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Field Rep Voices: Laughter is Universal

Alexis is a senior from Long Island, New York who is getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service & Administration at St. John’s University.

If her story inspires YOU, apply to work with us in Ghana this summer: sahaglobal.org/gotoghana

 

Why did you decide to apply for the Global Leadership Program?

Whenever my family would go on vacation, my parents made sure we gave back, especially in places where we have roots, like Guatemala, Argentina and Ecuador. So instead of going to the beach, we’d go work on a farm. That’s where my passion for partnering with people in developing communities began.

I heard about Saha Global from my friend Kayla who was a field rep in 2016 with the solar program.

What did you take away from the experience?

Going to Ghana with Saha Global was life changing for me. With everything that’s going on in our country it was a reminder that we are all human. If we aren’t willing to work with one another, who is? That was something very important I brought back home with me.

I got very attached to my community, Zakariyili, especially a little girl named Charisa, the chief’s granddaughter. She was with her mom (one of the entrepreneurs) every day. I could see that one day she would become part of the water business, too.

Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we formed strong emotional bonds with people. Our translator was great. She helped us communicate with everyone. And laughter is universal. The entire experience just left a place in my heart.

What was your “Saha aha” moment?

On my last day in Tamale I heard the women in the kitchen singing. The song was written by my church back home. In that moment, everything came full circle.

I gathered all of the things I wasn’t going to bring back — clothes and bug repellant — and gave them to the women. They were so happy that they were crying, and then I was crying, too. It’s not just about the communities you’re working in every day. You can change how people feel about their day through a simple gesture.

How has the Global Leadership Program influenced your career plans?

I’m really, REALLY passionate about social justice, especially systemic racism in our country. The program pushed me to look even deeper and understand my interest in social justice. I’m interested in finding work in Flint, Michigan after graduation (their water is STILL dirty). I never would have considered that before going to Ghana.

Someday I want to start my own nonprofit, so it was really awesome to see the inner workings of Saha and learn how to fundraise.

What advice do you have for future field reps?

Bring a first aid kit. My mom got me a traveler’s first aid kit with everything under the sun — ointment, Advil, aspirin, even a thermometer. I ended up using a substantial amount of it.

I wish I would have brought more stylish clothes. The women in the village were dressed so beautifully and I was wearing athletic gear the whole time.

Most of all, take it all in. The experience goes by pretty quick and you don’t think it will. Soak in every day and make as many connections with people as you can.

If you think you could help Saha bring clean water to a new community this summer, get your application in now!

You can still make our “First Round” Application Deadline: February 24th.

Let us know >> Apply Here!

 

Miss our Early Bird Deadline? It’s Not Too Late!

Did you miss A deadline?

 

Our next Global Leadership Program will take place in Tamale, Ghana from May 28 to June 18, 2019. While our Early Bird Application has just closed, we will still be filling up to three more teams (!!) over this spring. If you’re a hard-worker who thinks water is a human right, we want to talk to you.

Details:

Dates: May 28 – June 18, 2019

Location: Tamale, N/R, Ghana

Description: Come join a scrappy team on a mission to get the cleanest water to the poorest people. Since 2008, our three-week Global Leadership Program has trained hundreds of volunteer Field Representatives to help us launch women-owned businesses that provide clean water to an entire rural community in northern Ghana. If you’re passionate about clean water, global health & community-centered solutions, we can give you the training and support you need to get clean water to hundreds of people currently doing without.

Program Fee*: $3,500

Application: Open and Rolling

*covers all in-county expenses, including water treatment business materials, food and lodging but not the flight to Ghana. Most Field Reps cover this fee through fundraising, grants, or scholarships, which we’d be happy to discuss with interested folks!

Questions? Check out our FAQs or email us. We can’t wait to meet you.

Field Rep Voices: That time a humble tree nut closed the culture gap

Abby loved our program so much she did it twice! First, as a freshman, then as a junior. She is getting her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and International Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  

If her story inspires YOU, apply to work with us in Ghana this summer: sahaglobal.org/gotoghana

Why did you decide to (re)apply for the Global Leadership Program?

