Laying the Foundation for 2012

RainCatcher loves working with Father Kizito in Uganda and the first 10 schools we’re equipping this year are in the middle of their construction process.

Our plans for rainwater-harvesting installations this year begin with this first group of schools in the Mityana area of Uganda, about two hours by car from Kampala, the capital city.

The process involves having concrete foundations poured, face boards installed on the school, gutters attached to the face boards and then the addition of an 8,000-liter tank to capture and store the run-off from the roof.

In the villages surrounding the schools, churches, hospitals and orphanages RainCatcher equips with this simple system, the events surrounding the construction are quite a draw.

Everyone in the community knows that the laying of the foundation is just the first step in having clean water that’s easy to access and safe to drink. This is huge in the lives of the staff members, children and their parents.

And it’s huge for us! When photos likes this arrive from the field we celebrate along with them!

World Water Day Clean Water Ambassadors 2012

This World Water Day we would like to make a special shout out to two amazing individuals, Lisa and Anthony Slater.

Earlier this year, they approached RainCatcher and asked what they could do to give back. They had been looking to donate their time to a cause they believed in and became very interested in the clean water cause. They decided they wanted to raise money to equip a school with a rainwater harvesting system plus one hundred clean water filters and go visit the school when it is completed to meet the kids and families they directly helped.

You can learn more about Lisa and Anthony on their ambassador page. Thank you Anthony and Lisa, we are truly grateful!

First wave of the 2012 rainwater-harvesting schools

Thanks to your generous donations and ongoing support, over the next few weeks we’ll be breaking ground on the first wave of the RainCatcher 2012 rainwater-harvesting schools. Our long-time partner in Uganda, Father Kizito, is spearheading the laying of the foundations for the next 10 schools in Mityana parish.

We wired $3,000 USD to fund those first steps towards equipping those schools and providing an estimated 10,000 people with access to collected rainwater. For many of those families, this will be the first reliable source of clean water they’ve had in their entire lives.

Girl gets clean rainwater

For the students at these schools, your efforts are helping transform their normal school day into a one that has more impact and one that is a virtual oasis for them. Ready access to clean water is not common for these kids and their neighbors.

Sumner M. Redstone Foundation and the Kalonga Primary School in Mityana Parish in Uganda

Kalonga Primary School in Mityana Parish in Uganda has been a special project for RainCatcher. They have a larger-than-average school population, a devoted teaching staff with a headmistress who lives on-site with her family, and a group of parents who are involved and committed at an inspiring level.

It’s a poor school, private, with no government support. With almost 1,000 students, almost no budget, and buildings that have seen better days, it’s amazing that these determined adults are holding things together.

The rainwater-harvesting tank is a prized addition to the campus. Its mere presence significantly reduces the amount of time the students need to spend collecting water each day. This frees up time for their studies, just as it frees up some of the school’s limited budget by cutting down on the charcoal they need to make surface water the kids gather safe by boiling it.

Having the tank also seems to be fueling enthusiasm for some restoration projects. The community is so grateful for the water, that they’re rallying around the school to improve other areas.

Even as they pray for rain to fill the tank the Sumner M. Redstone Foundation provided, they try to mitigate the impact that same coveted rain sometimes has on their structures. They’ve dug some trenches to redirect some of the rainwater that flows down the hill and damages the foundations of the newer buildings.

To make repairs and get a little money to support the school population, they recently cut down a very large tree on the property to use for lumber and to sell for cash for other supplies they needed for repairs. On our last visit, that tree had been the site of an amazing ceremony of gratitude. Since that visit last summer, the parents and staff have also teamed up to fix some big holes in the walls of some classrooms.

All of this highlights the significant impact one tank can make on a community. More time spent in school. Less money spent on fuel. A reduction in illness. For a group of people trying so hard to get their kids educated and keep this school afloat, the gift of the tank is one that helps them make more strides every day.

When you’re there, you can SEE the difference it makes. When you’re there, you know that RainCatcher is on the right track. When you’re there, you want to show every RainCatcher donor exactly how their money is changing lives.

These parents, the kids and the teachers are a shining example that together we can do more!

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