​Student Group Funds Community Wells in Africa

January 20, 2017

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Imagine not being able to wash your dishes or take a shower because you don’t have access to clean water. For one billion men, women, and children around the world, that is a reality they face each day. The Texas Lutheran University’s Water to Thrive (W2T) chapter is committed to helping families in developing countries gain access to community wells.

Based in Austin, W2T is a nonprofit working to improve communities in places like Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania by funding wells that can provide clean water to more than 250 people for 20 years.

On Thursday, April 6, at 5:30 p.m., the TLU W2T chapter is hosting their sixth annual benefit dinner and silent auction at First United Methodist Church at 710 N. Austin St. in Seguin. Guests will enjoy an authentic Ethiopian meal, hear more about W2T, and have the opportunity to bid on a variety of silent auction items. The students’ goal is to raise $5,000 before the end of the spring 2017 semester for a new well. To date, they’ve raised more than $25,000 and built five wells in Africa.

Sophomore education major Aubrie Wells—president of TLU’s W2T chapter—said the group shows students how they can make a difference on a global scale.

“My favorite thing about this organization is that we get to let others know about this problem facing others around the world,” Wells said. “W2T compliments TLU’s message of service and the importance of giving back to those who are less fortunate than us.”

The money raised not only supports the construction of a well, it supplies education for the people living there on how to use it and maintain it. The two most recent wells will serve more than 550 people in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Dick Moeller, chairman and founder of W2T, said the communities participated fully in the construction and implementation of these wells and the villages have now taken full ownership of the projects. Water committees, selected by the communities themselves, maintain the water points and ensure that they are being properly used. The committees, along with the communities they serve, work hard to make sure that the wells are sustainable and will be able to provide clean water for many years.

“Each day, these new projects provide clean, safe water to hundreds of people,” said Dick Moeller, chairman and founder of W2T. “ These communities no longer have to face the fear of illness and death from dirty water. Women will be able to spend hundreds of additional hours a year looking after their families instead of collecting water. Children will not have to miss class to help gather water. Thanks to TLU and their efforts, these wells will be lasting sources of health, productivity, and prosperity.”

Tickets for the benefit dinner are available at TLU’s Center For Servant Leadership. $5 if purchased before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 and $15 at the door.

If you’re unable to attend the benefit dinner and would like to help TLU’s W2T chapter complete a fifth well, please consider an online donation.


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