I just fell in love with Saha’s approach and having the opportunity to take on a project and go in a direction your team thinks is right. We would come across challenges in the village and talk about how to overcome them together. That sense of ownership was really appealing to me. Seeing the impact of the water businesses firsthand was rewarding, too.

What did you take away from the experience?

Participating in the Global Leadership Program gave me more confidence. After my first field rep experience I got involved with Engineers without Borders. Now I’m president of my school’s club and am leading a multi-year water supply and distribution project in Ecuador. We’ve had to deal with politics, financial concerns, and monitoring challenges. My experience with Saha helped prepare me.

What was your “Saha aha” moment?

On my team’s first day in Zobogu, we sought out the chairman to request a meeting with the chief. The village is located right off the road, and we learned the community is accustomed to outsiders coming in to pitch projects. But the chairman was surprised to learn we brought kola nuts as a gift for the chief, a symbol of respect in their culture.

As a society, we know how to clean water. Technical skills and knowledge are important, but Saha taught me that working within the local culture is every bit as important. That really hit home for me when I saw all the signs for failed water projects at the village entrance.

Has the Global Leadership Program influenced your career plans?

Definitely. As a civil engineer major, I learned so much seeing the human side of the equation.  My Saha experience inspired me to look for other international development opportunities, particularly around access to clean water.

What advice do you have for future field reps?

Keep an open mind. Everything will be new and unexpected. There’s no way to know what it will be like until you get there.

Talk to someone who’s done the program before. That really helped me when I was going through the application process. Saha can help get you connected with a past field rep.

If you think you could help Saha bring clean water to a new community this summer, get your application in now!

You can still make our “Early Bird” Application Deadline: January 28th.

Let us know >> Apply Here!

 

 

Thank you, Peter!

Delivering the polytank to our 3rd-ever business in Jarigu

Today on the blog, we are taking some time to highlight and bid a fond farewell to Saha’s first full-time Ghana team member, Peter.  Peter has worked with us since 2008, when Saha Global was just an idea, and we implemented the second water business in Nymaliga. In many ways, Peter is co-founder of Saha Global and we would not be where we are today without him.  We are so excited to see what the future has in store for him, and today we want to revisit some of our favorite memories of Peter’s time with Saha.

Over the years, Peter worked on every project under the hot Tamale sun!  He implemented clean water businesses in countless villages, and went above and beyond to fulfil the Saha mission.  He even made Saha’s first radio appearance!

It is through Peter that we met many of our current full-time staff, translators, and taxi drivers, including Wahab, Eric, Nestor, Simply, and Taufik (to name a few!)  Many of our teammates fondly refer to him as “Father Peter.”

The (in)famous Saha truck!

In addition to our work together in the villages, Peter has gone on many traveling adventures as a member of Saha’s leadership team. The first, and one of the most notable, was Kate and Peter’s trip to Kumasi in 2010 to buy a truck for Saha. This story was made famous (or infamous?) in Kate’s 2013 Tedx talk. It was certainly a trip to remember!

A few years later, Peter joined Kate and Kathryn on scouting missions to our neighboring countries Burkina Faso and Togo, while we were searching for new areas for Saha to work. While none of us spoke French well, Kate and Kathryn remembered a few words from high school French class and it was fun to turn the tables and have to translate for Peter after years of having him translate Dagbani for us! We will always remember the delicious roadside salads, long days in the truck, and hilarious French conversations on that trip!

Exploring our francophone neighbors Burkina Faso and Togo

After that trip, Peter was charged with setting up our office in Salaga, and piloted the first Salaga Saha business in Tunga with Kate and Kathryn in 2012.  Peter also led all of the preparations for two Global Leadership Programs based in Salaga during 2013.

