RainCatcher’s mission is simple. Education on safe water. Training on the point-of-use filters. Distribution of clean-water systems.
It’s all important and quite serious, but when you’re in the field you simply can’t deny the joy that permeates RainCatcher’s school visits.
There is no dirge playing as we approach. Though the water situation is literally life and death, the conversations are lively and there is always laughter. They’re kids!
One way we add fun is by bringing soccer balls as a gift for each location. In every case, the crowd lights up. And it’s not just the kids who get excited.
The appeal is universal; everyone wants in on the action. Nearly every school has a soccer field. There may be cows, goats or chickens running around.
The students may be kicking a makeshift ball, made of plastic bags, leftover fabric, strips of inner tube, or some combination of things.
But, make no mistake about it: these children are playing and having fun every day and that often means soccer.
Thanks to the generosity of Nike, we’re able to travel with a stash of gorgeous, brand new, bright orange soccer balls. At the end of each visit to a school or orphanage, Jack hands one of the donated balls to a teacher or tosses it into the crowd.
The gift of such a simple item, a soccer ball, makes a big difference in the day. The students may forget that the bacterium that causes cholera is 0.5 micron and the filters block anything larger than 0.1 micron. They may forget how frequently they should back-flush the system for optimal water flow. But, they will remember the day the RainCatcher’s came to school and they were able to start playing soccer with that orange ball.
The overall philosophy is a simple one: RainCatcher wants to bring life-saving water to the people in these communities AND support the natural fun that fuels the joy in those lives. The smiles on the faces of the young and old alike show that it’s a pretty good plan.