First, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has given so far. The start of a crowdfunding campaign is the biggest hurdle because it relies entirely on the goodwill and faith of those early $25, $50, and $100 gifts to build momentum and get the word out to others. The fact that we've fundraised $2500+ in just over a week across NINE different states is truly incredible, and is a testament to each one of you. I'm behind in my social media shoutouts and private messages (they're on their way this weekend!), but in addition to thanking those I know personally, I also want to acknowledge:
- Michael Prime, Julia Rodriguez, Rebekah Mosby, Peter Young, Robert Eliason, Ron Robertson, Stephen Sartori, along with some anonymous donors.
I don't believe I know any of you personally, and the fact that you've given to our work is deeply humbling and reaffirms to me/us that collective action is possible.
For me, this campaign is about what it means to keep a promise. When we originally spoke to the community about the plan for this project, our fundamental objective was to bring water to the people. We heard a lot of surprise, gratitude, and enthusiasm. We also heard some skepticism, passivity, and resolution. Why? Because we are not the first people to conceive of bringing water to the area. I remember hearing 'it's been 50 years of being told water will come. soon.' And yet, due to many causal factors - some due to oversight, some due to lack of resources, and some due to abuses of power at many different institutional levels - water had not come. What happens when 'soon' becomes deferred indefinitely? What is the crippling effect of a broken promise, across generations?
I think one of the most tragic losses is the belief that things could change. When we finished the pilot project I felt hope from a lot of people in the community. And yet, due to many causal factors, water is still not there. The team and I could give plenty of valid reasons why 'we already did what we could do' - but that does nothing to fight a broken promise.
I feel very strongly about the principle of not experimenting with people's lives, especially something as fundamental as access to water. We intend to establish the borehole to connect with the already-enacted infrastructure to serve roughly 3000 people. Collective action and a shared sense of hope is revolutionary, not just because it will bring the community water, but because it also is a reminder of what is possible. 'Maji Yaje Kwanza' - 'water is the first of many things' isn't about seeing water as the end point: it's about seeing water as a liberating beginning. Thank you for your support in making this belief a reality.
Shifting to a more logistical note, I've been working toward gaining media coverage of different kinds - we've gotten only positive responses, but exact updates are still on their way. If you haven't already done so, sharing the project page with your friends and networks would be monumental for increasing awareness about the work.
Maji Yaje Kwanza team