Wells Bring Hope (WBH) drills wells in Niger, West Africa, the poorest country in the world. Many groups try to help African countries by drilling wells, but many of those wells are abandoned a few years later because the local villagers don't have a sense of ownership for the well. WBH's model is unusual. We only use employees from West Africa, so they speak the local language and know the culture. Before we drill a well, we ask village to contribute some small amount money (to ensure they have a sense of ownership) and create a maintenance committee of 5-7 people, half of whom are women. We train them in hygiene, sanitation, well maintenance and latrine building. After we drill the well, we offer microfinance assistance for the women, who no longer have to spend the brunt of their time walking and carrying water. I'm so proud to be part of this organization. It is totally volunteer run, and 100% of donations go towards wells.
Wells Bring Hope is the only profit I know that uses 100% of donations directly for the cause -- in this case to drill wells in Niger. The organization not only drills wells in a village, but does so in such a way that the local villagers feel ownership and maintain them themselves. Other water organizations "drop a well" into a village and walk away, so the village feels they don't own the well, and so when there are problems, they wait for the "owners" to return to repair it. If one goes back to that well a few years later, it is likely to have fallen into disuse. Not so with the wells drilled by Wells Bring Hope (WBH). In addition, once the women are freed from the burden of walking miles to get water every day
WBH provides microfinance training to them. WBH continues to have a presence in the village for 15 years after a well is drilled.
I have been involved with WBH as a volunteer and a donor since 2008. I have traveled to Niger with the founder three times to videotape interviews with women in remote villages about the need for safe water and microfinance. I have seen first hand how drilling our wells and helping women with microfinance changes lives -- lives of not just the women and girls (who can not attend school) but everyone in a village. I am Director of Volunteer Management, and in that role, I am responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and placing volunteers, and also following up with them about their experiences with WBH. I could not do that if I did not feel that this organization is top notch.
I have been involved with this organization as a volunteer for several years and was initially drawn to them by the financial model they offer. 100% of every dollar donated to WBH goes to drilling wells as the modest administrative expenses that WBH has is paid thru a grant from a corporation. I had never heard of a model like this so I knew my money would get to the cause. And what a cause! Nothing changes the lives of people like clean water does and in the poorest country in the world, Niger, in West Africa. This organization will keep getting my donation, year after year. Wonderful!
I learned about this nonprofit several years ago from a good friend. Was impressed and awed by the mission and the work that they were doing in Niger, the poorest country in the world. I also was surprised to learn that 100% of one's donation goes directly to building wells, that none of the money donated is used for the nonprofit's expenses. This is a very rare model! Wells Bring Hope is mostly a volunteer organization with just one paid staff person. They are transforming thousands of lives every year that they continue their work.
When I came across Wells Bring Hope, I absolutely loved that they work on the micro-level to bring water and sanitation to rural villages in the poorest country in the world- Niger. After further research I found that they have a full cycle of assistance educating people on how to maintain the well, and checking back on the well monthly, years after being drilled. They also teach villages about personal hygiene and teach women about basic business skills and how to form savings groups so they may support their families. While many nonprofits have good intentions and make a difference initially, WBH makes sure their help is sustainable and long-lasting.
With a number of years experience in the nonprofit sector, it is incredible and refreshing to know that 100% of all donations go to drilling wells. WBH is built on volunteers. All staff (except for one person who is paid through a specific grant) are unpaid volunteers. I have been volunteering myself for one year now. I get so much job out of working with other volunteers who put so much of their time and energy into this great cause.
It is hard as an American to understand just how profoundly the work of Wells Bring Hope affects the lives of women and girls in Niger. As a former Peace Corps volunteer and as someone who has worked in this region of West Africa, I know what these wells mean. I am humbled by my work as a volunteer for Wells Bring Hope, and fully support their mission of saving lives through safe water!
I love donating my time and money to this nonprofit. It's a local group of women who started it and we raise money to drill wells in Niger, When a village gets a well, the women and girls have no need to walk for 4-5 hours a day in search of water than we would not even water our gardens with. But, the best part, is that the girls can now go to school and the women get into micro-loan businesses.
Aside, of course, to bringing safe water to those in Niger than would otherwise have to scrounge for water that none of us would begin to drink, girls can go to school. Because, they do not have to spend their days along side their mothers, walking in order to find water, they can use their time to attend school. This can only benefit themselves, their families, their community and county. And the water is there. They just cannot access it without our help, raising money and drilling wells.
I have been and advisor and donor to Wells Bring Hope since 2010. The organization brings clean water to Niger to save lives and improve prospects for some of the poorest people in the world. Through their travels to Niger, Barbara and her team have been able to witness and communicate the real difference that donors can make, particularly to the lives of women and children. I provide strategic advice and volunteer support to the organization and have been impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of long term volunteers.
When I first learned about Wells Bring Hope, my heart was broken to find out how young girs lives were completely limited by contaminated water. Then I saw what Wells Bring Hope did and was doing. I was so inspired by the transformation of these communities, of the opportunities that clean water brought to young girls (they could go to school), their mothers (they started small businesses through micro loans) and the men learned agriculture. It made life truly possible and joyful. Simple water was like a magic elixer. I have been volunteering for them ever since.
Few charities focus their efforts in such an important cause as providing clean water to the women of Niger. In line with International Human Rights goals and obligations, and in particular with the UN Convention to end all forms of Discrimination against Women, Wells Bring Hope efforts underscore that addressing basic needs is truly the most impact-worthy and everlasting game-changer in any community. This organization's founders and staff are truly committed and understand that women are key to the welfare of many, and that providing assistance and opportunities to women is the best way to improve the lives of a whole community. Please don't miss the opportunity to support their efforts!
This group is run with such integrity! Helping the people of Niger (for whom the wells are dug) is the reason for this group and that's never forgotten. With the exception of one paid staff member (not the director!), everything is done by committed, hardworking people volunteering their time and resources.
Volunteering with Wells Bring Hope has been a wonderful experience. The organization is full of kind, hard working individuals who are motivated towards a common goal in making meaningful changes to bring clean water to Niger. It has been a privilege to work with them.