Trees of Glory is located 2 hours north of Addis Ababa, and serves nearly 150 orphaned and destitute children by providing daily meals, clean water, medical care, clothing, education and Christian discipleship.
Presently, water is carried to the CarePoint each morning on the backs of donkeys - drawn from the river or a spigot in the nearby village. This water is used for drinking, cooking and hand-washing only, as there is not enough water for bathing or washing clothes.
Plans for the well have been underway for quite some time, and it was fully funded in September. Since then, the geographical surveys, licensing and permits were being secured, and a date for the drilling was set, and then re-set, and then set again.
In November, when our team of volunteers was at Trees of Glory for 3 days, I spoke to Simret (founder) and Girma (finance manager) about the upcoming well project. This has been high on their priority list since they founded the CarePoint in 2010 with 84 children. With their recent expansion and enrollment (they now serve nearly 150 children!), the well is even more of a priority!
Simret explained that the well on the property would not only provide an abundant supply of fresh, clean water for drinking and cooking, but it would supply water for the plumbing in the showers and bathrooms that have not had water flowing for nearly 20 years! (Trees of Glory used to be the site of a Japanese construction company 20+ years ago which had shower and toilet facilities that had fallen into complete disrepair when the site was abandoned.)
She told me that that one of the first things they would do is implement a time each week for all children to be bathed or showered. They would also teach the kids to wash their clothes and the children would be required to bring their clothing each week to be washed in the large plumbed wash basins and hung to dry during the day. At the end of the school day, the clothes would be dry and the children could take home a set of clean clothes.
During our time at the CarePoint, we visited the homes of several children. Mud huts with mud floors, with no running water or electricity. Families walk a great distance carrying water from the river or the town spigot (at least a 45-60 minute walk one way) to use for drinking and cooking. There is not enough for bathing or washing clothes, which was very apparent.
The photos I take of these beautiful children do not do justice to show the build up of dirt on their skin and in their hair. The photos don't do justice to the stained and tattered clothing that looks grey or beige from months and years of wear. The kids go months (if not longer) without a bath and without clothes being washed. They walk to school in the dirt. They play in the dirt. Their home has a mud floor and mud walls. They sleep on animal hides on the mud floor in the clothes they wore all day.
Having a fresh water well on the property at the CarePoint will make a dramatic difference in the lives of these kids every day. Something we take for granted here, is a life-saving and life-changing luxury for these kids in Ethiopia!
THANK YOU to all the sponsor families and donors who funded this project!!! Here are the first photos from the drilling which began the last week of January!!
The drilling rigs, equipment and work crews arrive at Trees of Glory!
The drilling rig makes it way to the well site to begin the bore hole.
After many hours of drilling and several geological obstacles, they hit water!
The first water mixed with the drilling slurry, flows from the well.
Girma (finance manager) on the left and Simret (founder) on the right.
PVC pipes are inserted into the bore hole as part of the well construction.