A Drop of Water Making Ripples
The power of CIH lies in the strength and integrity of the connections we are able to make within the school and within the larger communities where we graciously carry out our work. The power of CIH lies in our ability, through the efforts of our volunteers and the support of our donors, to aid in the goodwill of others. James' story - outlined in his personal reflection below - speaks to these qualities. The time Amy first came into my eighth grade class, she was just beginning to connect children in Ghana and the United States. I loved the projects she brought to our class, and they made a lasting impression.
Last year, I was brainstorming where I should focus a project dedicated to combating waterborne disease. In a discussion with a graduate engineering student at Duke, Ghana quickly came up as a viable option. I immediately thought back to my time participating in Children Inspiring Hope as a middle school student. Shortly after the meeting, I emailed Amy, and she immediately told me to come to Ghana. She was leading a group there in March, and I should tag along.
In March, I had the opportunity to see the tangible impact of Children Inspiring Hope on schools in Ho. As we went to CIH’s partner schools, we were greeted by effusive excitement. Teachers consistently mentioned how happy they were to see us and students rushed to meet us. At each school, I enjoyed seeing the work of American students prominently displayed throughout classrooms. As we walked into one classroom, I saw pictures of students from my former school, St. Andrew’s.
In that classroom, I was struck by the fact that CIH has connected Ghanaian and American communities in a durable and meaningful way, and I am a testament of that. CIH can and will inspire other American students to think more critically about the world around them and more frequently about how to help those in need around the world.
This summer, James will be training workers in the Ghanaian villages of Tordzenu and Dorkplorame in the Volta Region to produce biosand filters. Biosand filters are a simple, cheap, and effective filtration technology which can remove 99% of all pathogens from water without electricity. At the cost of just $40, a single biosand filter can provide clean, drinkable water for up to 10 people. This summer, James and his team hope to produce 150 filters to benefit 1,500 people. Read more about this project through the Sand for Life Solutions website.
James' story exemplifies the power of the ripple effect. CIH connections were a vital component to the success of his project. Kelvin did legwork in finding the villages, and meeting to see if they would be interested in greeting him. We arranged for his transportation into Ho, the villages, and Accra. Kelvin found Steven to assist in translating, who is not only familiar with the local dialect, but conversant with water issues. In reflecting on this ripple effect, we are coming to realize that success in working in the developing world is more about assistance in navigating, than it is the success in our own countries with networking.