Opening the first Salaga Saha business in Tunga

Since then, Peter has split his time between Tamale and Salaga, holding down the fort at our Salaga office: monitoring our seven Salaga villages and scouting for many more communities to be implemented in the future.

Peter and 2013 Field Reps Carole Anne, Lilly and Caroline celebrating opening day in Kideng

We’ve experienced so much together over the past 10 years. Exciting opportunities for Saha, growing friendships, expanding families, and so much more!

We are so grateful for Peter’s 10-plus years of hard work and service, and can’t wait to see what the future holds!  Ti pagya pom, Peter!

Summer 2019 Applications are Open!

It’s officially fall! For those of us in North America, the days are shorter, the leaves are turning, and we are cracking the books again. For those of us in Northern Ghana, the rains are slowing, the roads are drying out, and we are gearing up for big re-openings of Saha water businesses. If you’re like us, you’re feeling a bit of nostalgia for summer now that it’s gone. So why not

to summer 2019?

 

Just announced: our next Global Leadership Program will take place in Tamale, Ghana from May 28 to June 18, 2019. We will not be running a program this winter, in order to allow our team to focus on opening more water treatment businesses. Your next opportunity to pitch in will be Summer 2019.

Details:

Dates: May 28 – June 18, 2019

Location: Tamale, N/R, Ghana

Description: Come join a scrappy team on a mission to get the cleanest water to the poorest people. Since 2008, our three-week Global Leadership Program has trained hundreds of volunteer Field Representatives to help us launch women-owned businesses that provide clean water to an entire rural community in northern Ghana. If you’re passionate about clean water, global health & community-centered solutions, we can give you the training and support you need to get clean water to hundreds of people currently doing without.

Program Fee*: $3,500

Application: Open and Rolling

*covers all in-county expenses, including water treatment business materials, food and lodging but not the flight to Ghana. Most Field Reps cover this fee through fundraising, grants, or scholarships, which we’d be happy to discuss with interested folks!

Questions? Check out our FAQs or email us. We can’t wait to meet you.

Saha builds better businesses!

This summer, Sahayili continued to work hard to make sure our water businesses are working well. One way we have approached this was by pursuing empowerment of all of our team to have a solid baseline of financial training. If we expect our entrepreneurs in the field to know how to set a price to the water they sell and the plan for the aquatabs they buy, we have to make sure we are sending monitors who are excellent with finances!

This was one of our first experience in conducting a full-staff training “in-house”. Overall, it was enjoyable and valuable and the team felt that it was definitely worth missing one day in the field to strengthen our own skills. Our training was a mixing pot of learning about core concepts, math, design, and general professional development, facilitated by our fearless math leaders Rhiana and Kathryn. But enough of the overview– let’s get into the details of the day!

The first part of our workshop dealt with this big question of “why do we set up water businesses” and we had a great conversation where staff was able to relay a deep understanding of how finances relate to sustainability. Staff shared out that business are are important so that the women who run them can earn money and buy materials, cover the cost of the treatment process, and that by not just giving a Saha treatment center as a gift, we are actually empowering these women to have ownership of their water centers and motivating them to care for their own communities in a real and tangible way. We waded into the hard stuff and identified current challenges that our team is having, took a baseline quiz to see where we could all improve our understanding of Saha’s model, and ran example calculations of prices that we need to be able to do in the field.

For upcoming new Saha hires having a serious case of FOMO, have no fear! This session was so successful that we will continue to lay the same foundation with all new members of the Saha family.

After we thoroughly refreshed with some snacks and stretching, we did some math. We have to commend the staff members for sticking it out and doing something that was unfamiliar and rather long. They approached what could have been boring content with full excitement and were engaged the whole time. We did a “pair and share” method of doing some math calculations with a teammate because we all know there is strength in numbers and sometimes you just need to talk the problem out.

We ended the day with a really fun design challenge, addressing the question of how we improve our entrepreneur’s business skills when we meet with them to check in. We brainstormed and no ideas were off limits. We were encouraged to think about physical tools we could create, digital mockups, and acted out skits with our new ideas. We look forward to doing more exercises like these in the future!

