As 2017 draws to a close, we are pleased to report that it was a very productive year for WATER AND EDUCATION CARE INTERNATIONAL, also known as WE Care International, and we are honored to share our progress with our supportive community, donors, and other associates. Thanks to the combined effort of everyone involved, we are able to use our resources effectively to impact the lives of students and benefit Mahero, a village in Western Kenya. In this report, we will outline achievements of WE Care International in 2017.
On July 6, 2017, we received the Letter of Determination from the U.S. Department of Treasury- IRS recognizing our organization as an official 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity, a significant milestone. The Board of Directors and executive team recognize the value of planning for long- term growth and development. With this in mind, the Board has achieved the following:
1. Conducted two board meetings for structuring our organization's leadership roles and responsibilities as well as building strong relationships;
2. Initiated and refined fundamental guiding documents;
3. Continued to fund two initial programs, the Education Fund and the Living Water Ecosystem. In addition, we are considering a new program, Microfinance, to help more families improve living conditions by supporting them to start up small businesses;
4. Worked with resource management specialists to design a water ecosystem that would allow Village of Mahero to manage water resources and serve as a model for nearby communities.
5. Discussed how community development in Mahero can serve as a model for implementation in other villages.
Adama is now Dr. Diarra!
In 2017, WE Care International continued to grant financial aids to the following university students: Adama Diarra in Bamako, Mali and James in Narok, Kenya.
Adama has earned his medical degree and is completing his second year of a four-year program in radiology at the Universite des Sciences, des techniques et des technologies de Bamako. As part of his training, he spends regular shifts at Golden Life Hospital, a recently completed facility sponsored by the Turkish government. WE Care International covers his annual tuition as well as a small monthly stipend.
Julius just completed his studies in law at Catholic University in Nairobi in November 2017! His orphanage covered his tuition while WE Care International provided a modest monthly stipend to help him cover food and lodging.
James is a third-year student in Tourism and Hospitality at Maasai Mara University. When Mr. Steiner met him three years ago, he recognized him as a deserving scholar. James is eager to help his family and become a contributing member in his community.
Eight promising young students completed the 2017 academic year through our Education Fund program. We paid school tuition and fees, and when parents or grandparents were unable to do so, we also covered the cost of uniforms and supplies.
Joseph and Priscilla completed Form 4 (Senior) and have taken the national exam. Results of the exam will be released in January 2018. While both students have done well in school, Joseph's story is especially inspiring for all who know him. With limited resources and a physical handicap, Joseph has striven to qualify for higher education.
Bryan, David, Josephine, Louis, Sharon, and Vivian have successfully completed the academic year and will advance to the next level of their secondary school studies.
Living Water Ecosystem
The community dam we built in 2017
In 2016, the Founder of WE Care International, Mr. Steiner, was able to help the community in Kenya by reinforcing an earthen dam and excavating a reservoir to catch runoff during the rainy season that provides water for animals, limited irrigation and some water for domestic use. Even though this water is not suitable for human consumption, it is sometimes consumed out of desperation.
Community Latrine Project
WE Care International activated emergency funding for construction of a permanent cement and brick structure that improved hygiene for the community. Along with the need for clean drinking water, personal hygiene and sanitation are constant challenges in rural Kenya. Earlier this year, area flooding during the rainy season destroyed the old “outhouse” constructed of mud and sticks, exposing the adjoining vegetable field to human waste. Without even a rudimentary latrine, several families and all farm workers were forced to relieve themselves in the bush. Last summer, some of Mr. Steiner’s students from over 50 years ago were holding an alumni golf event in Sacramento and raised sufficient funds to finance the construction of a permanent, brick and cement latrine to replace the one that was destroyed. It serves the needs of many families, workers and even a small community church.
WE Care International has been working with villagers in Mahero to drill a well and provide a water system that would give residents easy access to clean drinking water. The project would include a deep well, a submersible electric or solar-powered pump and above-ground storage tanks. Families in the area currently experience outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases sometimes causing the death of children, the result of consuming contaminated water. We are developing a sustainable system that allows villagers to access pure water. Our water management system will benefit many other nearby communities in the future.
Experimental project - Growing Onions
Social responsibility and sustainability are priorities when WE Care International designs a program. The idea of the Microfinance program came from investigations that were conducted by our local leaders in Kenya. We strongly encourage individuals to improve their income level by ethical and legal entrepreneurial activities. We believe individuals, especially women, who are starting up small businesses could generate income to educate their children and provide improved sanitation for their families. WE Care International is eager to launch this new program as sufficient funds become available.
Thank you for your continued interest and support. What started as an individual helping a few students struggling to stay in school has grown into a not-for-profit impacting an entire community.
We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and website for photos and stories of boys and girls and their families affected by our work together at WE Care International. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to make a difference in the world.
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