Water Charity & Call To Nature Seedreservation & Permaculture Program – Ghana
To read about the Call To Nature Seed Preservation & Permaculture Well Project, CLICK HERE.
Call To Nature’s mission is to care for the Earth, care for people, and share valuable resources by implementing permaculture principles, through farming, heirloom seeds saving, and providing hands-on training related to the importance of the use of permaculture in sustaining the environment and by creating a culture that is inspired by natural ways to produce seeds and food that will resolve food instability. Our business is one of the best in heirloom seed production in Africa and the first of its kind in Ghana. Our business relies on unique methods designed with nature in mind, through farming and production of high-quality seeds and food that will eventually lead to the end of food insecurity in many parts of the continent of Africa, and other areas around the world.
Our project has grown from just school gardening and tree planting and from 4 acres piece of land to 17 acres.5 years ago, we began collecting and reviving heirloom seeds across the world for our newly constructed seed bank in order to help resolve the issue of food insecurity and to tell all the beautiful stories around them from the origin, name source and use. Our seed collection is not only focusing on food but also on plant species that help protect our environment, especially species that help protect water bodies and species when intercrop retains moisture content in the soil so farmers can use less water for farming. Our operations are currently facing a huge water challenge on-site, we are therefore presenting our request to Water Charity for support.
SCHOOL / COMMUNITY GARDENING
In 2015 research conducted by Call Nature in some Ghanaian communities shows that about eight (8) out of ten (10) children are facing malnutrition due to poor eating habits. And as such, Call to Nature has developed a program that promotes school/community gardening for a healthier living lifestyle. We plan to design at least ten (10) school gardens each year to connect the mindset of the people to nature and to provide better nutrition.
Plenty of studies have shown just how school gardens can stir students towards the right and more conscious decision-making.
Water Charity Meets with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Water Charity’s co-founder and COO Averill Strasser, and Executive Director, Beverly Rouse, had the opportunity to meet with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet when she was in Long Beach this week.
At a presentation at Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB), Director Hessler-Radelet, along with CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, unveiled a new program that will allow students to serve in the Peace Corps and earn a master’s degree in geography or linguistics.
Since the Peace Corps was established, 777 alumni from CSULB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, with 31 alumni currently serving.
In a recent trip to Senegal, Averill and Beverly had the opportunity to meet with Socorro at her village and consult with her on the work being done.
After the presentation, the Director met informally with members of the Board of Directors of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles (RPCVLA) and several other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to discuss the plans the Director has for the future of Peace Corps, and how local RPCV groups can better assist Peace Corps in its mission.
Averill Strasser is an RPCV, having served in Bolivia from ’66 to ’68. He serves on the Board of RPCVLA as Liaison to the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).
Director Hessler-Radelet acknowledged the role that Water Charity is playing in helping serving PCVs around the world to do water and sanitation projects.
Water Charity & the National Peace Corps Association form Official Partnership
NPCA & WC Partnership!
Last month, the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION and WATER CHARITY entered into a historic partnership. Pictured above are our COO Averill Strasser and NPCA chief Glen Blumhorst signing the partnership agreement in Washington D.C. during the week of Peace Corps activism which took place there. Together our two organizations will work to increase the number of water and sanitation projects being done by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) around the world, making the Peace Corps stronger.
Water Charity hit the ground running, and has already implemented a few dozen worthy projects around the world under the partnership! All of these projects represent low-cost, efficient “fixes” to problems that come from the community, and are done with local labor. PCVs and RPCVs help these communities to help themselves and solve their water and sanitation issues with sustainable solutions using appropriate technology.
RPCVs are helping to serve PCVs by providing training and technical support, resulting in a steady flow of projects that are then funded under the partnership.
Water Charity has a special relationship with Senegal, in that we have done about 300 projects there. This arose naturally through the good relationship we developed with Peace Corps Senegal. From the motivated PCVs to the enthusiastic staff, this proved fertile ground for our water projects. From wells to filters to rainwater catchments and more, our projects there run the gamut. There is even a COFFEE TABLE BOOK about our work in Senegal, with pictures from Marc Champagne that was a result of our collaboration with Photographers Without Borders!