  • Becky W.
  • Labariga Field Rep ’17, Saha Summer US Volunteer

Thank you Shak!

Shak on World Water Day 2010

Today we would like to highlight a special member of the Saha Family for his years of dedication and service with Saha: Ibrahim Shakool! Shak is leaving the Saha team after 9 years of amazing service. He has worked for Saha since 2009 and has help build our organization what it is today. We are so excited for Shak’s future endeavors and also want to take some time to share some of our favorite memories from the past 9 years.

In the early years at Saha, Shak did it all – from opening new water businesses to finding Saha’s first office in Tamale, to teaching us everything we needed to know about life in northern Ghana. Everyone in Tamale knows Shak and once someone figures out that you are a “friend of Shak” they will help you with anything. This is because Shak has helped so many people. He will do anything for his friends and family, and you become his friend the moment he meets you!

Throughout the years, Shak has really done a little bit of everything to help Saha. He started as a translator when we were a small but mighty team of 3 and quickly moved on to help implement and monitor villages on his own. He then helped to launch our solar program and became our resident solar expert. He was a translator for countless Global Leadership Programs and a favorite face for many Field Reps. For a short time he served as the Director of Ghana Operations while juggling full time monitoring! He would take on every task we asked of him and did his best to get it done. No task was too big for Shak.

Kate and Shak getting ready to great the 2015 Summer Field Reps

For many years, Shak would be the first face that our Field Reps would encounter as they exited the airport. His excitement and enthusiasm were infectious and the perfect introduction to the inviting hospitality of Ghanaian culture.  So many of our Field Reps say that Shak’s big, friendly smile made them feel right at home. From Dagbani lessons to leading lost field reps to opening a water center, his passion for the work he does always shines through.

 

This past year Shak has supported our new batch of monitors to grow and shine. He also opened 5 new water businesses, bringing clean water to almost 3,000 people. In between implementations, he would step in when we needed to visit piped villages, get a metal stand replaced, or monitor villages when when a colleague was sick.

Shak, fearlessly optimistic, as usual!

What are next steps for Shak? He is excited to see the new generation of Saha staff grow. Meanwhile he has grand plans of being a yellow-yellow driver and opening up his own restaurant in Tamale. We are trying to convince him to name the restaurant  “Shak’s Shak,” but it is still in the works.

To say that our team at Saha is like a family is an understatement. We care about each other as much as we care about the work that we do. The dedication that our term puts into their work is outstanding and an integral part in the success of any Saha Water Business. Shak will always be an important part of our Saha family!  Shak – Thank you for your years of service to Saha. You will be greatly missed and we know you are going to do great things!


“Chew and Pour” No More!

“Chew and Pour” refers to the teaching method typical in most Ghanaian school systems that focuses on repetition and memorization. It is the difference between a lecture versus a hands-on activity. In the past year, we have been trying to focus our interactions with the community away from lectures and towards conversations. Instead of lecturing about the importance of clean water, we have been emphasizing more on the conversation around clean water and allowing our communities to come to the same conclusions. “You should ____ ” and “Stop doing that” have turned into “Why do you ____?” and “Do you think ____? ” . We’ve learned that it is a more effective way of sharing an idea or concept if they are able to draw their own conclusions through participating in an active engaged dialog. This month, we tried to take this technique of conversation and curiosity and apply it to the way we talk about children’s education. So, this year is the start of our Children’s Education Month!

Eric having a little fun after finishing a Children’s Education.

This years Children’s Education Month ran from June 20th to July 26th which is the last day before kids (kindergarten, primary, and junior high) children go on break. We kicked off the month by introducing a Children’s Education and Parent Discussion Handbooks to our staff to start trying out in the field. It included key concepts to go over and suggestions for types of questions to help encourage participation in the conversation. The goals of these conversations was to learn about the challenges that parents and children face in having clean water available for children/getting children to drink clean water, how to promote good WASH habits, and ways Saha could help support the effort to have children drink clean water. The children are the future of all our communities, so it is important for us to help encourage these good habits and understanding at an early age, so they could continue to on to a strong adulthood.

