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#sahydrated – Reflections on Saha’s Summer ’17 Program

It’s been just over a week since we said goodbye to the 2017 Summer Field Reps. Thanks to this group of talented, passionate and driven women and men, Saha was able to partner with with 10 communities in Northern Ghana to open 10 new water treatment businesses. Because of them, over 3,600 people now have the ability to drink clean water, daily. 28 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 37 new faces to our global Saha family!

Alex, Alex, Alyssa, Amanda, Ashley, Brian, Caitlin, Cameron, Delaney, Dylan, Elias, Emma, Gaby, Harley, Henry, Ian, Jessica, Kate, Laura, Lexie, Lizzy, Lupita, Maya, Meagan, Nick, Rae, Raleigh, Sam, Solum, Sophia, Stew, Sydney, Taylor, Tshion, Zach, Zach, and Zijun:

It seems crazy to think that after three weeks of laughs, mosquito bites, blood/sweat/tears, games, guinea fowls, savannah sunsets, questioning and discoveries, we said goodbye for the last time as a group last week. We are so grateful for the excitement, enthusiasm, hard-work and positivity that you brought to team Saha. Because of you, thousands of people are living their lives with more opportunities for health and happiness. Due to your efforts and problem-solving, Saha was able to open

the MOST WATER BUSINESSES in our history!
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
Vene, Sahani, Gbunja, Darvoguyili, Kpachaa, Suri, Lambo, Larigbani, Tinkpanglanyili and Nakpanzoo 
and all of us here at Saha, and let us know what we can do to further your missions. 

With gratitude,

Amin, Eda, Eric, Kate, Kathryn, Morganne, Peter, Shak & Wahab

And now … for the jumping pics!

Team Cameron, Sita, Maya and Nick in Vene

Team Jessica, Gaby, Brian, Amin and Henry (not pictured) in Lambo

Team Kate, Blessing, Sophia, Tshion and Harley (not pictured) in Darvoguyili

Team Laura, Sam, Ian, Alyssa and Jaleel (not pictured) in Kpachaa

Team Nestor, Dylan, Rae and Lexie in Gbunja

Team Alex, Delaney, Lupita and Shak in Tingpangyili

Team Taylor, Ashley, Taufik, Lizzie and Stew in Nakpanzoo

Team Sydney, Elias, Raleigh, Wahab and Meaghan in Sahani

Team Simply, Zach, Caitlin, Solum and Emma in Larigbani

Team Zach, Zijun, Alex, Amanda and Peter in Suri

Field Rep Voices: Blessing, Harley, Kate, Sofia and Tshion

Hi from Team Blessing!

We have been implementing a clean water business in the village of Darvoguyili and have found it to be a lively community with a lot of spirit! After lots of building, preparation, and training, we had our opening day this past Friday. When we arrived to oversee the process we were at first met with total chaos. People were congregated all around the center with their safe storage containers ready to go and women were in the process of roasting shea nuts. A mix of smoke and excitement wafted through the air.

Our two women, Masana and Abida (left to right)

Our friend Jonathan Jakpa, the local schoolteacher, was able to help us organize everyone into a line. From here, our women entrepreneurs took charge. In about an hour, they sold clean water to 38 out of 40 households—a spectacular turn out! The only two households missing had promised to buy clean water later. There were a few minor complications. Leaky taps were tightened and safe storage containers were scrubbed clean. The community seemed ecstatic to take home their newly treated water. The Chief’s mother even stopped to dance for us. It was an amazing feeling for us to see each container be filled to the brim with purified water.

Tshion washing safe storage containers during opening day

 

Abida filling a bucket with treated water

 

The chief’s mother is about 80 years old and still carries her own bucket! She also danced with the bucket on her head and we were thoroughly impressed

Today we conversed with community members as we went ahead and monitored nine households (followed by a parade of rambunctious children). We were pleased to see that all of the safe storage containers had been stored properly. We were also happy to hear complimentary comments about the water. Some community members appeared to be understandably hesitant to drink the water. We encouraged everyone to try the water out and emphasized that we were eager to hear feedback. We were able to fix another safe storage container tap today and were given guinea fowl eggs in exchange for our services. We met with one of the women entrepreneurs and gave her a printed picture of herself in front of the center. Our last stop consisted of a meeting with the Chief. He was excited to meet with us and informed us that he had been drinking the water. Tomorrow is our last day in the village and we will miss the energy and enthusiasm the community put into this project!

Yay for clean water!