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Naibiri Health Center II and how one nurse’s persistence paid off!

Meet Kamoyi Wilson a nurse at the Naibiri Health Center II in Uganda

Kamoyi Wilson Nurse at the Naibiri Health Center II
Kamoyi Wilson stands in front of the Naibiri Health Center II in Uganda

Even as a child Kamoyi Wilson knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to help people!

His dream was to one day become a doctor, so in school he focused on science classes. “Helping the sick has always been my passion” he explains.

Unfortunately for Wilson, the fees to go to a medical school were too much for his family to afford, so instead he decided to become a nurse.

Starting work at the Naibiri Health Center II

After his graduation he started working at the Naibiri Health Center II and immediately fell in love with the work. The hours were long and exhausting, but every day he got to help people and would go to sleep each night tired but happy.

After a few months he started thinking ways he could make things better for the patients. There were two issues that continued to kept him up at night. The first was that the medical center did not always have enough medicine and when it did, it wasn’t always the best. He began to lobby for better access to medications and eventually his efforts paid off. Now the health clinic has all of the medicine it needs! With that issue solved, he turned his thoughts to the second issue – access to clean water.

The Water Situation at Naibiri

While the facility was not entirely without water, the situation was far from ideal. They had a system that collected rainwater from their roof into a large tank. However this rainwater system had no filter and the rusty roof and dusty pipes affected both the taste and the purity.

During the rainy season and for the next few months the facility had water, but during the dry season, the situation was more desperate. With the tank dry, the only option was to walk for water. The nearest well was a long walk from the center, and coupled with the sheer volume of patients being treated each day, it began taking a toll on the staff.

The health center’s cleaner volunteered to take on the task of fetching water, but she soon realized that she was spending more time walking to and from the well than doing her job. As a result, the facility was not as clean or hygienic as it needed to be.  She would also end each day exhausted. Other staff members and even patients and visitors tried to help by taking turns walking to the well, but there was never enough water.

The local authorities were sympathetic, but unable to help. Their priority had to be supplying the medicine and while they saw the importance of clean water, they just didn’t have the funds.

How it Looks Today

Drop in the Bucket were  in town meeting with the local district water office and were told about the water situation at the health center. We were looking for a health center in the area and after the meeting went straight to Naibiri. As soon as we saw the situation, we knew we were in the right place. This was somewhere that could really use our help.

We commissioned a hydro-geological survey and found a location that was likely to support a well. The drilling itself was fairly straightforward and within a day we drilled down 50 meters to hit water. The test results were great! This water was clean and free of impurities or contaminants.

The Naibiri health center now has clean water and everything has changed! Wilson couldn’t be happier and the staff are beyond grateful for his persistent lobbying.

Naibiri Health Center IINaibiri Health Center II

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Personal Stories

Laminogwiri Community School – Where the Drop in the Bucket Drilling Team Made New Friends for Life

Laminogwiri – Where Drop in the Bucket drillers made a new friend for life

When your work involves traveling to remote villages and providing them with clean water, it is easy to make new friends. But sometimes the people you meet become lifelong friends. That was the case with Opiyo Richard from Laminogwiri village in Uganda.

The process of drilling a borehole well starts with a visual inspection. Our advance team scouts the location looking for potential sites to drill.

It was on our first visit to Laminogwiri that we met Opiyo Richard. The drillers were greeted by his warm, inviting smile, little did they know it would be the start of a long friendship.

Opiyo works in the village as a motorcycle mechanic. He heard one of our field trucks approaching and looked up from his work. “When I saw that it was the team that would drill for us the borehole (Drop in the Bucket), I immediately came and joined them, showing them around and levelling the grass,” recalls Opiyo.

A potential site for the well was soon found and Opiyo could barely contain his delight. “I was so excited to see the drilling rig arrive. I came to help them settle in and ended up staying until the borehole was completed,” says Opiyo. “I was here for the handing over ceremony and I will always be near this borehole” adds Opiyo proudly.

Opiyo was there helping the drillers every day, happy to give his time and energy. He had paying work coming in, but felt that he needed to be there helping. The drillers loved his enthusiasm and were happy to have him around helping. Asked why he put aside his other commitments, Opiyo replied, “You don’t know how badly we needed clean water in this village”

Opio shows us the old water source.