This year we were able to do Children’s Education for 16 Villages: Nekpegu, Tohinayili, Kalinka, Baiyili, Dawunyili, Sagbarigu, Lambo, Juni, Yendanyili, Jagberin, Tijo, Tindan, Bamvim, Wambong, and Warivi. In the classrooms, we printed out “Commitment to Clean Water” posters where students pledged their commitment to clean water.Some of the Children’s Educations happened in schools some were done informally with a collection of kids in a village. Education can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom! (I would argue that most learning happens outside of the classroom anyway.)

In addition to the formal gathering of children, we also encouraged monitors to talk to kids and parents in their households while they conduct their normal monitoring visits. When I went with Nestor to Sahanaayili, we talked to each household about children having access to clean water. Every household we visited had a clean water cup/container just for their kids. The parents would watch over the children to make sure they were taking care of their cup/container properly and not recontaminating the water. It was so great to see! The children were also excited about it. We talked about one of the challenges that many households face: Children playing with the tap. The households in Sahanaayili each said that they would serve the children what until they were old enough to learn how to use the tap properly, then they would be shown what to do and what not to do. The older kids were helpful in making sure the younger ones used it properly. This hope is to help communities who are struggle with advice from those who have been doing well.

One of the challenges we learned that children face with regards to drinking clean water is that sometimes they have a hard time telling their parents that they should have clean water in the household for fear of it becoming disrespectful. So, even if they knew that they should be drinking water, they couldn’t always because their parents wouldn’t get the water. This insight reinforces our efforts to talk to parents more and frame more conversations around the children and their health. Additionally, Wahab (who was the one who had this conversation with the kids) also made a great point saying if your parents were to walk on a hole and potentially break their foot. It is okay to bring up things that are good for their health. Approaching children’s education from both angles (parents and kids) has been a great tool to encourage children to drink clean water.

Prototype in the house by Seidu, Rhiana, and Kathryn
Prototype in the community: Sita and Theo
Prototype in the school: Simply and Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several Saha staff signed up for an online course called Prototyping 201 hosted by Acumen which overlapped with Children’s Education Month. We used this coincidence as an opportunity! For our first practice of prototyping, we took an idea and made physical prototype out of it and our inspiration was Children’s Education Month. So, we brainstormed ideas on how to talk about drinking clean water with children in 3 situations: at home, in school, and in the community. The team was able to come up with fantastic ideas! For the conversations at home, Seidu, Rhiana, and Kathryn prototype stickers for children to indicate good and bad WASH habits. In the schools, Simply and I prototype a coloring book called “Healthy Hadija helps Silly Sana” where a little girl helps her friend learn how to keep clean water clean in the home.  For the community conversation, Theo and Sita developed prototype for a microscope to help kids, parents, and everyone see what is really in their water so they can learn that clear does not mean clean. It was an incredibly fun exercise and amazing to see the creativity of the team! Hopefully these creative ideas keep going and eventually turn into new (fun!) ways of communicating our ideas to our communities.

The biggest thing we’ve learned this year is to just talk about it! Incorporate these questions about clean water for children in our everyday interactions in the villages. Engage with the children. Engage with the parents. There is a lot to learn from them when we get them involved in the conversation. The hope is not just to have these conversations one a month, but every day!

Oh what a month! I would like to thank the team for their input on the handbooks an going out and having these school educations and these conversations. Thanks for all your hard work this month.

