After writing my last post about Peasant Solidarity's water project I have launched a crowdfunding appeal, which I have called Water is Life.
Here is my appeal, which I am repeating below, mainly because the links disappeared when I uploaded the text.
''Dear known and unknown Friends,
I am a British born, retired teacher resident in Denmark, who apart from leading an active life as a grandmother, a soprano in an international women's choir, an esperantist, a blogger, a volunteer for DaneAge Association, has hundreds of international contacts mainly thanks to social media.
Recently, one of my Esperanto-speaking Facebook friends, Etienne Katchelewa from DR-Congo told me about the problems in his home-town, Kalima in the province of Maniema. Although I already knew the dry facts about high infant mortality rates, malnutrition, lack of clean drinking water, rape, illiteracy, corruption and desperation in DR Congo, hearing these from him brought the facts painfully to life. It left me with two possibilities: either to express polite sympathy before deleting him from my friendship list, or to help him raise money for a clean drinking water project that will make life very much easier and safer in his home-town.
I promised to try and help him, so that is why I am writing this appeal.
My first step was to edit and translate information about the town and its specific problems into English. Then I sent an application for funds to Danida and rang various charities. After a few days I got a sympathetic but negative mail from Danida and none of the charities were able to help. Etienne and his friends have sent applications to various organizations, but most of them have been turned down. In no way am I reproaching these organizations; they have their own projects and nobody can save the entire world.
Etienne is an agronomist. During his student days, he and some of his fellow students founded the association Peasant Solidarity whose aim was, is and will be to promote socio-economic and agricultural development in Kalima and the surrounding area. In spite of their very limited funds, they have promoted fish-farming, animal husbandry and courses on improved agricultural techniques. In 2013 a grant of 380 euros from Association of Green Esperantists enabled them to improve some of their fish-ponds, which have provided protein-rich food for local residents as well as a small profit that has helped cover other expenditure.
Peasant Solidarity's first priority for 2014 is to provide safe drinking water for the 136,000 residents of Kalima; at present only 2,6% have access to clean water and infant mortality due to waterborne diseases is about 35%. In most countries a governmental agency would take responsibility for this. REGIDESO has a monopoly for providing drinking water in DR Congo, but unfortunately it does not operate in Kalima or in Maniema Province.
So if Peasant Solidarity cannot solve the problem, in all probability nobody will.
Etienne has drawn up two plans with an estimated cost between 247,047 and 861,906 euros. The first plan would provide safe drinking water for part of the town and the second one would solve the problem for everybody.
In 2013 a German firm, Wasserkraft Volk AG gave Peasant Solidarity 3000 euros, which they spent on drinking water installations for Kalima General Hospital and the surrounding area. It was the first step towards completing their ambitious but absolutely essential project.
Now I am asking you to help them take the second step. It would be a dream come true, if this appeal went viral and 861,906 euros poured in, for their most ambitious plan. However I am a realist – an optimistic realist.
My primary, cautiously optimistic goal is to raise 4000 euros by 1st September 2014. Unrealistic? Well, this could be achieved, by for example, 400 donations of 10 euros. Just under three donations a day for the next 139 days would do it.
Perhaps you are a warm-hearted person who would love to help, but cannot afford to or you already contribute generously to other good causes. If so, please consider helping the campaign by forwarding this to your friends, Facebook, G+, Twitter etc.
All kinds of amazing things go viral online, why not this?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I intend to keep you updated by writing more blog posts about this. ''
Dirty water is death, but clean Water is Life.