In January 2007, I met Rev. Trevor Stevenson, CEO of Fields of Life, at a hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The meeting took place to introduce a donor who was willing to fund the drilling of a number of water wells. Our meeting discussed expanding the work of Fields of Life to providing clean water as an integral part of the work they do in East Africa. This donor made a large anonymous donation and what emerged from this meeting changed my life and can change yours, too. Having worked with Fields of Life since 2005, I knew firsthand the dedication of the organization and the great success it had in providing over 100 communities with new school buildings. The gift of education is very close to my heart having once been a grade school teacher in Dublin, Ireland.
In November 2008, I finally undertook a trip I had waited my whole life to take. The main purpose of the trip was to visit the three schools (Tom & Margaret Carroll School, David & Mary Young School & The Paul Devlin Academy) we had helped create and at the end of this journey I would lay the foundation stone of our fourth school. A school of great significance to my family and me, this fourth school would bear the name of my late sister, Joan Jordan.
This trip turned out very differently from anything I could have imagined. What I saw affected me deeply. I saw poverty in a scale I had never witnessed before. I saw women hauling water often for miles to keep their families alive. I saw children sick and dying from drinking unclean water. What I saw both angered and deeply upset me. I saw death firsthand that was preventable – this filled me in equal measure with anger and with compassion.
My heart was moved to do something about the problems caused by lack of clean drinking water. It became very clear to me that clean water was the main answer to attacking and defeating the scourge of poverty.
Before I left Kampala, I made a firm commitment to devoting the rest of my life to providing clean water to one million (1,000,000) people in Uganda. Wells of Life was founded on the soil where so many suffer for lack of what we so easily take for granted. As I flew back from Africa in 2008, I had written the goals and vision for Wells of Life. Working alongside our collaborative partner organization Fields of Life, we are able to bring the gift of clean water to rural communities by joining together people, organizations and families – together we can change the world one well at a time. Every drop matters and every second counts. Please join us in this lifesaving work.