RainCatcher partners with Social Entrepreneurs for Education (SEE) to provide clean water to Haiti

Social Entrepreneurs for Education (SEE) is a student formed organization that was founded by Julia Cashen and Alexis Fogel at UCLA that is committed to raising awareness and funding for a partner school in Haiti through entrepreneurial ventures and campus-wide educational events. This July, approximately 6 students that attend UCLA will go to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in order to carry out the following objectives:

  • To personally deliver funds and supplies to their partner school, Ecole Mixte
  • To work shoulder to shoulder with Haitians in constructing a new school building
  • To visit Aristide’s Medical School, connect with Haitian medical students, and learn more about issues with their public health
  • To meet with Haitian community and human rights activists in order to learn more about realities in Haiti and how people in the US can constructively change US foreign policy
  • To check up on the progress of various grassroots organizations, tent cities, and women’s groups
  • Look for potential rainwater harvesting opportunities and report findings back to RainCatcher
  • Deliver five clean water filter systems to filter cholera and other harmful bacteria’s to areas in need

SEE left to right - Alexis Fogel, Julia Cashen, Rachel Estrada, David Zielski (RainCatcher) and Ashley Naff.

“I met Julia at an Earth Day event in Topanga and was impressed by her enthusiasm for Haiti and her involvement in the community down there. When she saw the clean water filters we were demonstrating, she immediately thought how she could use these filters to help the people in Haiti and RainCatcher is very excited to donate filters to her trip.” – David Zielski, Executive Director of RainCatcher.

This will also be RainCatcher’s first involvement back in Haiti in almost two years since they completed several missions there following the earthquake in January 2010 providing key clean water programs.

RainCatcher returns to Uganda to complete more rainwater harvesting systems

After a six month project planning phase and fundraising efforts, RainCatcher returned to Uganda today to see the completion of two new rainwater harvesting systems and to finalize the plans to have eight more completed by the end of the summer.

Photo above from Left: Partners received more filters for their communities and Mugega’s organization awarded RainCatcher a certificate of appreciation. Nassar, Mugega Sulaiman, Sylvia Bofry (KYEMPAPU), Martha McBride (RainCatcher) and Julius Annanura (Reach the Un-Reached Ministry)

These photos show the partners we have in Uganda and a meeting we had at the Entebbe hotel. These are established RainCatcher partners who have been trained on the use of the filters and who keep up posted on results. They also are key partners for the identification of project sites and installation of rainwater-harvesting systems.

Mugega is from near Mbale (north east of Kampala)
Sylvia is from near Masaka (west of Kampala)
Julius is from near Mbarara (quite west of Kampala, almost to the Rwanda border)

These are three new areas for RainCatcher’s rainwater-harvesting projects in 2012.

Photo above from Left: Nassar, Sylvia Bofry, Mugega Sulaiman & Julius Annanura

More to come, this is just day one!

Anthony and Lisa Slater

Not long ago, Lisa and Anthony Slater, two Canadians living in Los Angeles became aware of RainCatcher’s mission and impact through a member of the board. The story had left a lasting impression on them and they instantly wanted to get involved.

Six months later, the Slater’s have raised $10,000 to sponsor the installation rainwater-harvesting schools at two Ugandan schools. As part of their commitment, they planned a trip to visit schools, meet the students and their families, and learn more about the water situation on the ground and the impact RainCatcher is having in these communities.

We are grateful to have passionate ambassadors like Lisa and Anthony, as well as the support of all the individual donors who make trips like these and clean water a possibility for so many.

Here they arrive in Uganda and meet up with RainCatcher’s African Program Coordinator, Martha McBride, as she sets up to take them on a weeklong tour of recently equipped sites and future RainCatcher projects we are working on getting funded.

Photo above from Left: Martha McBride, Anthony Slater, Lisa Slater in Uganda

Before they left, we had the opportunity to ask them a few questions.

1) How and when did you both decide you wanted to make a difference and give back?

Giving back has always been important to us, and we both volunteer for local LA groups. However, when started talking about taking a bigger trip this year we both felt strongly that we wanted to have a humanitarian element.

2) What made you resonate with RainCatcher?

Knowing several of the board member, we were familiar with the group and the real impact the projects were having in communities. Once we sat down and talked about actually participating, we were impressed with the simplicity of the technology and the ability to truly make a difference. Also, being very active ourselves, the importance of health and clean water is key.

3) Going all the way across the world to Africa to meet RainCatcher there and work directly in the field seems like a dream come true for some people, others not so much. Tell us what made you want to actually go to the field and work with these people first hand getting clean water to them and any sacrifices you made to make this happen?

That was actually a key part of us choosing to work with RainCatcher. We were looking for a group that was willing to let us get our feet on the ground and really immerse ourselves in making a difference. For most people, we think nothing of grabbing a bottle of water on the go, taking a long shower etc. – compared to what the people in Uganda face, which is staggering. The inequality of this is too big for us to choose to be blissfully ignorant of. Plus, we wanted an adventure!

4) You raised a lot of money through donations on your personal fundraising page. How were you able to raise close to your goal of $10,000? How did you approach friends and family?

The key thing is that our friends, family and supporters saw that we were putting the money where our mouth is – it was clear that this was something very meaningful to us since we were making the effort to go all the way to Uganda ourselves. We are almost at our goal and know we will meet or surpass it shortly.

5) What are you both most excited for before you head off to Africa?

We are excited for everything, but really meeting the people and sharing this experience with them is number one.

– Anthony and Lisa Slater

To view their clean water ambassador page, please Click Here

RainCathcer provides clean water filters to Namatala slums in Uganda

RainCatcher worked with Help-International in 2011 to deliver clean water filters in Mbale, Uganda. They are helping the people with disease prevention in in the Namatala slum – described as one of the poorest places on the earth. Recently we heard back from Help-International as to the successes of our visit as is evident in the email we received. Please see below.

My name is Cami Hofheins, and I am a volunteer with Help-International. I am in Uganda and have been to visit a few of the villages that Rain Catcher donated water filters to last year through Help-International. I am happy to report that the filters are working great and have assisted in disease prevention in the small villages where they have been implemented. In the Namatala slum alone there was much success. There was a cholera outbreak this year and the people who lived where the filters had been placed were safe from the sickness. This was only in a small part of the people in the slum. We would like to put more filters in more areas in the slum to help further the positive effect.

It would be a wonderful opportunity to partner again with Rain Catcher for the summer to donate more filters to help a greater amount of people to have clean water.

I look forward to hear from you.

Cami Hofheins

Here are a few pictures of the working filters.

Please consider donating by clicking on donate button. We can help these kids from deadly cholera and other waterborne illnesses.

Thank you – the RainCatcher team!