Water Conservation Challenge

By Caroline Moss

For some, water is available with a quick turn of a faucet, while others have to walk for miles every day to search for and collect water. Access to water is a privilege we often take for granted. Water is an invaluable resource, and easy access to it is a luxury for many people. On average, an American uses about 100 gallons of water per day while average use in sub-Saharan Africa is only two to five gallons of water per day.

  1. Turn off your faucets.

Bathroom faucets run at about 2 gallons of water per minute. What only takes a minute for you will take someone in rural Niger a walk of 3.7 miles per day on average to collect the water necessary for daily life. In your day-to-day, challenge yourself to never leave the faucet running if you’re not using it. Always turn off faucets when shaving or brushing teeth.

  1. Shorten your showers.

Use your phone timer to hold yourself accountable for shorter showers. Aim for 5-minutes or less. A 4-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water! An American taking a 5-minute shower uses more water than a rural African uses for all activities in a day.

  1. Full-loads only!

Only run the washing machine when you have a full load of clothes. Sort clothes by color and challenge yourself to wait to wash until you have a full load. Most high-efficiency washers use 15 to 30 gallons of water to wash clothes. For those in Niger, a washing machine, fishing destination, and drinking water may all be the same place.

  1. Use the dishwasher.

You might be surprised to learn that pre-rinsing your dishes can actually waste more water than dishwasher itself. If you do pre-rise, make sure to save the water for all of your dishes. A dishwasher uses an estimated 9 to 12 gallons of water per wash. Hand-washing dishes uses an estimated 9 to 20 gallons of water.

These are just a couple examples of ways to reduce your water consumption. The facts are interesting, but I challenged myself to take the Wells Bring Hope Seven Gallon Challenge to become more aware of my own water usage. The Challenge is to limit our water usage to seven gallons of water per day, which is a high estimate of how much the average rural African uses in a day.

Some parts of the challenge were easy like turning off the faucet to brush my teeth. Other parts of the challenge were difficult. I timed myself for a five-minute shower (3 gallons per minute) and tried to flush the toilet as few times as possible. It made me recognize that my ordinary routine isn’t ordinary and gave meaning to the facts and statistics above. I invite you to take the 7 Gallon Challenge, so that you can experience for yourself how much water the average rural African uses in a day.

 

SOURCES:

Breyer, Melissa. “36 Eye-Opening Facts about Water.” TreeHugger, Treehugger, 11 Oct. 2018,

https://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/36-eye-opening-facts-about-water.html.

 

Caruso, Bethany. “Women Still Carry Most of the World’s Water.” Quartz, Quartz, 24 July

2017, https://qz.com/1033799/women-still-carry-most-of-the-worlds-water/.

 

Cowan, Shannon. “45 Ways to Conserve Water in the Home and Yard.” Eartheasy Guides &

Articles, https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/45-ways-to-conserve-water-in-the-home-and-yard/.

 

Houzz. “11 Ways To Save Water At Home.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 31 Mar. 2015,

https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/03/31/11-ways-to-save-water-at-home/#71cc586b166c.

 

Shryock, Ricci. “Life on the River Niger.” Niger | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 20 Apr. 2016,

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/04/life-river-niger-160414093402652.html.

 

Watkins, Kevin. “Human Development Report 2006.” Human Development Report 2006, United

Nations Development Program, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/267/hdr06-complete.pdf.

Facts About the Capital of Niger

By Catherine Cheng

Niamey is the capital of Niger. Located next to the Niger River, it is Niger’s largest city. As of 2019, its population is estimated to be 1,251,511.

Source: CIA – CIA World Factbook

How to Pronounce Niger and Niamey

The pronunciation of Niger can be traced back to its colonial roots. Niger was a French colony until it gained its independence on August 3, 1960. Therefore the official language of Niger is French, and its name has a French pronunciation.

