Yadumu is the Swahili word for long life. The Yadumu Project helps people in East Africa to live long and healthy lives by assisting them to develop sustainable projects that will change their futures. Our goal is not to focus on building an organization but on building up people who are empowered to address the needs in their own communities. I started the Yadumu Project as a way to address the needs that I’ve discovered during my trips to East Africa. We are currently working to bring clean water to the village of Rakwaro in Western Kenya. To learn more about the Yadumu Project and how you can support the water project, visit us at YadumuProject.org.
This is Henry. He approached me in 2006 asking if I was a journalist. His story about the suffering due to a lack of water in his hometown moved me to visit Rakwaro and to see the situation for myself.
What I Found
What I found is a village where the lack of water is so severe that people gather water wherever they can find it. This girl drawing from a standing body of water demonstrates why the people suffer from serious diseases due to the water that they drink.
Walking 90 Minutes for Water
Women walk for 90 minutes to obtain one jerry can of clean water. This leaves a shortage which prevents the people from growing vegetables, from bathing and most importantly from drinking enough clean water for themselves and their animals.
Water is Life
One day I was talking the project through with my Kenyan friends and they said, “Andy, water is life.” Once there is water many things could change in this village. I haven’t forgotten this quote and our aim is to empower Rakwaro with a well, not as a final solution, but as a way to jump start their progress toward a more healthy and sustainable future.
Once there is water, the community will apply for a microfinance loan, enabling them to start a greenhouse business. The ability to grow healthy vegetables year round will not only increase the people’s health but also provide the financial means to maintain the water and to save for opportunities to pursue their own development.