A Gift of Life
The Chwele Community Development Project infrastructure includes two elementary schools (Chwele Girls’ Primary school and Namwela Boys’ Primary School) and two high schools (Chwele Girls’ High School and Namwela Boys’ High School). The high schools are boarding schools.
This project was made possible from a single $12,000 donation in 2007 by Mr. Lyman Frick and his wife Jane Frick from Missouri through the efforts of the sister school relationship between West Linn High School and Namwela Secondary School at Chwele village in Kenya. The sister school relationship was coordinated by Harambee Centre, a non-profit organization co-founded by Grace Kuto and Jackie Goldrick in 2001 to connect people in the Pacific NW region to the people and cultures of Africa.
- Sister relationship was inspired by Global Awareness Take Action (GATA) club at West Linn H.S. after attending a speaking presentation by Bono in Portland, OR. in 2004-2005.
- Their inspirational advising teacher was Mr. David Frick
- By 2005, the students had raised enough funds to visit their sister school in Kenya for a cultural exchange opportunity but due to factors beyond their control, the trip was cancelled.
- After exploring Africa through their Africa Is Not a Country Curriculum, in 2006-2007, the students decided to use the funding to invite 4 students and two teachers from Namwela High School who attended West Linn High School for 6 weeks
- This cultural exchange experience changed the face of a very affluent West Linn community who felt they were literally touching the face of Africa.
- The bore hole at Chwele is a consistent supply of clean water to prevent water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera, thus saving thousands of lives every year.
- However, for security reasons, access to this water is still confined to about 1000 students only when there is enough capacity to serve more than 15,000 people on a daily basis. Therefore the Chwele community at large still deals with many water-borne diseases that can be prevented if they had access to this oasis of massive clean water.
- $20,000 will provide a clean drinking water distribution system to serve at least 15,000 people of Chwele village including the community centre which now is now hosting many guests with no ready access to water. A large water tank is needed to collect the pumped water which can then be distributed to different water points in the wider community to give access to the immediate community surrounding the school compounds.
- Improved public health translates into community development, empowerment, and sustainability.
- 40 billion hours per year are walked by women all over Africa to fetch water which is often contaminated (UNICEF)
- 80% diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa are related to unclean water (UNAIDS)