The pronunciation of Niger is “nee-ZHER.” The last syllable rhymes with “air.” Click below to listen to the pronunciation of Niger:

 

This video is the pronunciation of Niamey:

 

Population of Niamey

The population of Niamey has exploded in the past century. In 1901, the population was only about 600 people. In 1960, the population was 30,000. In the 1970s and 1980s, drought and famine pushed people from rural areas to the capital. The census in 1988 was 391,876.

Now, the population of Niamey is over one million. It should be noted that the population growth of Niamey is slower compared to rest of Niger even though Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world.

History of Niamey

The 1885 Berlin Conference carved Africa into sections for European countries to colonize. The area now known as Niger fell under French rule. Niamey was a trading area until the French decided to make it a colonial post in the 1890s. Niamey officially became the capital of Niger in 1926.

Education in Niamey

Like many developing countries, access to education in Niger remains an issue . Still, the capital of Niger can boasts several institutions of higher education. Niger’s biggest university, The Abdou Moumouni University, is located in Niamey.

Source : fatima @ Mapillary.com

The Higher Institute of Mining, Industry and Geology is also located in Niamey. It is Niger’s only higher education institution dedicated to training technicians and engineers. Another notable school is the African School for Meteorology and Civil Aviation. This college is dedicated to training students for careers in the aviation industry.

Climate

As a landlocked country with 80% of its area taken up by the Sahara Desert, it comes as no surprise that Niamey’s climate is hot and semi-arid. There is no rainfall between the months of October and April.

Temperatures dip to a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and can reach a high of 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Source : Hedwig in Washington

Things to do in Niamey

Niamey is full of exciting things to do and see. The Grand Mosque of Niamey, built in 1970, is a must-see. The mosque is affiliated with Sunni Islam,a religion which is followed by 81.1% of Niger’s population.

Source : diasUndKompott

The Grand Marche (aka The Niamey Grand Market) is another experience that is unique to Niamey. Located in the center of the city, it is Niamey’s largest market and shopping center. An estimated 20,000 tourists visit the Grand Marche each year.

An aerial view of the Grand Marche in Niamey.

Source: Mab.black

The Musée National Boubou Hama is the national museum of Niger. It draws about 170,000 visitors each year according to a 2013 survey.

Source : Jean Rebiffé

With its rich history and attractions, it is clear that Niamey is one of the top best places to visit in Niger.

 

Water is the First Step

By Caroline Moss

Millions of people live in poverty  due to the lack of available water resources. In developing nations, the task of retrieving water often falls to women and young girls. In rural Sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls may spend upwards of 3 hours per day, retrieving water that is contaminated and unsafe to drink. Having access to clean water has critical health benefits, but it also affords girls the opportunity to stay in school and women the chance to pursue income-generating work.

Women pumping water from a WBH well.

Wells Bring Hope knows that water is simply the first step. In addition to working with every village for 15 years after a well is drilled, WBH is the only safe water cause to provide microfinance training to women in every village where our wells are drilled.

Microfinance training allows women to make valuable use of the time that is freed up when they no longer have to walk for water. A skilled facilitator assists the women in the village in forming a savings group. She then leads the women in weekly training sessions where they learn basic math and economic skills.  This microfinance training a transformative step in the lives of women whose villages have received wells.

When girls no longer have to walk for water, they remain in school. Less than 20% of Nigerien women are literate and only 8% of women attend a secondary school. In addition, families are often forced to decide who to send to school, leaving girls behind while boys pursue their education. Just a year of secondary schooling can account for a 25% increase in a woman’s earnings later in life, and an educated mother is more likely to send her daughters to school, creating an empowered future generation and lasting economic development.

A group of women participating in a savings group.

Wells Bring Hope knows that having easy access to clean water not only saves lives, it gives women and girls freedom. Access to water means that girls are free to pursue their education, and women are free to find income-generating work that helps them provide for their families. When you donate to Wells Bring Hope, you’re not just giving a community life-saving access to clean water, you’re empowering women to transform their own lives.