Opio took us to see the old water source. We started walking and eventually we reached a muddy open water hole. “We used to drink from this dirty pond. We shared it with pigs and cows. As for the distance? Well, now you know how far we just walked”.

The old water source at Laminogwiri in UgandaThe pond water was muddy and stagnant. Definitely not water most people would even consider drinking, but for people of Laminogwiri, it was the only option.

The community members would stand in the water and scoop water into their buckets and containers.
Komakech Daniel, a local schoolboy remembers, “Our school uniforms are white, so when we washed them with water from the pond they got dirtier”.

“During rainy season, the water on the ground runs into the pond, making it even muddier. With no other options, we still came here to fetch water. The next pond is just past that hill over there,” says Oyella Nancy pointing towards the horizon.

With her baby tied on her back, Oyella Nancy and other community members gather to thank Drop in the Bucket at the commissioning of their borehole.

“We used his dirty water to bathe our babies and wash their clothes. We knew it was unhealthy, but what could we do?” adds Oyella with her baby on her back. Her face informs us that even as she was doing it, she was painfully aware of the risks of drinking dirty water shared with pigs and cows.

The New Well at Laminogwiri

The new well drilled by Drop in the Bucket at the Laminogweri school in Uganda
A male students gets clean water from the new well at Laminogweri School.

Aol Mary looks at the new borehole and smiles “You just heard that school boy talking about washing his clothes with dirty water and you heard my neighbors talking about their children getting sick from drinking dirty water, well all of those problems have now been solved”.

Opiyo is sad to see his new friends leave, but he assures us that we are always welcome in the village and will always know where to find him. “I will be right here by the borehole, taking good care of it and making sure there are never any problems. But don’t let that stop you from coming to visit us” he adds with a laugh.

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Personal Stories

Rhoda Anayo

Rhoda Anayo
Rhoda Anayo is a passionate entrepreneur, wife, and mom to six children, all of whom attend school. Her eldest son is a senior in high school and wants to continue his education at a university, but will first need to pass his exams at the end of this year. Rhoda’s husband grows sugar cane, which Rhoda is then able to sell at her savvy makeshift market stall.
Rhoda started her business in July of 2014 and now, over a year later, she has made 300,000 shillings (close to 90 US dollars). Compared to what businesswomen make in America per year, this might not seem like a lot, but in Uganda, Rhoda’s starting business is proving to be quite successful. She got this opportunity by borrowing money from the Village Savings and Loan Association Drop in the Bucket requires of her village, Dokolo Komuda.
The Dokolo Komuda VSLA works in a systematic way so that community members have a chance to start any business venture. The association began with each member paying 1,000 shillings per week (less than one US dollar per week) in order to build the total savings pool. Members can now borrow up to 250,000 shillings (around 70 US dollars) with a one-time interest rate of 20 percent. They have 30 days to repay the amount borrowed including interest.
For someone like Rhoda, who would normally just be a housewife doing daily domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of her children, with the VSLA, Rhoda can now spend some of her time using her mind in an innovative way in order to make money and better provide for her family and community. Rhoda started her business by borrowing 100,000 shillings (almost 30 US dollars) in order to buy the necessary items to put together her market stall – flour, sweets, soap, bread, and other small items. She paid her loan with the added interest back shortly. She again borrowed 200,000 shillings (almost 60 US dollars) in order to increase her inventory and make even more profit. Rhoda makes 80,000-100,000 shillings per week, which means she is extremely successful based on how much she initially borrowed.
Rhoda is so grateful she was given the chance to start her own business. She has noticed that since her market stall was up and running, her family’s total income increased, making it easier to meet their immediate needs, such as schooling costs, clothing, food, etc. Her children can now have better lives and more opportunities. Rhoda has big plans for the future of her business. She wants to start cultivating rice in the nearby swamps, which would make her even more money and provide her community with a steady food staple.
 
 

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Personal Stories

Norah Aligoyi

Norah Aligoyi- Drop in the Bucket

 
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.”

