Kleyne & Goldberg Credit New Wells with Easing Water Crisis in Africa. Kleyne & Goldberg Say Women Make New Africa Wells Possible.
Guest: Barbara Goldberg, Founder—Wells Bring Hope http://www.wellsbringhope.org
Barbara Goldberg is an international water and human rights activist who has never been content to sit back and not act on her beliefs. Coming from a background as a successful marketing consultant for a Fortune 500 company, she shifted her focus in 1993 to the needs of women. Goldberg created a salon and began bringing together groups of women at her home. At one of these salons, a guest speaker described how many women in Africa had to walk as much as 10 miles every day just to fetch water. They would then bring the water back to the village by balancing heavy cisterns on their heads. Goldberg and other salon members discussed whether or not this was a cause they might want to support, and in 2003 they created the non-profit organization, Wells Bring Hope.
Sharon Kleyne, also an international water researcher, rights activist and host of the nationally syndicated radio program The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on VoiceAmerica sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, became intrigued by Goldberg’s efforts and recently invited her on the program to discuss the surprising impact of community water wells in Third World rural villages.
Goldberg eagerly shared her story of how the salon would organize 25 women in a rural African village based on the centuries-old Tontin model of community collaboration. Each African woman would contribute whatever they could to a mutual fund–$5.00, $10.00—and Goldberg and visiting salon members would mentor them on managing funds and teaching them best business practices. Kleyne, herself a globally respected educator, wondered if the fiscal lessons sank in. Goldberg described how, after a year or so, village women could apply for a micro-loan. This model of participation and organization was successfully established in many villages.
Yet, organizing and learning how to manage funds wasn’t the end of it, Goldberg pointed out. Partnering with World Vision, Wells Bring Hope drilled wells in each village and returned every month for fifteen years to make sure they were being properly maintained. “New wells are great,” said Goldberg, “but sustainability is essential.” There were other important steps as well. “Putting in a well is the easy part,” said Goldberg. “What is critical is teaching villagers to use latrines and learn about sanitation. We worked to teach villagers to wash their children’s faces several times a day.”
Kleyne, the founder and director of Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life Science®, noted that conjunctivitis is a major cause of blindness among children in rural Africa and that regular face-washing can almost eliminate that threat. Kleyne also pointed out that disease and other illness can be greatly reduced by access to a limitless supply of fresh, pure water.
An additional positive byproduct of the new wells is the rise of new schools and their accessibility to girls. Before the wells, girls could not attend school because they had to spend their entire day hiking to collect water and bring it back to their village. “A water well is empowering to an entire village, especially to women and girls,” said Goldberg, who urged listeners to visit http://www.wellsbringhope.org to learn more about the work of Wells Bring Hope and World Vision. “Water is the number one issue in the world,” said Goldberg, a fact that Kleyne has been teaching for years around the world.
We hope that you found this article useful and helpful regarding water use and health. If you would like to contact us with questions or your own insights and stories about water use and new water technology, you can do so at Sharon@biologicaquaresearch.com 800-367-6478 ~ Fax 541-474-2123 http://www.naturestears.com or on Twitter at @sharonkleynehr We would love to hear from you.
You can also listen to this radio program with guest Barbara Goldberg at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/81302/the-sharon-kleyne-hour-monday-october-27-2014