 

Bourne, Jo. “Why Educating Girls Makes Economic Sense.” Why Educating Girls Makes Economic Sense | Global Partnership for Education, Global Partnership for Education, 6 Mar. 2014.

Corwin, Amelia. “Empowering Women through Water.” The Female Quotient, The Female Quotient, 6 Sept. 2019

Filipovic, Jill. “How Do You Get Girls to School in the Least Educated Country on Earth?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 15 May 2017

Hallett, Vicky. “Millions Of Women Take A Long Walk With A 40-Pound Water Can.” NPR, NPR, 7 July 2016.

Review of Niger’s Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals

by Michelle Nelson von Euw

As the five-year anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda approaches, many nations are beginning to assess whether and how they are achieving these targets and indicators set by the United Nations. To summarize, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a collection of 17 international development objectives set by the United Nation’s General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The development problems addressed by the 17 SDGs range from improving general well-being, education, and clean water practices to combating poverty, hunger, and detrimental climate change. The 17 SDGs are monitored by 169 targets. Within each target exists one to three indicators, which are used to monitor success and evaluate whether the targets are  met. The ultimate goal of the SDGs, as outlined, is universal progress toward a more equitable and sustainable world.

Source : The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Last year, the United Nations released a Voluntary National Review on their SDG Knowledge Platform outlining Niger’s progress within the SDG framework as well as a commitment from the country to submit an additional report in 2020. The report focused specifically on the programs that have either already spurred progress toward the SDGs or were recently implemented. At the core of Niger’s success is the Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES) 2017-2021, which focuses on 43 of the 169 targets and 66 of the 232 indicators outlined in the SDGs. This program was designed with the goal of creating a well-governed country built on equality and a sustainable economy. Through  this program, access to water and sanitation services has improved on a national level, moving the country closer to accomplishing SDG 6: Clean Water. Unfortunately, however, there is still a disparity between urban and rural areas in the use of basic sanitation services. With the continued support of government programs, the Republic of Niger hopes to rectify this by their next reporting period of 2020.

The PDES outlined improvements for two of the SDGs. For SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, the PDES suggested improving living conditions for urban populations through strengthening waste management and counter-pollution programs. For SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, the PDES recommend adopting a decade long framework dedicated to cultivating a culture of responsible consumption of resources and energy. This framework also ensures that any waste resulting from these consumption or production processes is minimal. In an effort to reach more targets and indicators for SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, Niger adopted a National Renewable Energy Action Plan which aims to reduce the use of biomass as a central energy source and to shift to clean fuels and technologies.

While there is still a great deal of improvement to be made before the 2030 deadline of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Republic of Niger has made great strides toward creating a more sustainable environment for its citizens through the effective use of government programs. The Voluntary National Review 2020, when released, will indicate just how successful these programs have been.

References:

“Niger .:. Voluntary National Review 2018.” United Nations – Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, United Nations,

“Social and Economic Development Plan.” Niger Renaissance Conference,

“Sustainable Development Goals .:. .” United Nations – Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, United Nations,

2019 Successes

As we start to think about the holidays and the end of the year, we thought we’d share photos of just a few of the wells that you made possible in 2019.

On behalf of the people of Niger, thank you. Nagode!


Linlingou

Completed February 7, 2019
Serves 300 people
Funded by Noosh Brands


Ouroutchale

Completed March 16, 2019
Serves 566 people
Funded by five individual donors


Alfaga Koira

Completed March 20, 2019
Serves 389 people
Funded by Katelynn’s Water Circle


Kourfadje

Completed May 1, 2019
Serves 747 people
Funded by Bliss Car Wash


Harikouka School

Completed April 30, 2019
Serves 182 people
Funded by Stanley Black


Tchamangal

Completed May 3, 2019
Serves 388 people
Funded by 14 individual donors


Dan Madatchi

Completed July 12, 2019
Serves 810 people
Funded by the Million Dollar Round Table and 14 individual donors


Anabouta 2

Completed September 23, 2019
Serves 267 people
Funded in memory of Cely Arndt


Anabouta 3

Completed September 23, 2019
Serves 267 people
Funded by the Wells Bring Hope Club at Chadwick School