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Personal Stories

Sarah Awelping

Sarah Awelping Salam Primary School Aweil, South Sudan, Drop in the Bucket, Water Well Drilling, Africa, Water Charity
Sarah Awelping is currently a 19-year-old sixth grader at the Salam Girls’ School in Aweil, South Sudan. When she was 15 years old, she became close with a boy, Garang, from her neighboring village and over time, the two fell in love. They hoped to one day marry, but first, they wanted to focus on school since the war put them so behind in their studies.
Around the same time Sarah and Garang started their relationship, a 60-year-old man, who was already living with four wives, offered Sarah’s parents a large dowry of 100 cows for the girl. Sarah was only 15 years old at the time. She knew that if she was forced to marry the old man her life would consist of a loveless marriage in which her main job would be to provide the man with children until he grew tired of her and took yet another wife. Sarah became so terrified that she ran away with Garang.
In South Sudan, a dowry is one of the few times people can receive a large sum of money, so for the Awelping family, Sarah’s potential dowry was a huge deal. In rural South Sudan, 100 cows signify a great deal of money and for a family living below the poverty line, like the Awelpings, this size of dowry was life changing despite the impact it would have on their daughter’s future. Sarah knew it was her duty, but she also knew she did not love the man. Sarah was aware with how much girls suffer, as they are rendered powerless once they are sold as property to the highest bidder. Unlike marriages of love and trust, these arranged marriages leave wives in unfair, emotionless, and abusive relationships. Sarah says she couldn’t even imagine having to get permission from her husband every time she wanted to leave the house to run errands, since her husband would fear that she’d run away from the unhappy marriage.
Sarah felt so helpless and devastated with the arrangement her parents were making and even though the idea of running away was daunting, she knew it was her only option if she ever wanted to be happy. She understood that her parents could choose to never accept her back into the family, but she just wasn’t able to bear the thought of spending the rest of her life married to a man 45 years older than her who she did not even know, let alone love.
Sarah’s aunt strongly supported her decision and once other community members learned of the situation, they also defended her right to stay with Garang. While Sarah’s parents were initially upset that they lost the dowry, they eventually grew to accept and support her relationship with Garang.
Now, four years later, Sarah is happily married to Garang. She is still in school and dreams of one day becoming a doctor so that she can spend her time helping others. Looking back, Sarah is so thankful she made the decision to run away, because now she is able to choose how she’d like to live her life.

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Personal Stories

Jimmy Apunyu

Jimmy Apunyu
Jimmy Apunyu is a 15-year-old boy in seventh grade at Ating Tuo Primary School in Alebtong, Uganda. He and his older siblings are responsible for collecting the water his family drinks, and that his sisters and mother use for making dinner and washing clothes.
Jimmy’s family live in a village called Oyon Alwevi. It is less than one mile away from their school. But, because of the powerful intense and unsteady dirt roads, the walk to and from school can seem like it takes several hours. One day Jimmy and his sister stopped at a hand-dug well that they passed on their way home from school. It was very hot that day, so, they decided to take a rest. They drank the well water, poured some on their heads to cool off and played around in it. When they were ready to leave they filled up jerry cans with the water so they could bring some home with them.
An hour later, just after they returned home, both Jimmy and his sister started to feel sick. They had strong stomach pains that Jimmy described by saying “It was like my intestines wanted to climb out of my body”. Jimmy knew it was because of the water since it came so soon after they drank it. His sister said that she had been nervous about drinking the water at the time, but she was just too thirsty on the walk home to not stop for water. After a few weeks of feeling ill, Jimmy told the head teacher at his school, “I am sick with stomach worms and need help. Can we get someone to come to our school and help us.” One of the village elders knew the Uganda Program Manager for Drop in the Bucket who arranged for Jimmy and his sister to get medical attention. Two weeks, Drop in the Bucket built a well the Ating Tuo Primary School so that the school could have their own source of clean water well on the premises.
The medicine Jimmy and his sister were given quickly had them feeling better, and now that their school has a well, they won’t ever have to worry about getting sick from unsafe water again. Jimmy hopes to one day become a teacher so he can help other children to improve their lives.

