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SUMMER

 

2011

 

NEWSLETTER

 

NEWS & UPDATES

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FROM OUR PRESIDENT

 

The first half of 2011 has been a busy and hard-working time for ClearWater. We have completed construction of several water projects and training for the next “round” of projects in northern Uganda, providing access to clean water for approximately 2,000 villagers. We are also thrilled that our efforts to educate people of all ages, at schools and organizations in the U.S. as well as abroad, have gained such momentum. These programs are an important part of ClearWater’s mission and are the seeds from which will grow our future leaders.

 

We are particularly happy to see so many young students learning about the benefits of clean water and the difficulties of living without access to potable supplies. But our outreach efforts are not just about clean water. Through our programs, students also learn the positive impact they can achieve by being socially aware and proactive, responsible citizens. We encourage students to value respect, compassion, and empathy, as well as develop a commitment to their community and themselves. We are proud that students are hearing and understanding our message.

 

In turn, these students have demonstrated incredible support for ClearWater and infinite capacity to do good work. From holding school luaus to recycling bottles to donating their allowances, students have raised thousands of dollars for ClearWater’s programs, directly enabling access to clean water for hundreds of families. We are amazed by the creativity, determination and commitment these students have shown, and we are personally inspired and touched by their actions. They allow us to do what we do very well – providing clean water to people in need.

 

Sincerely,

 

Laura Sklaver, President


UGANDA UPDATE

 

Over the past several months, our Uganda staff and volunteers have been ramping up our work in several areas. We have completed four projects and led numerous community trainings. Our trainers, Juliet Aneno and Felix Oneka, do more than just train, they develop innovative ways to educate and motivate community members.

 

In Amia Village, we established a shallow well and a protected spring that services over 500 community members. We constructed a shallow well in Oleogai Village which will benefit over 800 people. In addition, after several site assessments, we repaired existing boreholes in Abako Trading Center and Obupyen Village, providing clean water to over 1,000 individuals. Our team has also held refresher community trainings at several 2007 and 2008 project sites to increase health awareness and renew our commitment in the villages.

 

With so much need, we try to prioritize project locations based on current sanitation conditions and community commitment. Obupyen Village was so eager to work alongside our team that they committed to digging pit latrines for each household, which improves sanitation and protects the community’s water source. Clearwater supplied the construction materials for the latrines while the villagers dug holes more than 15 feet deep. Now Obupyen can not only meet and sustain its long-term water  needs, but also its hygiene needs as well.


We are one of the few organizations in northern Uganda to establish a field base for operations. From this base, we educate and train communities and monitor ongoing project construction, and we return to older projects to identify training and water management needs. The office allows our community trainers to live in solidarity with villagers to strengthen social bonds. It reduces travel and fuel costs, and demonstrates our commitment to implementing sustainable projects.


EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

 

2011 has been incredibly busy for ClearWater’s Education and Outreach department. From celebrating World Water Day with Glastonbury High School to school assemblies in Japan, ClearWater’s reach has expanded significantly. We are proud to be reaching a diverse audience!

 

• At Jeffery Elementary School in Madison, CT, Education Director Beth Segaloff led a talk discussing life in Uganda, the value of water and the importance of giving back. The students then raised 89 pounds of coins – over $1,000! – for ClearWater’s projects with a school luau.

 

• At Blind Brook Elementary School in Rue Brook, NY, Beth and ClearWater volunteers Lisa Krouskoff and Amy Blumstein talked about the importance of clean water and giving back to communities in need. The students were enthusiastic about learning about life in Uganda and generously presented a check for $300, raised by recycling bottles.

 

• At Friends Seminary in New York, NY, Beth and ClearWater volunteers Michelle Brock and Lissa Moses talked about ClearWater’s projects with 40 high-school juniors, teachers and parents. The students at Friends have been dedicated supporters of ClearWater for over two years now, raising significant funds as well as awareness of ClearWater’s work.

 

• At Temple Israel in Westport, CT, Beth and her son Danny met with the “tzdaka in action” class to connect ClearWater’s mission and the Jewish concept of “repairing the world”. The students are now planning a swim-a-thon to raise funds for ClearWater’s projects. 

 

• At The Unitarian Society of New Haven, Gary Sklaver and Beth celebrated Earth Day with over 20 children. Beth presented photos of life in Uganda and worked with the students to imagine a life different from their own. The students committed to raising funds through a community-wide bottle drive.

 

• In Japan, ClearWater intern Yoav Hilman spoke to over 300 students and parents at Makiko Nakayama's CheeRing School, discussing the challenge of accessing clean water in northern Uganda. The students had raised money for ClearWater as part of the school's "Cheering the World" project and presented the organization with a generous contribution.

 

Read about more education events at http://www.clearwaterinitiative.org/education.php


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FUNDRAISER SPOTLIGHT

 

The young students at St. Rita School in Hamden, CT, have amazed us with their generosity and dedication to ClearWater’s work! After learning of ClearWater and hearing Ben Sklaver’s story, the students chose to raise funds for ClearWater during Lent. By making various sacrifices, the students and school community collected $5,500 in just a few short weeks.

 

Following Lent, Laura Skaver attended a school celebration where students carried the American flag in Ben’s honor, sang, and read personal letters written to her about Ben. Praising the students on their terrific efforts, Laura told them that with their donation, they have “changed the lives of hundreds and hundreds forever. I can’t begin to express how grateful and proud I am.”


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

 

Orach Godfrey Otobi "The Man" is ClearWater's senior advisor in Uganda and a 2010 graduate of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. While at the Fletcher School, Otobi heard of ClearWater and Ben Sklaver. Upon graduating from the Fletcher School, Otobi returned to Uganda and began advising ClearWater on all aspects of our operations, from program strategies to liaising with government official and departments in Kampala. He additionally serves as our representative for high-level meetings to articulate ClearWater’s initiatives.

 

Otobi finds the work rewarding and states, "I volunteer with ClearWater because the philosophy and ideals are appealing to my concept of sustainable community development and the fact that northern Uganda faces severe impediments to access to clean and safe water." He is now developing ClearWater’s monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure that donor funds are making a lasting impact. He is an invaluable member of ClearWater and is part of our success.


SUPPORT OUR WORK

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GET INVOLVED

Want to do more than read about ClearWater’s efforts to provide clean water to populations in need?

 

Whether you can hold a fundraiser – even a bake sale or car wash – or donate professional skills such as accounting, social media or lesson plan development, there are many ways to get involved.

 

For more information, please go to www.clearwaterinitiative.org/get-involved.php.

 


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