Garin Maizouma

Completed September 23, 2019
Serves 319 people
Funded by  Bliss Car Wash

The Magic Tree

By Elsa Sichrovsky

In a country like Niger that is three-quarters desert[1] and has an eight-month dry season[2], drought is a constant threat. With extremely limited natural resources, aggressive grazing and farming practices take an enormous toll on the environment. Add a rapidly growing population and a strained ecosystem, and the result is food and water shortages. In the 1980s and 1990s, with the help of foreign NGOs, Niger’s government strove to alleviate the crisis with massive tree-planting programs, but sadly less than 20% of planted trees survived due to poor execution of the program. Locals were not involved or educated about the importance of reforestation, so most of the trees were cut down for firewood or to feed animals.

However, one reforestation technique has proved massively successful, resulting in 200 million new trees in just a few decades. No international organizations funded this project, rather, it is headed by local farmers. What’s more, it does not involve planting trees. It involves protecting trees.

A few decades back, Nigerien farmers noticed that crops planted under the Gao tree (winter thorn) yielded were four times more productive than those planted on fields without Gao trees. Unlike most other trees, the Gao tree loses its leaves before the rainy season and grows them during the dry season.  The Gao tree’s leaves drop and fertilize the ground just before planting season, making the soil beneath the tree so full of nutrients that additional enrichment is not necessary. The Gao tree’s massive root system draws nitrogen from the air into the soil, naturally fertilizing crops sown near the tree.

Source – Roger Culos

The Gao tree isn’t just important to the men who farm for their families,but also to the women who make medicine with Gao tree bark that they sell to neighboring villages. This additional income is put into the village women’s joint fund. Gao tree pods make nutritious animal feed, and fallen branches are used for firewood. In areas where Gao trees abound, women and children are saved from  walking many kilometers to find animal fodder and fuel for their families.

Because of all the uses of the Gao tree, villagers came to see the trees as a community resource that they needed to protect and nurture. In some areas, locals have organized patrols to protect the Gao trees from neighboring farmers or those seeking to cut trees for firewood[3]. In one village, a person caught cutting a Gao tree must be brought before the chief to explain his or her actions. If caught again, he/she will be fined[4]. In areas densely populated with Gao trees, World Agroforestry Centre scientists have observed that local farmers protect Gao trees by pruning the shoots and building thorn fences around saplings during the grazing season.

Niger’s success with protecting the Gao tree has attracted farmers from Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria to come to Niger to learn natural regeneration techniques–and has put Niger in newspaper headlines for positive reasons, which is a rare  occurrence for this struggling nation. Abasse Tougiani of Niger’s National Institute of Agricultural Research sums it up: “It’s a magic tree, a very wonderful tree.”

By helping Wells Bring Hope, you can bring some “magic” to Niger, too. Wells Bring Hope is the only safe water cause that provides women with microfinance training and continues working to educate and train villagers for 15 years after a well is drilled. Farmers are trained in water-conserving drip farming techniques[5]. Every well that Wells Bring Hope drills is a gift that keeps on giving.

[1] http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sites/default/files/Niger%20booklet%20-%20Prepublication%20version_2.pdf

[2] https://www.voanews.com/africa/nigers-farmers-and-cattle-ranchers-nurture-giving-tree

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/16/regreening-niger-how-magical-gaos-transformed-land

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/16/regreening-niger-how-magical-gaos-transformed-land

[5] https://wellsbringhope.org/what-we-do/

The Women Revolutionizing Music in Niger

By Caroline Moss

Every culture enjoys music regardless of its purpose. Whether it’s a tradition, used to sooth a child, or to tell a story, music is a part of our lives no matter where we live. Culture shapes music, and music undoubtedly influences culture. Music offers an outsider insight into unfamiliar cultures and into the lives and emotions of people they’ll never meet.

