring heavy women – it’s a human rights issue that, fortunately, more and more people are starting to become aware of.
We can’t keep looking at situations like Fat Farms and think they are cultural quirks. There is a global humanitarian crisis of oppressing women and girls. Whether it’s girls being sold into sex slavery, publically flogged for being raped or fattened up to be traded like cattle, these are our wives, our sisters and our mothers. It’s our duty to help them.
It’s not our job to change other cultures. That change must come from within. But I meet girls everyday who desperately desire change. They just need their voices to be heard. And the key is education. An educated girl demands more for herself, and an educated mother demands more for her children. The work we are trying to do with Drop in the Bucket is not just about supplying children with clean water, though that is certainly the first very important step. It is about getting children educated so that they can stand up for themselves and end the cycle of this oppression.
Students from the Day Middle School in Temecula, CA decided to help children in Africa gain access to clean water after learning about the water crisis from Skye McNeil, founder of the website Skyetime.com. She explained that children in Africa spend hours every day walking 6 to 7 miles to fetch water for their families and in turn, miss school. Skye also told the kids about how Drop in the Bucket builds wells and toilets at schools in Africa and the Day Middle School students jumped at the chance to get involved.
They got together with Skye and designed a silicon bracelet with the words “start a ripple, create a wave” and before long they had raised $250! The kids are so excited about their fundraising success that they want to continue and even possibly start raising money for other charitable causes too. Thank you students of Day Middle School and Skye McNeil!