Clean Water for Mseko
Clean Water for Mseko
Clean water for Mseko mission: Our aim was to raise in excess of £50,000 to support an independent 3 year fight to provide clean water by Sonya Sanghera. Cheers for Cheers majority funded and supported the mission to install 4 clean water wells in a rural and remote village in Tanzania called Mseko, home to over 4000 people, who for hundreds of years, had no access to their birth right; clean, safe drinking water.
Did we do it? YES! With the help of hundreds of donors, our hospitality industry support and the selfless support of kind supporters; in September 2017, Cheers for Cheer flew over to Tanzania, took the long two day journey to Mseko and overseen the practical installation of clean water wells carried out by a small team of local experts.
The Story behind #CleanWaterForMseko: By Sonya Sanghera
What motivated me to do this?
I left my job and volunteered as a team manager in Tanzania at the end of 2014 for three months to implement a sustainable development project in a poverty-stricken village. I worked in the profound village of Mseko (4000 people, 3 sub villages within), in rural and remote Tanzania.
My time in the village was dominated by the exposed, desperate need for clean water. It is mainly the women & children who collect the water and often they walked several kilometers, twice each day, to the nearest bacteria infested waterhole.
When I returned to the UK, I decided to take direct action myself in raising the funds to begin the ‘Clean water for Mseko’ project with the aim to install four water wells; I contacted the likes of Water aid, Unicef, Charity water, but unfortunately had no luck. The response I received was automated or stated they have ‘allocated’ projects they are working in already.
My main goal has always been to install four clean water wells in each sub village, providing Mseko villagers with their birth right – clean water. Additionally, reducing the time it takes for woman and children to collect water.
What was it really like living in Mseko?
I was truly blessed to be given the opportunity to live with and help, what I like to call, warriors of the universe. They have been put in the hardest remote environments known to man, with no electricity and no clean water yet expose spirits of the true resilience and constant happiness.
The weather conditions at times got bad; it was stormy season when I was there & me and my team experienced an ACTUAL natural disaster.
One pitch black night (remember there is no electricity!) all our army tents shattered and were thrown into the air instantly by a horrendous wind storm, steel pegs (which were battered into the ground when we built camp) rose out of the earth like they were as light as feathers and we screamed and panicked as we battled with extreme rain, hailstones, and the wind that kills. Our camp was ruined in less than 3minutes. We took refuge in the school building, where the headmaster let us sleep for the night on the class room floors.
The first thing that hit me in the morning was the thought of families having to exhaust this throughout the year. I am 100% tainted and my life will never go back to what it was. I will never go back to who I was; merely because the wrath of deep poverty that plagues these innocent people really hurts me. I came back to western luxury, whilst they are still their suffering endlessly. They will never leave Mseko.
I have been back in the UK for just over 3 years now and a not once does a moment go by where I do not think about what I experienced, saw, felt and breathed. It doesn’t matter how many volunteers are sent over to developing countries to teach communities about health and sanitation, they NEED access to CLEAN water, this is a basic HUMAN right. Mseko community had very little, yet were prepared to share it all with me and my team. They offered true acts of kindness that will live with me forever until I die.
We did great work out there, through our labor of building school sanitation blocks and educating the community, but there is still lots to be done. I realised very early on that there is very little opportunity for economic growth when living in poverty in Tanzania and access to safe water and sanitation is rare.
BUT THIS CAN CHANGE AND IT HAS TO.
What is the truth behind the Mseko water crisis?
I spent time with the community and embraced their stories. I saw women and children walk 3-6 hours a day to collect water from a mud hole in the ground they created themselves. The water was completely infested with parasites and bacteria which was causing severe illness amongst families and children.
I and my team conducted action research and after only 3 days, it hit me that disease was rife. One story that really hit me hard was when a mother cried to me, asking for western medicine, to stop her child from urinating blood. She asked me to save her child’s life. I remember having to walk away into the empty land, and I burst out crying.
This journey would not stop, for two simple reasons of Morality & Justice. When I said goodbye, I made one promise to the beautiful people of Mseko village; I will NOT stop fighting until four water pumps are built in Mseko and its sub villages.
