Drop in the Bucket, Africa
Katherine Hughes on December 17, 2018 in Health & Sanitation
Although the Earth is 71% covered in water, only 2.5% is freshwater that is drinkable. Furthermore, only 1% of all freshwater is accessible, in rivers, lakes or wells, as the rest is stored in glaciers or in other hard-to-access places. Many diseases are spread through lack of access to clean and safe drinking water, and more than one billion people lack access to it. Drop in the Bucket is working to solve this problem in East Africa.
Drop in the Bucket’s mission is to provide access to clean water because it is a “Basic human right that must be met to help people break the cycle of poverty. We believe every child should have access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities to create an environment that is conducive to health, attendance and learning. Our mission is to provide schools and communities with tools they need to improve child health, increase school enrollment rates, and promote gender equality,” said John Travis, a founder and manager for staff in Uganda and South Sudan. Drop in the Bucket was founded in 2006, when they built a well in Uganda to improve access to drinking water. Since then, they have built more than 350 wells and toilets, and have expanded to helping communities more broadly.
In the past 12 years, Drop in the Bucket has made a large impact. “Some of our recent successes include providing safe water to thousands of South Sudanese refugees living in settlements in Uganda, providing water and sanitation to hundreds of schools in Uganda and South Sudan, being the only organization in the history of Equatoria State in South Sudan to get an entire village to stop the practice of open defecation… and in the last three years we have started a scholarship program to help girls go to secondary school and stay in until they graduate,” Mr. Travis said.
Drop in the Bucket is a Top-Rated Nonprofit according to Great Nonprofits, so to ensure they continue to maximize the money and resources being used for their mission, Drop in the Bucket relies on volunteers. “We end up relying on volunteers in the US for many things. We are always looking for coders/developers, UX/UI experts, copy writers, bloggers, social media experts/influencers, video editors, directors, content creators, people interested in helping plan or work fundraising events, and more,” Mr. Travis said. Although many people want to volunteer in Africa for Drop in the Bucket, there are not enough resources for that to happen. Invitations are only extended to people who volunteer for Drop in the Bucket in the U.S. and make a large impact.
Mr. Travis believes the future of Drop in the Bucket is promising. He believes Drop in the Bucket will continue to support girls’ education in South Sudan and throughout East Africa, while continuing their sanitation and safe-water initiatives. He believes that through organizations like his, the cycle of poverty and the spread of diseases through drinking water in East Africa and throughout the world can be broken.
If you would like to support Drop in the Bucket’s mission or get involved, please visit their website at https://www.dropinthebucket.org/. There are many ways to help Drop in the Bucket, including organizing fundraisers, supporting well-building efforts, and volunteering for the organization - every drop in the bucket makes it fuller.