I’ll end with a quote from my favorite song in preschool, why this was my favorite song as a preschool is beyond me, but young Heidi was very wise “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”- “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston

 

Rainy Season 2018 Reflections

2018 has been incredibly busy, but in all the best ways! We are more than mid-way through this year, so it is the perfect time to look back and assess our accomplishments.  Amidst the busy pace of the Global Leadership Program, our full time staff continued business as usual in our Ghana office (where business as usual is working extremely hard and doing amazing things). The skies have become cloudier, the days cooler, and the roads wetter as rainy season starts to pick up here in Tamale. This is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the year so far and the incredible things the team has been able to do.

During this time of muddy shoes, wet roads, and once-dry dugouts brimming with water, we have decided to put implementations and scouting on hiatus until the start of the dry season. Businesses during rainy season are understandably very slow in many communities because any family with a tin roof is collecting rainwater at this time and doesn’t need to buy additional drinking water as frequently. We found that it is best for new businesses to start off strong during the dry season, when demand for clean water is much higher. Additionally, during the rainy season the roads can be difficult or impossible to traverse (especially the unfamiliar ones that our scouters venture on)!  For scouting new villages, the rainy season makes it a challenge to accurately assess access to clean water, since there is an abundance of water right now. So it makes the most sense to take a little break from implementation and scouting. Fret not, we still have plenty of other activities for our staff to work on during this time: Annual Surveys, Updated Household Lists, Children’s Educations, Research & Development, etc. There is never a dull day in the Saha world and there is always more to be done! Continuous improvement!

First, I’d like to have a shout out to the Scouting Team. Without them, we wouldn’t have found the villages we implemented in this past year. Our goal was to scout 100 potential villages this year and we are at 93 already!  We’ve scouted and mapped nearly every village within a 3-hour moto-drive-radius from Tamale. Incredible! Coming out of the rainy season, we will see if there are any ‘hidden’ villages out there yet to discover!

Villages scouted this year so far!

With our Implementation Team we are able to implement new businesses in more villages at a faster rate outside of the Global Leadership Program. Our slogan for this year is “18 for 18!”, or in other words, 18 Saha team-led implementations for the 2018. For anyone keeping track, with 10 GLP villages that will bring us to 28 new villages this year!  In the first half of the year, this mighty team has implemented 9 new water businesses, half of our goal!. Since this is our first time having an Implementation Team, we are still working out many details and it can only get better with each iteration. We developed an Implementation Handbook for the team to reference during their implementations. There is a lot to remember, especially for just one person.

Some lessons learned so far in our first year of implementation team:

  • Having someone come to help during distributions helps a lot! The days can be long and we want to make sure that Implementers continue to have the same energy and enthusiasm in household 1 as they do in household 101.
  • The implementation book is helpful to remember all the little details that goes into implementing. Always check at the end of the day if there was anything you’ve forgotten to do. The larger pictures in the handbook are a favorite feature for pitching the idea to the community, and the laminated pages make them more durable.
  • We can take our time training the women. If we don’t think they understood it the first time, it is okay to go over it again, and again if needed. We aren’t in the time constraints of the GLP, so we have the freedom of a more flexible schedule.
  • For larger communities it is okay to have more than one opening days! It’s better to plan ahead for them, so people don’t show up and leave with empty buckets.
  • Implementation Team Handbook: A new tool to help us bring the cleanest water to all of Northern Ghana!

Below is a summary of all the new communities implemented by our team this year and the women entrepreneurs we’ve introduced to the Saha Family!

