This past year Greta Thunberg woke up the world with the proclamation “Your house is burning!” Greta and other young activists have put us on alert that we must “unite behind the science” and do something about climate change right now.
Students in our Wells of Love schools around the world have been studying the science and taking action. For the past 12 years, they’ve implemented individual and school-wide fundraisers that has raised over $500,000 to curtail the effects of climate change on people living in the Azawak region of West Africa.
The populations of the Azawak, in Niger and Mali, are the unheard victims of the climate crisis. Desertification has ravaged this once lush pastureland, the ancestral home to a half million Tuareg and Fulani nomads. The rainy season, previously five months long, now lasts only 1 to 2 months. Water scarcity makes it impossible for any kind of economy to exist.
Without water and pasture, animal herds have been decimated. People have settled into villages where it is impossible to grow food. Fathers, struggling to support their family, roam the plains seeking water and pasture for their remaining animals. Mothers migrate to neighboring countries desperate to earn a little money. Children cannot attend school because they spend all their time searching for water, or caring for younger siblings. Climate change is a daily reality threatening their survival.
Students in our Wells of Love program have stepped in to mitigate the repercussions of climate change for the populations of the Azawak. Amman Imman starts by using the funds students raise to build sustainable sources of water that galvanize the development of a community. Five boreholes have been constructed in Niger since 2006. As a result of the actions of our student partners:
- Over 40,000 people have access to year-round water.
- 100,000 people have access to water during the dry season.
- 15,000 benefit from health services and health education that includes family planning.
- School attendance in our villages, especially among girls, has increased.
- Literacy programs benefit men and women.
- Community gardens provide vegetables; malnutrition among children has decreased.
- Trees have been planted to reforest the land.
- Herds are being re-established through women’s livestock programs.
- Artisan cooperatives have provided materials and training for women.
- And more…
Right now our students are uniting to help Amman Imman build the “Water is Education” borehole. This multi-village solar-powered well will bring water to 15,000 people year round, 40,000 people during the dry season, and make it possible for as many as 5,000 children to attend school. Once water becomes available, Amman Imman can bring our health program and other activities to support the development of the community.
Will you help us raise the necessary funds?