The genesis of a 30 well restoration expedition took place this past week in the Quissanga District. For this particular project a woman named Ana was asked to assist with logistics and documentation. Most women in Mozambique take a backseat when the men are in the mix. Not Ana. From daybreak to sundown, Ana set the bar. We couldn’t believe how the local men, not only made way for her to contribute, but followed her lead. It was amazing to watch her work. She was competent, kind, motivated and completely committed to helping the people. If she wasn’t getting her hands dirty, she was busy collecting data, taking pictures or documenting the project. She never stopped.
At the end of our time together, our team told her how much we appreciated her passion and work ethic. We also underscored how much we valued her leadership. She smiled, pointed to Tinho, our in-country Water-Coordinator, and said, “teacher”. For the first time it dawned on us that the training and hard work we’ve been doing the past 6 years was actually materializing.
It’s an incredible feeling when you step back and watch 8 mechanics use the exact skills, tools and knowledge that we’ve passed on to help thousands of people. It doesn’t get much better.
When we decided to commit ourselves to the work of sustainability, we knew it would be hard and not all that sexy. Training and empowerment just doesn’t have the same appeal as constructing a new well for hundreds of people. However, if the water is going to keep flowing, it’s essential.
“Give a someone a cup of water and they will drink for a day. Teach a someone how to maintain and restore a well, and they (and their village) will drink for life”. This year Vox is on target to train and deploy 60 new well mechanics. The best is yet to come.