I not only saw but felt the tyrant of poverty in my time there. One of the most shocking moments was when I realised what little babies were drinking. Poison.
Don’t get me wrong, people living in poverty are the most self-sufficient people in existence, they rely on agriculture and farming for their food and build their own sustainable homes out of mud and wood, they are beyond the western inhabitant. The proof is in the pudding. The village has been there for hundreds of years.However, how are they supposed to excel as a community if they have no health care, water or electricity? How are they going to stop their children from dying before they get to see what an education feels like?
As is anything, it is a long process, but persistence, continuity, and determination = SUCCESS. Success to me, if the feeling of humble accomplishment for the greater good. The people of Mseko instilled life and faith back into me, I want to make SURE they have their access to basic human rights if it is the last thing I do on this earth.My dream is for Mskeo village to prosper, for their people to be healthy, for their children to be educated, for their hearts to be happy and eliminated of all suffering.
What did the future have in store for this project?
In Mid 2016 I was feeling demotivated, purely because of the sheer financial scale of my project and the lack of donations, I kept pondering on a number of years it would take me to fund my project. Then an angel was sent my way. Carley, through ‘Cheers for Cheer’ joined forces with myself to implement direct change and support my project by helping raise the vital funds needed for the whole processes of installing the water wells.
Cheers For Cheer are the eyes of the unseen and the voice of the unheard. An extremely inspiring and innovative platform of change; that has supported me on entirely on my mission to install clean water wells to over 4000 people in a remote village in Tanzania. Through powerful marketing and ground breaking fundraisers, over the past 7 months, the charity has been in existence, Cheers For Cheer has already raised the funds to provide a birth right to those who truly need it.
I can’t think of a more innovative, exciting and inspiring charity than Cheers For Cheer. In a such a competitive climate in the voluntary sector, Cheers for Cheer are not only game changers in terms of concept; ‘celebrating what we have and giving back at the same time’, but extremely refreshing in terms of their ideal and values. It’s one thing to believe in the fight to help those less fortunate, but another, to embody this in your everyday work and life.
Carly has turned a lifestyle into a platform for change, with her extensive contacts in the hospitality industry and social networks, she utilises her lifestyle and beliefs for the power of good! Cheers for Cheer encourages us to Celebrate the ability to go out and buy drinks with friends and family, but at the same time think about righteousness and giving back to communities. By donating the cost of a drink, supporters are helping those less fortunate to celebrate with a birth right, whether it be Clean water, an education or sanitation.
Cheers is a collective platform and network for change that just works ‘magically’. Just when I thought my clean water project for over 4000 people in Mseko village in Tanzania, will never receive the funds or mass support to move forward. Carly, founder, and director of Cheers For Cheer came along and changed my outlook forever. My project is extremely small in terms of the grand scale of work that is happening in developing countries and hasn’t received any support from the but charities out there, so to receive support from such a groundbreaking charity like Cheers has overwhelmed me.
I truly believe Cheers is on a mission fueled by morality and justice. The projects that they are supporting are those which have the capacity to make radical change, but just need the financial support, guidance and mass exposure that Cheers For Cheer so freely and kindly offers. This isn’t one of those charities that will complete a few projects and then disappear into the wilderness, this is a charity whose heart and soul are born out of justice. By combining the celebratory nature of gratitude in the west, and the need for justice in developing countries, Cheers For Cheer is an action-driven, phenomenal charity that will leave its stamp on the places that need it the most. It will leave its mark on the hearts of those who deserve a better life.
Thank you to Carly for founding such an inspiring charitable trust. Thank you for supporting me and my one-woman mission, for, without Cheers For Cheer and the diverse support offered, my clean water project would never be able to manifest and turn into Reality. I speak on behalf of the human rights activists out there who hope to implement change; Cheers is a glimmer of hope that exposes the unseen and shouts out for the unheard.
What has been achieved with the support of Cheers For Cheer and UK supporters?
-Febuary 2017 – Pre-hydrogeological survey and ground assessment complete $5000
-September 2017 – March 2018 – Four boreholes and new clean water wells have been drilled and installed $32,724.30
‘We are all as one under the same sun’ – Community member of village – Mesko A, Tanzania, East Africa.
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