A group of women, within the Tuareg society, are revolutionizing Niger’s traditional village music. The Tuareg are a group of nomadic people living throughout the Sahara. The society is known for it’s style of traditional folk music called Tende, in which a guitar and a goatskin drum are played. Tende music is characterized by the drum, the style of playing and the events during which it is played. Tende music is often played by women and typically performed at ceremonies and festivals. It also serves as a activity for evening entertainment.

Source : Direct Relief

Connecting the world of tende music to the modern world is a woman named Fatou Seidi Ghali. In her small village of Illighadad in central Niger, Ghali secretly taught herself  to play the guitar. With her cousin, she formed the group Les Filles de IIllighadad, which translates to The Girls of Illighadad. In Niger, the guitar is typically played by men who used it to replace female vocalists when performing tende. Ghali is one of only two known female Nigerien guitarists.

With gender norms informing music throughout Niger, Ghali is breaking new ground as a leading female guitarist. Her group is not only reclaiming the importance of the Tuareg guitar, but also empowering women to innovate their traditional music and create an entirely new genre of music. Les Filles mostly performs folk songs that they grew up with and adapted to be played with the traditional tende drum and the acoustic guitar. In 2016, the duo released a six-song self-titled LP recorded by Sahel Sounds,which featured the group in their hometown to transport the once rural sounds to the world in 21st century. In 2017, the group toured Europe to celebrate their talents and inspire other women.

Ghali invested her earnings in cattle for her family to show women the power of music and what it has made possible for her and her family.  Currently, Ghali might be only one of a few women guitarists in Niger, but she is helping to bring attention to her village and paving the way forward for other women.

Listen to  Les Filles de Illighadad here.

 

CITATIONS –

Beyond, Strange Sounds From. “Les Filles De Illighadad: Daughters of the Desert.” STRANGE SOUNDS FROM BEYOND

“Eghass Malan, by Les Filles De Illighadad.” Les Filles De Illighadad, 28 Oct. 2017

Hird, Alison. “World Music Matters – Les Filles De Illighadad Strum out a Unique Tuareg Sound.” RFI, RFI, 13 July 2017

“How Les Filles De Illighadad Is Revolutionizing Traditional Tuareg Music.” She Shreds Magazine, 4 July 2019

 

Littattafan Soyayya: The Love Stories Hausa Women are Telling

By Elsa Sichrovsky

Almost half of Niger’s population belongs to the Hausa ethnic group, so Hausa language and culture are essential to Niger’s ethnic melting pot. In recent years, a new and exciting genre of Hausa literature has been changing the lives of women in Niger and northern Nigeria. This new literary movement originated in Kano, Nigeria and is driven entirely by novels written by women. These novels are known as Kano Market Literature because they are sold as affordable 18-20 page pamphlets in the marketplace. In Hausa, they are called littattafan soyayya (romance literature), since many of the early novels portray romantic love affairs. Written by single women, wives and mothers, these novels fearlessly tackle issues like extramarital romance, polygamy, child marriage, divorce and sexual abuse[1]. Despite strict governmental censorship and social stigma against female writers, Kano Market Literature has become a major channel through which women can tell their stories.

During the 1990s, littattafan soyayya writers came under fire for depicting sexual relationships outside of marriage, which some believed would promote sexual immorality. In 2001, a censorship board was established to screen out potentially offensive content. A dark moment for littattafan soyayya writers came in 2007 when the then-governor of Kano publicly burned littattafan soyayya novels as being “pornographic”[2]. With time, the government has relaxed its censorship and now Hausa writers are free to express themselves in the romance genre. They now enjoy greater social respect and are invited to give lectures in universities[3].

Source – Technology and social change

Nigerian author Balaraba Ramat Yakub is the leading author of the littattafan soyayya genre, and the English translation of her novel Alhaki Kuykuyo Ne…(Sin Is a Puppy That Follows You Home) introduced Hausa female literature to the English-speaking world. Her novel describes the oppression and abuse suffered by Rabi, a woman married to a man who visits prostitutes while barely giving her enough money to feed their nine children. The novel was turned into a film and Balaraba Ramat Yakub has engaged in several successful film ventures[4].