Village Name: Implementer Opening Date Population Who are the entrepreneurs?
Sinsina Shak 1 Feb 4, 2018 466 Naana and Asana
Buiyili Shak 2 Mar 12, 2018 695 Salamatu, Mariama & Nafidah
Sahanaayili Eric 2 Mar 12, 2018 206 Rukaya, Zenabu, Ayishetu, Abibata, & Sadia
Tibugu Wahab 3 Apr 12, 2018 936 Samata, Arahanatu, Barikisu and Zenab
Nagbuligu Shak 3 Apr 23, 2018 1250 Fati,Azara,ikma,and sadia
Jagbo Tindang Eric 3 Apr 27, 2018 763 Fusseini Fusseina,Issahaku Asiya,Mohammed Zainabu and Sulemana Fatima
Wala Mogli Wahab 4 May 25, 2018 299 Samata, Adishetu, Fatima and Asana
Tunga Daborpe Shak 4 May 28, 2018 223 Rashida,Ayisha,Asana,Rabi and Maina.
Nangbagu Shak 5 Jun 19, 2018 255 Memunatu1 , Memunatu 2,Rahama,Adija and Mariam.
Kpalsogu kuraa Eric 5 Jun 2, 2018 479 Ibrahim Atika,Haruna Salamatu, Sulemana Amatu,Baba Fatima,Abdulai Agatha,Kpanalan Awabu, Yussif Sanatu,Aku Amina, Mohammed Hawabu.

 

Here are some photos from the past 7 months of work by our Implementation team:

Opening day in Buiyili
Long lines at Jagbo Tindang’s opening day!
Hard at work opening Kpalsogu-Kuraa
Opening Day in Nagbuligu
Busy opening day in Nangbagu
Opening Day in Sinsine
Opening day in Tibugu
Making the first sale ever in Tunga Daporbe!
Washing buckets on opening day in Wala Mogli

Now these communities are being monitored weekly by our Monitoring team who is helping to provide additional support and training for the women entrepreneurs and communities. There have been small but impactful improvements from the Office that has made managing all three teams more, for lack of a better word, manageable! To updated expense reports to gas cards, all these little things add up to big changes and allowed us to be able to have the capacity to do more. We are currently preparing different workshops to help build our team’s knowledge and skills sets: Financial Training, Human-Centered Design, and Lab Training. These are the ones we’ve already gotten started, and there are still more in the pipeline.

I am so impressed by the hard work of the team and how much we’ve been able to accomplish in this half year alone and I look forward to even more we can do in the second half of 2018!

The future sure is bright here at Saha!

#sahawaterworks – reflections on the summer ’18 program

It’s been just one week since we said goodbye to the 2018 Summer Field Reps. Thanks to this awesome group students and young professionals, Saha was able to partner with with 6 more communities in Northern Ghana to open new water treatment businesses. Because of them, 2,356 people now have the ability to drink clean water each day. 26 women entrepreneurs are able to provide potable water to their friends, family and neighbors through  community-supported small businesses. And Saha is able to welcome 24 new faces to our global Saha family!

Abby, Abby, Alexis, Ariel, Ben, Bennu, Cèline, Chase, Corey, Dai, Emma, Fiona, Griffin, Jack, Jean, Julie, Lexie, Lindsay, Mary Reade, Michael, Muriel, Sam, Samantha & Victoria:

Can you believe it? We sweat through taxi breakdowns and laughed through luggage pepperoni foibles. We rolled alum balls on the porch and rolled with the punches more generally. We navigated the market and the ins and outs of a new-to-us culture. Most importantly, we found joy and success in the surprise of the unanticipated. Though not every moment was easy, all the (literal) blood, sweat and tears certainly paid off. 
It was such a pleasure to work with all of y’all, and we consider ourselves lucky to count you as part of Sahayili! As you head off to your next adventures, please don’t forget
Dalibila, Jegun, Kpalkore, Nafarun, Zakariyili and Zobogu
and all of us here at Saha, and let us know what we can do to further your missions.

With gratitude,

And now… the jumping pics.

Team Cèline, Evans, Julie, Chase & Michael (not pictured) in Nafarun

 

Team Bennu, Emma, Eric, Gaffaru, Victoria and Abby in Zobogu

 

Team Corey, driver Hustla, Griffin, Samantha and Mary Reade in Dalibila

 

Team Fiona, Jean, driver Sadiq, Lexie and Samantha in Kpalkore

 

Team Abby, Jack, Alexis and Ben in Zakariyili

 

Team Ariel, Lindsay, Dai and Muriel in Jegun