Feel free to look through the amazing work we’ve done, and continue to do there, by searching our site, using the dropdown menu at the top of this page, or by clicking on this link:
SENEGAL PROJECTS (many of our projects here still need funding!)
An impressive list, which includes such ambitious programs as:
WATER CHARITY, in collaboration with the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION, announces the establishment of our
TRAINING & SUPPORT INITIATIVE (TSI)
“Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he eats forever.”
This aphorism sums up nicely why Training is a superior way to lend aid to those in need. While Water Charity will always engage in direct aid, disaster relief and supporting the aspirations of at-risk communities to better themselves, we have found that more & more, the people want to be able to help themselves.
Digital Cameras where possible. And it is possible. 🙂
The TSI started out with a primary objective to empower Peace Corps, through its Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) around the world, to implement all water, sanitation, and public health projects that they determine are needed in the locations where they live and work by providing them with support, training, and funding. This underpinned most of Water Charities’ efforts early on and expanded after a few years to include Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) as well.
Now, we this initiative has grown to help communities in need directly, and many of our training programs involve training community representatives, nurses, teachers, and concerned villagers with or without any PCV or RPCV involvement in such worthy activities as:
Water Filter Construction
Rainwater Catchment Construction
Water Tank & Water Storage Fabrication
Permaculture and Permagardening techniques
Irrigation, Anti-desertification Efforts
The Use Of New Technologies (Solar Lamps, Solar Pumps, Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks, etc.)
Working with Peace Corps, on our own, or in tandem with other like-minded NGOs, the TSI is now a robust Initiative with many major programs underneath it. Thousands of people have been trained in new, and often life-saving, skills… and this “ripple effect” has spread out to entire communities around the world. It is not even possible for us to document all the benefits that have accrued from empowering people in this way. A single person who learns to make water filters, and returns to their village with the tools and raw materials, can train many other people. In our experience, these seeds quickly sprout into viable businesses and the techniques and products become standard practices.
We taught the women running an orphanage in the Congo to make water filters from materials they had on hand, and they quickly began manufacturing them, selling clean water and filters to their neighbors and raised enough money to be able to expand the orphanage in a matter of months. Now, the kids have money for new clothes, the food they are given is an order of magnitude better… and the proliferation of filters in the area put an end to a raging Cholera epidemic.
While a substantial portion of the projects and programs we are doing under the TSI now are done with our own trainers or working with partner NGOs, we still consider the support of Peace Corps Volunteers to be a primary goal.
The major programmatic component of Water Charity’s assistance to Peace Corps Volunteers:
Many of WC’s projects involve supporting PCVs with their projects. But with this initiative, we decided to help them even more, by assisting them in designing their projects… and aiding them with training and advice from others who have done the same types of projects already. PCVs no longer have to reinvent the wheel.
We are moving from our current mode of providing support to PCVs when their project planning is well underway back to the point where we enter the planning at the conceptualization stage. This can add to the cost of the project, but it is able to create better projects, save time, and get better results. We are presently seeking major funding to support this initiative.
Face-to-Face training is of five types:
In-country training for serving PCVs and Peace Corps staff upon invitation from the Country Director
Training to NGOs and local governments in tandem with PCVs
Training in the U.S. for Peace Corps nominees who are awaiting their deployment
Training in the U.S. for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with relevant subject-matter competence to equip them to help Water Charity staff to conduct a training (Train the Trainers)
Training for RPCVs in the direct implementation of Water Charity projects
In addition to the personal training described above, three types of support are provided to PCVs and Peace Corps staff:
· Remote support by teleconference in the following areas:
o Technical areas of water, sanitation, and public health
o Project planning, implementation, management and evaluation
o Securing and managing project funds
· A staffed help desk allows PCVs to quickly obtain technical information regarding the evaluation of needs, appropriate technology, and resource sourcing. Subject matter experts and country-specific specialists (including RPCVs) provide support and mentoring.