Despite these success, littattafan soyayya writers still face numerous challenges in sharing their stories beyond the French-speaking world. Very few Hausa novels have been translated into English, and even fewer are available on the internet[5]. Within Nigeria and Niger, littattafan soyayya has unfortunately been stereotyped as cheap pulp fiction that merely centers on girlish romances, leading to its disappearance from respectable journals and the national press. However, a ray of hope was seen last year in BBC’s Hausa Short Story Writing Contest for Women, which brought Hausa female writers into the international spotlight[6].

Acting editor of the BBC Hausa Service, Jim Saleh noted that “women in Africa have been known to be great custodians of folklore and gifted moonlight story telling[7]”. There are so many extraordinary and remarkable women in Niger, but in a country with 11.04% literacy rate among women[8], no doubt many stories have been left untold. By drilling wells and freeing women to pursue education, Wells Bring Hope is making it possible for more Nigerien women to share their stories. Become a part of that mission! Let your friends know about Wells Bring Hope by sharing on social media, or volunteering if you can.

 

[1] https://www.wired.com/2016/02/glenna-gordon-diagram-heart/

[2]https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/katebubacz/meet-the-women-behind-nigerias-most-subversive-novellas

[3] https://www.wired.com/2016/02/glenna-gordon-diagram-heart/

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaraba_Ramat_Yakubu

[5] https://www.blueprint.ng/towards-reviving-comatose-kano-market-literature/

[6] https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2018/safiyya-jibril-bbc-hausa

[7] https://www.blueprint.ng/towards-reviving-comatose-kano-market-literature/

[8] https://countrymeters.info/en/Niger#literacy

International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028

by Michelle Nelson von Euw

“Access to water and sanitation is a precondition to life and a declared human right.” – United Nations

As evidenced by the frequency with which it appears in the Sustainable Development Goals, access to clean, well-managed water, for both consumption and sanitation, is vital for human development. Any level of water scarcity creates a major threat to health and nutrition. It is also a major impediment to social change, particularly around issues of gender equity. Water is at the center of sustainable development. As of 2018, 40% of the world’s population suffers from some form of water scarcity, be it for drinking or for cleaning. This dramatic deficit is the result of a number of factors, including expanding populations, climate change, and natural disasters. The World Economic Forum, which ranks global risks, listed water crisis in the top three for third consecutive year.

Due to the urgency of this issue, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period from 2018 to 2028 the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development. This is a necessary step to ensure that all UN member states achieve the ambitious goals set in the 2030 agenda  for increasing access to safe water. Through this program, all UN members are encouraged to respond to the water crisis as efficiently and effectively as possible, and to make a concerted effort  to reach the collective goal of eradicating water scarcity around the world. Goals for this decade, which concludes on World Water Day 22 March 2028, have been built on the achievements of the previous “Water for Life” decade which took place from 2005 to 2015.

Source : Orazgeldiyew

The “Water for Life” decade was considered successful by many as it focused the attention of the international community on the water crisis, and made improvements seem attainable. Prior to this decade, the water crisis was complicated by technical discussions that did a poor job of outlining how water is related to other areas of development. The focus on “Water for Life” sparked conversations which made clear that water-related issues had to be on the political agenda, both locally and internationally. Further, the decade put mechanisms in place that created specific plans for the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of water-related objectives. The improved coordination on water policy paved the way for the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development.

The resolution for 2018-2028, as stated by the UN, outlines goals that focused on:

  • the management of water systems that support environmental, social, and economic objectives;
  • the execution and promotion of water-related projects and programs;
  • the advancement of cooperative partnerships with the goal of achieving the water-related targets and goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The new decade, which underlines the importance of intergovernmental coordination, includes a  number of country-level implementation mechanisms that support action at every level (private, social, NGOs, and governments). Using the knowledge gathered through the “Water for Life” decade on the various dimensions of inequality related to the distribution of basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services, the International Decade of 2018-2028 is working to achieve equality in areas related to wealth and gender in order to support successful improvements in water accessibility for everyone.

