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World Refugee Day 2017

Today is World Refugee Day. Drop in the Bucket’s team spent the day in the Palabek refugee settlement in Uganda where we are working to provide clean water to the 31,000 South Sudanese who have fled their homeland because of famine and conflict. More than three million people, or a third of South Sudan’s population, have fled their homes, creating Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide. These refugees have been given a small plot of land in Uganda and are now attempting to start over in their new country.

 

This morning as we drove out to the settlement to do our work, the reality of being a refugee became very personal. A young South Sudanese student who is being sponsored to attend high school in Uganda is interning with the DROP drilling team for this summer.  His name is John Lual Deng and he is studying Agriculture at Kampala University. Deng grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya during the war.  But because of the opportunity he has been given to attend school, he is excelling academically.

John Luol Deng tending to a lamb in Uganda

 

Deng’s dream is to teach his people about farming.  He believes that South Sudan has vast potential to grow food and should never experience death because of famine! His dream is for his children to know a life without war and suffering, a place where people live peacefully and abundantly.  His face lights up when he talks about more efficient methods of irrigation and organic fertilizers. His dreams may be big but they are attainable and he is prepared to work for them.

Today Deng is working to provide clean water to the refugee camp. He believes in DROPs mission to provide clean water to these people as they take the first steps toward building their new lives.  They may have only a few possessions but what they do have is hope…. hope for a new beginning…. a land where their children can live without fear….. and a place where they can get an education and thrive.

On this International Refugee Day, as we look around at the Palabek refugee settlement, we do not see the faces of sad desperate people. We see a bit of optimism and a glimmer of a new beginning. We see vast human potential!

Please help us make this possible

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Check out our latest Video

Award winning music video director Nathan Karma Cox recently came out to Uganda to check out our work firsthand. He put together this video with graphics from our friend Rodrigo Gava.

The music is a remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song “Under the Earth” that they were kind enough to give us to use in the video. Special thanks to Karen, Nick and Brian from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tony and Laura from Ciulla Management, Joe Betts from BMG and everyone from UMG for making this happen and being so supportive.

Also special thanks to Nathan Cox, Rodrigo Gava and of course Nick Launay and Ming Vauze for their amazing remix.

We hope you enjoy the video and if you do please consider sharing it on your social media channels.

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Progress at Madera

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to our fundraising campaign to provide clean water and toilets at the Madera School for the Blind in Uganda. This is the largest project we have ever taken on for a single school and it is considerably more expensive than anything we have done in the past, but it is also one of the projects we are most proud of.
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Madera School For the Blind -Boys Urinal
Madera School For the Blind - pupils get out of the boys dorm
Here are some photos that show the construction that is coming along nicely. Both sets of septics are now finished and both sets of toilets are almost done. In the photos you can see a sink and the boys urinal that are close to being finished. We still have to finish the showers and we still need to raise some money for the solar pump. If you are interested in making a donation please click here
Thank you so much for making this all possible with your amazing generosity and support.

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Madera School For the Blind

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Help Shine a New Light for Blind Children in Uganda
Every child deserves a clean and safe place to learn and play. Help us build a proper sanitation facility for the only School for the Blind in Uganda.
For many parents in Uganda, just taking care of basic needs for themselves and their children can be challenging. Taking care of a blind child with special needs is just not possible for many families.
The St. Francis Primary School for the Blind fulfills those needs. Since 1955, it has been the only school in all of Uganda dedicated to educating visually impaired children.
One of the biggest problems facing the school is sanitation. The school’s only toilet is a single dirty pit latrine that would be intolerable even for children with sight. Moreover, this single toilet is currently shared among the boys and girls. The school desperately needs better and separate toilets.
Drop In The Bucket is a nonprofit organization that has been building wells and sanitation systems in schools throughout Africa. We have reconfigured the design of our toilet specifically for these children. The total cost of the project will be $80,000.
If you could imagine what your day would be like without a toilet, please consider making a donation. Just a $20 donation will help provide a cleaner place for these kids to thrive.

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This is Winnie Ayute

Winnie Ayute (15 years), Agama Primary School:
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I’m in Primary Six and our school is one of the largest schools in the district. There are 790 pupils including 342 girls. Before Drop in the Bucket drilled a well on the school compound, nearest source of water was a swamp at the Agule village which is about two kilometers away. We used to fetch water, which meant carrying 20-litre jerry cans on our heads. We hated the task because it is very far to walk and we had to walk through bushes. Because the filled jerry cans were heavy we would have to stop and rest along the way. Our teachers would angry when we were late getting back to class.
Sometimes boys from the village would wait for us at the water source and would mess with us. Usually they were just playing, but they would grab our containers, which made us even later. After school I would walk home at 5pm in the evening. Once I was home I would be told to fetch water from the same source for our home. At school we would fetch water in a group but at home I would go alone, which would scare me.
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We are now happy that we no longer walk distances to fetch water. The bore hole Drop drilled at our school is located within the compound and it has clean water for us to drink and wash. I also come here to collect water when I return home, so I’m saved from walking in the bushes and I will no longer be disturbed by boys. I feel I’m safe now because of Drop in the Bucket and the well.
Winnie Ayute4

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Check out our Holiday Video

We just launched our new fundraising platform that allows people to contribute the individual items that it takes to build a well, and our good friends at Kilograph helped us put together this great Holiday video. Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 4.26.53 PM
You can check out the video here
Or go straight to this link to see how you can help.

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Gardner Denver partnership news

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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.

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Sean’s lemonade stand

Sean decided to set up a lemonade stand to benefit “Drop In The Bucket” over the summer. His little sister, Isabella, helped too.
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He even had a mascot!
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On separate weekends, Sean set up stands at:
City Hall Park:
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At his old public school:
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At Rockaway Beach
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And he even educated tourists about “Drop In The Bucket” at the Brooklyn Bridge:
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Thank you Sean and Isabella, you two are amazing!
 

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Soap For South Sudan

SOAP4SSUDAN-Drop-siteRecent 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!

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Holiday cards now in stock

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.
DROP-Holiday cards
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.