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Personal Stories

Akok Aschai Deng

Akok Aschei Deng
Akok Aschai Deng was forced to move to Khartoum during the war a few years ago. She moved into a new home, started at a different school, had to make new friends and be taught in Arabic, the national language of Sudan, when she was used to school taught in English in South Sudan. It was a challenge to start her education all over again, but Akok was up for it because she loved school so much. Akok learned the new educational system and got really good grades while living in Khartoum. She even made it all the way to secondary school in just a few years. When the war subsided and she was able to return home to Aweil in South Sudan, Akok was welcomed with having to start school all over again, again! Akok was bummed that all her progress would be thrown away, but she held her head high and decided she was ready to start over from fourth grade, which is the grade she currently is in today.
When Akok finishes primary and secondary school, she wants to leave Aweil and go to the best college to study “Development.” She thinks that South Sudan desperately needs to advance and reform its policies so that people can benefit and live better lives. Right now, too many people don’t have clean water, electricity, enough food, and so much more. Akok insists that the most important way South Sudan will develop is through educating the people. According to Akok, South Sudan must start by educating girls “so that girls can feel in control of their lives just like boys already do.” Akok considers education to be the key to opening girls’ minds to new methods of living and feeling. That way, girls get to decide for themselves what makes them happy. These feelings of empowerment will then lead to a more equal society in South Sudan.

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Personal Stories

Nobert Alupo

Nobert Alupo-Drop in the Bucket-testimonials
When Nobert Alupo was just shy of 7 years, her father passed away. Nobert’s whole family was devastated with grief and was unsure of how to support themselves without him. Nobert’s mother took his death the hardest and after only a couple of months, she abandoned her family. As the eldest sister, Nobert was responsible for taking care of her younger sisters who she remembers crying all the time because they were so sad about losing both of their parents.
Since the family was already below the poverty line before Nobert’s dad died, they didn’t have much to go on. The siblings relied on their extended family members, like aunts, uncles, and grandparents to support them. However, no one in their family was well off, so daily necessities like food, clothing, schooling costs, and shelters were a struggle to manage. Luckily Nobert’s aunt was able to pay for the girls’ educations. However, being a girl made an already hard life that much more difficult for Nobert. As she matured, Nobert found attending school to be quite challenging during her menstrual cycle since her aunt couldn’t always afford to send her pads and since at that time, there was no sanitary water near the school. Every month, she would miss out on learning, simply because of her gender. Nobert is so thankful to Drop in the Bucket, who provided a sanitary well at the school. “It has been of help that Drop in the Bucket has protected a well for the school, water has been brought closer and constantly available which has lessened the burden in times of emergencies,” Nobert says.
 

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Kids Personal Stories

Ngor Garang Tong

Ngor-Garang-Tong-South-SudanNgor Garang Tong is a 5th grader at Salva Kiir Primary School, in Aweil Town, which is in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan. His school is one of several in the area where we have recently worked on projects. Ngor has a small afterschool business of shining shoes and said he uses his money to help his mom feed his family of himself and six siblings. He told us he is trying to save more money so he can build his family a safe and secure house. Ngor said he loves school and attends every day, without ever missing. His favorite class is English. Ngor is very focussed on working hard at school and getting the best grades he can. He told us when he grows up he is going to become governor or community leader.

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Personal Stories

Juliette Alum

Juliette Alum is 18 years old and attends Omoro Secondary School, in Alebtong, Uganda. She hopes to be a teacher one day.

Juliette is thankful for her many opportunities, as she realizes that most girls in her culture do not get the chance to attend secondary school. She and many of her classmates stay at the school full-time since their villages are too far away to commute. However, there are no dorms at Omoro Secondary School, so the students sleep in the classrooms and bring food from home to cook.

Before the well, the students were constantly facing the challenge of getting clean water. Seeing the extreme need, several other organizations tried to drill for them and failed to reach water. This happened on four separate attempts. Now that the school finally has clean water, the students are free to focus on their studies. The well water is not just for drinking, the students also use this water for other things such as bathing, cooking, drinking, washing clothes.

The school administrators now expect this school to grow considerably in size because of the water. They even hope to be able to build dorms for the students in the near future.

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