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Maji Yaje Kwanza

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
94 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 23, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

When Hope Wins: Nearing the Finish Line

February 21, 2018

There are moments in life when hope wins. When you knock on 100 doors, and one opens. When one person's needless suffering causes others to stand up. When the darkness of doubt and apathy is met suddenly and resoundingly with assurance that empathy, truth, and the power of humanity, can change the world. 


Today we received a $6,000 donation from a real-life angel, followed by a $750 donation from another angel - and in those moments, we collectively created a new reality: we made the objective to bring water to Mihingoni not just a distant possibility, but a current probability. We did it, all - today, we surpassed the $10,000 goal. 


We've created a new stretch goal of $16,000 for the remainder of the campaign - as mentioned in the project description/video, $16,000-18,000 will be needed to bring complete resolution to the remaining infrastructure work (~$16,000 for the underground well, and an estimated ~$1,000-2,000 for a solar water pump).


I want to give a sincere, heartfelt THANK YOU to each of our generous donors from across nine states, giving gifts from $10 to $100 to $750 to $6,000. Do you realize the magnitude of what you've done this past month? You've, quite literally, contributed to magic. Because what is magic but making the seemingly impossible real? 


With this new incredible boost today we are within arm's reach of making this work a reality. Please continue to share the project page between now and 11:59pm PST on 2/23. 


In Solidarity,


Ashley and the Maji Yaje Kwanza team

We're in the News!

February 16, 2018

Hello All,


Great news: we're in the news! The UC Berkeley News Center and UC Berkeley Twitter account featured an article about the project, written by the UC Berkeley Blum Center for Developing Economies:


This was a huge achievement and opportunity for visibility, and we're so happy to be able to share this with you all as current supporters of the work. We're anticipating some additional coverage within the UC Berkeley channels over the coming week, which will hopefully increase visibility and help us in successfully reaching out goal.  


We're deeply grateful to everyone who has given over the past few weeks - I want to make a special note to thank:

Ravi Patel, Cate Deicer, Dina Bseiso, Joann Van Horn Wieland, Clay Grant-Minchin, as well as many of our anonymous donors - I don't know any of you personally, and am deeply appreciative that you chose to contribute to our cause. 


I also want to celebrate our first major donation of $500, given by Darwin and Donna Poulos. This was a huge boost to the campaign, and we're so grateful to you both.


We're getting into the final stretch of the campaign - although we have a ways to go toward our end goal, I truly have hope that word of mouth will spread with these new media publications and that we will reach success. 


If you would be open to sharing/re-sharing with your friends and networks at this time it would be a huge help.


In solidarity,


Ashley and the Maji Yaje Kwanza team

Thank You All + What it Mean to Keep a Promise

February 04, 2018

Hello All,


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. 


With gratitude,


Maji Yaje Kwanza team

Our way
of Thanking You


Social Media Shout-Out

A social media shout-out to recognize you for your contribution toward our goal.

15 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: February 2018


Handwritten TY Card (Ashley)

A handwritten thank you card from Ashley to personally give gratitude to you and your support.

12 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2018


Recording of Ashley Singing

An emailed recording of Ashley singing, along with a personalized thank you message.

8 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: February 2018


Handwritten TY Card (school)

A handwritten thank you card from the Mihingoni Primary school administration, sent to you upon completion of the project.

0 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2018


Recording: Music Made in Kenya

An emailed recording of a song between Ashley and the musicians in the family in Kenya, giving a glimpse into the shared love and connection that’s kept this project going.

1 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2018


Google Hangout Session

A Google hangout session after implementation to share in the celebration of the project’s completion, and answer any questions.

1 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2018


1:1 Coffee Meet-up

A 1:1 coffee meet-up if in the area (or a skype call if far away) with Ashley, to discuss the experience, share stories, and overall get an insider’s view into our project.

0 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2018


Long-Term Project Plans

A copy of the long-term project plans after bringing resolution to this pilot project, and an in-person meeting or Skype call to discuss/hear any input.

0 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: February 2018
Our Crowdfunding Groups