CLICK HERE FOR THE UGANDAN TRIP BLOG - and check the 'related links' at left for the full story of the mission in Africa.
All through this school year, students at Cleveland's Stokes Central Academy have been working to help children without fresh drinking water in Uganda.
Now as school lets out for summer, one of their teachers will be part of a group traveling to the east African nation to further the cause.
Middle school teacher Teddy Nantambimwonyonyi (students use Mwonyonyi), a native Ugandan, will return to her homeland with a film crew, and Erin Huber, the director of Northeast Ohio based 'Drink Local. Drink Tap.,' a grass-roots fresh water sustainability organization.
The trip is the next step in an effort to build a drinking water well for the 700 children who attend the St. Charles School in the arid Luwero district of central Uganda, just north of the equator.
According to Ms. Mwonyonyi, the students at St. Charles School must currently walk up to 4 miles to access fresh water--often carrying heavy containers to the school before classes begin. Many of the children are orphans of AIDS or war as well.
Ms. Mwonyonyi's students have been in contact with their counterparts in Uganda throughout the school year, exchanging cultural information and sharing their experiences regarding fresh water.
Huber said the estimated cost of digging a well to serve the St. Charles School and the surrounding community is only $25,000, but neither the Ugandan government nor private aid agencies have been willing to take on the small project.
When Drink Local. Drink Tap. heard about the situation, they decided to help. They started a campaign to raise money to build the well-- the 'Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda Project'. The Stokes students helped by holding fundraisers during the school year, including selling slushies, dress down day and movie day.
The July trip to Uganda will enable Drink Local. Drink Tap. to plan for the actual drilling and produce a film about the project. According to Huber, parts of the film will be used in presentations to solicit donations to complete the well next summer.
NewsChannel5 intends to document the Uganda trip--posting pictures and blog entries sent back by Huber and Ms. Mwonyonyi.
Here is a link to the Drink Local. Drink Tap. website for more information or to donate to the Ugandan well project.
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