· An open-source repository for self-help is being developed to include:
o A database of needs in specific geographic areas
o A catalog of resources available to meet the needs
o A library of appropriate technologies
Over 10 years from our founding in 2008, Water Charity has done over 4,000 water & sanitation projects in 76 countries. This wealth of experience allows us to pass on the valuable lessons we have learned along the way, and impart skills and knowledge to PCVs, RPCVs, Community Organizations and other NGOs that will save them a lot of time… and deliver them superior results.
TSI is breaking new ground in bringing RPCVs into the process to help to serve PCVs. With over 7,000 PCVs in the world, all capable of doing water, sanitation, and public health projects, the opportunities are enormous. With a potential help force of over 215,000 RPCVs, the resources are gigantic.
NOTE: To see all the projects associated with our TSI, CLICK HERE. They can also be found by searching for the TSI taxonomy or clicking on the TSI hyperlink above.
Announcing the Water Charity Global Awareness Intern Program for 2014-15
Water Charity is proud to announce the Water Charity Global Awareness Intern Program for 2014-15. Three interns will be selected to assist Water Charity to create a global awareness of the need for safe water and effective sanitation around the world, and implement programs and projects to address that need.
Applications will be accepted from undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni of The Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University from October 16 through October 23, 2014. Selections will be made at the close of the period, and internships will start immediately and run through the academic year.
To see a full description of the Water Charity Global Awareness Intern Program for 2014-15, and to access the Application, CLICK HERE.
This short promo video was made for us by Maram Mohamed. <3
Without water, there is no life.
Water Charity And Local Partners
Water Charity operates by forging partnerships with local organizations in the countries, cities, and communities in which we operate. Each situation we encounter is unique to the culture of the location and the needs of the people.
We respect the knowledge of the community in determining the hierarchy of needs, and the best solutions for their problems. Local participation assures that the projects have support, and will be maintained into the future, as the local groups have a stake in the outcome.
Our approach is to target projects, find local partners, establish quantifiable objectives, guide the projects to timely completion, and evaluate the effectiveness of the processes and the outcomes.
We remain open and flexible in our approach, allowing us to move around obstacles and learn from our experiences. We tailor the approach to the circumstances surrounding the project at hand.
There are numerous benefits that accrue from local partnerships. The first is cost-effectiveness. The utilization of scarce project resources is multiplied by using local staff. Sending outside administration and labor from distant places to perform work on the ground is largely prohibitive.
Local partners can better understand the important economic and political issues that will impact on projects. Their knowledge of local customs, traditions, laws, and politics is essential for success.
Local partners, with their knowledge of the local resources and economy, can better navigate the planning and construction processes. It is often difficult for outside consultants to know about the availability of local products and labor necessary for the success of the project.
Using local partners gives us flexibility in staffing and scheduling. We can operate with a core staff, and multiply our capabilities with partnerships as the time comes and the need arises.
In summary, we have found that great benefit is obtained by seeking out and funding organizations to carry out or assist with projects. We have developed selection procedures that assure we will partner with local groups that are in the best position to implement the projects.
Our ability to partner with local groups not only assures the success of the immediate project, but it has long-lasting impact. It becomes more likely that the project will be maintained into the future. The skills learned by our local partners can be replicated, taught to other local groups, and expanded into other projects.
After a successful project with a partner, with our new experience gained in the locality, it often is logical to plan subsequent projects along the same model. Another job with the same partner becomes much easier, as compared with starting a new selection process from scratch.
The Selection Process
Thus, it is seen that the process to select local partners is crucial to the success of the project. Within the geographical area, we have selected as meeting our criteria for need and feasibility, we establish a list of potential partners.
We review available information on candidate partners, and request further information from those in which we see potential. We then conduct an in-depth in-country analysis of potential relationships. We look at past and current projects of potential partners, and check references with government agencies, community groups, and individuals.
There are many factors that enter into the evaluation of partnership organizations. These include the nature of the organization, their past performance in similar projects, their technical capability, their financial condition, their ability to interact with other organizations and individuals, their ability to interact with the existing social and political structures, and their ongoing capability to provide support after project completion.
The approach of partnering with local groups is well-established and provides a multitude of benefits. It assures that our limited resources will move us as far and as fast as possible toward our established goals.