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Pat Landowska

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1 reviews

Review for Wells Bring Hope, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with Wells Bring Hope (WBH) for over a year now, and it has been a very rewarding experience in every way. WBH mission is to save lives by providing safe, drinking water to people who are deprived of this elementary necessity - people of Niger, West Africa, the poorest country in the world. Access to water is a big issue there, especially in rural areas where 70% of people don't have it. Our organization raises money to drill wells in Niger; it already drilled 65 wells that provide water to 45,000 people! The organization is 100% based on volunteers, and it's nevertheless very well structured and efficiently run. Initially, I was writing blog entries for its website, now I started to research grants opportunities which I have a great interest in. Not only I can feel that my work really makes a difference in people's lives, but I also learn a great deal about nonprofit sector and meet a lot of wonderful people, like Barbara Goldberg, WBH's founder and president, Gil Garcetti whose amazing photos from Niger provided an inspiration to start the organization, and many other fellow-volunteers. For some of us (like me) this is the first nonprofit volunteering experience and I couldn't do it without the support and guidance from more experienced members. We have training sessions on various topics like grant writing that have been very valuable, and there is always someone to ask questions or run ideas through. Everybody is very nice and helpful, and the overall atmosphere is of learning and fun. What is also very important to me is the fact that Wells Bring Hope involvement in Niger is more complex than just drilling wells. World Vision, which is our organization's partner, continue to work with a village where the well was drilled for 15+ years, providing other health and hygiene related services and giving micro-loans to women, so they can start their own businesses. They deserve it, because they are those who are affected the most by the lack of safe water. Women walk miles every day to fetch water that is often badly contaminated, kills little children, and causes diseases. But these women have no choice because it's either this or no water at all. Girls usually help their mothers with water fetching, so they cannot go to school. Illiteracy rates are skyrocketing, and the cycle of poverty spins its wheels. This whole picture is changed forever, when a borehole is drilled in a village. Seeing happiness on villagers' faces after they got their own source of easily accessible and SAFE water for themselves and generations to come is something words cannot describe. I can only say that I feel honored to be a part of this great cause, and look forward to continue my work with WBH.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Raising money for a great cause in a hard economic climate, organizing events that attract new people to the organization, improving communication with members, donors and general public.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Design a monthly newsletter that provides information on the organization's latest achievements and plans.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

During my time with Wells Bring Hope, I learned a lot about grant researching and writing as well as fundraisers' organization and execution. It also introduced me to many wonderful people and broadened my horizons.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It makes me feel to be a part of something very useful that has a direct impact on improving people's lives.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Role:  Volunteer & I have written blog entries for the website, researched grant opportunities, wrote letters of inquiry, helped with events.