 

References:

“2018-2028 International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” UNESCO – Brazil, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/brasilia/about-this-office/prizes-and-celebrations/2018-2028-international-decade-for-action-water-for-sustainable-development/.

“International Decade for Action, Water for Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/en/events/waterdecade/background.shtml.

A Ten Year Story – The Water for Life Decade 2005-2015 and Beyond. United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action, 2016, pp. 64–87.

“Water Action Decade .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” United Nations, United Nations, sustainabledevelopment.un.org/wateractiondecade.

“The World Water Development Report.” International Decade for Action, 27 Feb. 2018, wateractiondecade.org/2017/12/15/the-world-water-development-report/.

Our 11th Annual Fundraiser is a Fabulous ’50s Bash

On Sunday, September 22rd, philanthropist, Stanley Black welcomed Wells Bring Hope back to his home for the sixth year in a row for its 11th Annual Fundraiser where we raised enough money to fund 35 wells! It was a Fabulous ‘50s Bash and many guests celebrated the theme with poodle skirts, bobby socks, and other hints of the era.

Guests nibbled on delicious food from TGIS Catering and sipped wine donated by Le Vigne Winery. Guests also enjoyed the “Pink Poodle,” a refreshing vodka drink topped off with fresh strawberry puree and mint, while the Wonderelles kept everyone entertained.

While everyone mixed and mingled, the capable volunteers enticed guests to bid in the silent auction.  This year we offered exciting gift certificates to some of LA’s best restaurants including Nobu Malibu, Cassia, and AOC. Getaways to resorts in Santa Fe, Santa Barbara, and Scottsdale as well as more urban escapes in New York City also got lots of bidding. Thanks to everyone who bid and made the auction lively and fun!

At the close of the silent auction, guests moved to the back lawn where they were welcomed by Founder and President, Barbara Goldberg. She began by acknowledging the generous WBH’s corporate and event sponsors and partners who made the fundraiser possible. Those partners included Bliss Car Wash and its owner/founder, David Delrahim. We were also delighted to have the support of first time sponsor, American Business Bank as well as returning sponsors City National Bank, Noosh Brands, Merrill Lynch, Avitas Wealth Management, and Self Love Cosmetics.

The presentations featured a new video produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Mellissa Tong of DuckPunk Productions with narration by Sahlima, a long-time supporter of Wells Bring Hope who was born in Niger. Guests were very moved by powerful images and the story that was told.

This year, WBH was proud to honor its long-time supporters, Marsha and Mark Hierbaum who have been matching donors for the past five years. Gil Garcetti presented the Hierbaums with an award in recognition of their ongoing generosity and support for Wells Bring Hope.

Grant Snyder, auctioneer extraordinaire, took the stage for the seventh year in a row, helping us raise lots of money for wells.  He auctioned off exciting trips to Bali, Santa Barbara, and Santa Fe. For the seventh year in a row, Turkish Airlines generously donated two business class tickets to any of their European destinations.

We were fortunate to have three matching donors, Marsha and Mark Hierbaum who contributed $50,000 in matching funds for Raise the Paddle, the Waters Foundation, which contributed $15,000, and the Margaret M. Bloomfield Foundation, which contributed $7,500 in matching funds.

Thank you to all who came to support Wells Bring Hope’s effort to save lives with safe water! Thanks to our generous donors, capable volunteers, and especially to our event planner, Peggy Kelley of Timeless Celebrations who made the event a tremendous success! Thanks to this incredible team effort, 35 more villages in Niger will experience the transformative power of a safe water well.

To view and download all of these photos and more, please check out the album on the Wells Bring Hope Facebook page. Photographer Tatsu Ikeda was with us once again, and we are so grateful to him for his incredible photography, which will help us to memorialize the event.