Our 50th Well in South Africa
November 1, 2023
It is with great joy that we begin plans for drilling our 50th well here in South Africa next week. Our water projects began several years ago with a partnership between Blessman International, HyVee
, and Rotary
. We raised $170,000 for our first project and delivered 11 wells to schools and communities with severe need for safe drinking water. HyVee Corporate was so impressed with the efficiency and quality of this project that they have stayed on board and funded over 40 wells since then. A few individuals have also stepped forward to fund water projects for us. Convoy of Hope has funded one of our water projects and reports to us that they hope to fund many additional wells for us in the future.
When we learned a few years later that small children were falling into pit toilets in their schools and drowning, we knew that we must also address this problem and started building new Enviro Loo toilets. These are waterless composting-type toilets that we construct in beautiful brick buildings. Currently, we have constructed 286 toilet stalls throughout South Africa.
There are literally thousands of preschools caring for children aged 2 to 5 scattered throughout South Africa. Most all of these are impoverished centers where a few dedicated African women care for 30 to 90 children Monday through Friday. Most of these centers receive little or no financial assistance from the government. Blessman International is focusing attention on improving the lives of these young children by providing water and sanitation projects, gardens, and food packets to help feed these beautiful children.
Blessman International is interested in the longevity and sustainability of all of our programs. The water pumps and all plumbing structures are guaranteed for 3 years. At the completion of the projects, we turn ownership immediately over to the community or institution needing these services. We have learned over the years that sometimes here in Africa when a well stops working it is presumed that it is not repairable so they do not even call us for assistance. Recently we started putting a water meter with a SIM card in each of our water projects. This alerts us immediately if the well were to stop providing water so that we can reach out and remedy the problem. It is also great information for our donors to see how many liters of water the well they donated is providing each week.
A couple of years ago we started adding a beautiful garden with dripline irrigation to each of our water projects. The gardens provide fresh vegetables for all of the children in these centers. In addition, we connect them with our large child feeding initiative and provide food packets to them from Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope. These children are taught Bible stories, songs, and the power of prayer.
Prayer request: We will be hosting all of the Convoy of Hope African missionaries on our Shikwaru Campus in mid-November. Please pray with us that this summit will go well and be a blessing to all the missionaries who travel long distances to attend.