Kevin Goes to Ghana! Clean Water & Female Empowerment 2017!
Organized by: Kevin OKeefe
EVENT DATE Dec 09, 2016
A Word from Kevin O'Keefe
I am so excited to have the opportunity to go to rural villages in the Northern Region of Ghana this winter with Saha Global, and to participate in their life-changing mission of starting clean water businesses in towns throughout the countryside in order to increase public health awareness among the population. These businesses are completely run and operated by women from each of these villages in an effort to increase the roles of females in the community and empower new generations of women and children to strive for greatness and to make a difference in their communitites. Each business uses supplies found in the community to purify local water sources that are oftentimes heavily polluted and dangerous to consume, in an attempt to eradicate diseases that have hampered progress in the community on numerous fronts. All proceeds from my fundraiser will go directly to Saha Global to cover the costs of supplies needed to start these businesses, such as water tanks, building materials, and water treatment products. I want to stress more than anything else, that this fundraiser is not in any way to send me on a vacation or to pay for my own personal expenses, but rather is going straight to helping the people of Ghana and to make a difference in their lives. The ability to not have to worry about drinking clean water is a human right that all people deserve, and one which should not be taken for granted. If you can help make a difference by donating in any way you can, I would be so appreciative of your assistance in helping make the world a more equal place.
As a future student of public health and a lifelong advocate of human rights and gender equality, I can not stress enough how much this work means to me and how excited I am to participate in this endeavor. I feel that working with Saha will truly help me gain experience that will be invaluable later in my professional life as I seek to increase public health awareness in underprivileged community and work to create legislation that will change lives and give more people access to basic medical rights and curb the prevelence of curable disease in society. The thought of spending a month in Africa is absolutely exhilerating for me, and I cannot wait to get my feet on the ground, get involved, and start helping others while at the same time exploring a new part of the globe. As someone who has grown up in a place where I have been blessed with countless opportunities and never had to worry about my own health, I believe that this trip will help me give back to the global community. I don't think it's fair that I should be able to live such a privilged lifestyle while so many people suffer daily, and I am so passionate about making a difference in this trend. All it takes is a simple donation, hardly more than a single meal out or a gallon of gas, to purchase supplies that will make all the difference in the life of someone without access to clean water. Together, if we can raise money to do so, we will all be empowering a new generation of people who can come up with solutions to global problems and who can truly make a difference in the world. This trip is just the beginning in my life pursuit of promoting equality across the global community, and I appreciate any help I can get in setting a new standard for future generations. Thank you so much!
- At Saha Global, we believe that access to safe drinking water is one of the biggest challenges of our time. 780 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. Water-related diseases, like diarrhea, dysentery and cholera, kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. The most vulnerable population are children under the age of five.
- Despite these seemingly grim statistics, we are confident that our generation can be the one to end the Global Water Crisis. The solutions to this problem exists. Effective, low-cost water treatment technology is widely available – we just need to connect these solutions to the people who need them.
- For the past eight years, Saha has focused our efforts in the Northern Region of Ghana. In 2008, our co-founders, Kate and Vanessa, were conducting their graduate research on the water crisis in this area, where 800,000 people lack access to safe drinking water. People living in rural communities are forced to drink from fecally contaminated surface water sources called dugouts. As a result, 15-25% of children under the age of five are suffering from diarrheal disease (the third leading infectious killer worldwide).
- The more that Kate and Vanessa learned about the water needs in Northern Ghana, the more connected and passionate they felt about the impact that they could have. They were surprised to find a wealth of affordable water treatment products available in local markets and realized the key to success was training people who lived in rural communities how to use these technologies.
- Saha Global trains women in rural communities to solve their village’s need for clean water by providing business opportunities. We partner with communities and train local women to launch profitable social enterprises. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs. To date, Saha Global has launched 93 clean water businesses which serve 46,510 and are fraction of cost of drilling a borehole or well. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.