Fulera is one of the three women who run the water business in Kalinka. She has been working to treat and sell water to her community since January 2013 – almost two years now! In addition to running the water business, Fulera is busy farming maize and groundnuts while also taking care of her many children and grandchildren. She has seven daughters and two sons and all but two of them have children of their own! Ten of Fulera’s grandchildren live with her in her home and they enjoy accompanying her to the water business in the morning.
Fulera says that she enjoys working at the water business because is gives her community good health. She would also like to pass along her greetings to Uroj, Ty, and Casey — her team of 2013 Winter Field Reps!
It was this time last week that the 2014 Fall Global Leadership Program came to an end and we all headed off on our journey back home. It is no doubt that the days working in the village can be long with the extreme amounts of sun and dust, but time and time again the end of a program sneaks right up on me! When you are hanging with a bunch of inspiring field reps doing life-changing things, it should be to no surprise that the programs zoom right by.
Because of the hard work, passion and commitment of our 2014 Field Reps, Saha Global was able to bring a source of clean drinking water and a source of electricity to two new communities. Leah, Alfonso & Logan worked to implement a water treatment center in the village of Gburma, which empowered four women to become entrepreneurs and serves the community of 450 people a source of clean drinking water. Anne, Terry, Kerry & Mary worked to implement a solar charging center in the village of Nekpegu, which works to provide electricity for 300 people.
We can not thank you enough for your dedication to Saha Global! You have left a lasting impact on Nekpegu and Gburma and should be extremely proud of the your hard work. It was such a blast working along side all of you during your time in Ghana and we cannot wait to see the incredible things you will accomplish in this world!
This Thanksgiving I can’t help but think of how thankful and fortunate I am to work along side a team filled with such brilliant and influential people. Welcome to the Saha Team Fall Field Reps!
My name is Lucas Hilsbos. I am a 21 year old senior at West Virginia University studying Geography and Economics. I was born and raised not far from my school, in the beautiful West Virginia hills. From these hills, I have traveled to Ghana as a Saha Global field representative the past two summers. Last summer I worked on the implementation of a community based water treatment center, and more recently I had the opportunity to be a part of the first team of field representatives to implement a solar charging center.
Amid all the fun and excitement of the last two summers, there are some things that stick out. There are key moments where I learned something important about myself or the people I was working with. I’ve spent a lot of time considering how the lessons of my time as a Saha field representative will be applied in my future. Most prominent among them is one simple piece of advice: Do something that you love – that has you excited to wake up in the morning. People are capable of incredible things when they are passionate. That knowledge may not qualify as a marketable skill or belong on a resume, but I think it has enormous value.
Lately, my studies have led me to an interest in food security and agriculture. My future work in that field may closely parallel my experience with Saha Global. I want to work with communities to solve the problems that are most important to them and I think my time in Ghana laid an important foundation for that goal. The cooperative nature of the work I did as field representative is what I will remember the most as the years go by. This was clear to me on the charging center’s opening night, when the whole village came together with drumming, dancing, and a lot of laughs. All of that enthusiasm is why I know the solar center in Yapalsi will be successful – and the people of the village were just as big a part of that as we were. We had to work together to achieve that kind environment. That night was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life thus far and will truly never forget it.
It is hard for me to tell where I will end up in the next few years, but wherever I am, I’ll be talking to people about the opportunities that I’ve had with Saha Global and why they have had such a profound effect on what I want for myself and for others.
Want to learn more about Lucas’ experience or have any specific questions? Lucas would love to tell you more! Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry, Mary, Kerry, Anne and Shak make up Saha’s Solar Center Project Team Shak! Due to “life and so it goes”, Kerry and Mary were unable to make the trip despite their successful contribution of considerable funds, and so they are very much with us in spirit here every day.
We have been assigned the village of Nekpegu which is about an hour and a half away from Tamale; The chief and elders were quite anxious to meet with us. The women entrepreneurs have successfully managed a Saha Water Treatment Center since 2013 and were happy to tell us about the positive effects on their health. The chief’s son had seen Saha’s Solar Center in another village and was sharing his experience with the chief and elders. The Chief mentioned that it would be helpful for the children to study and for their night school, and offered the cooperation and assistance of the entire community.
The construction of the Solar Center took a couple of days, the equipment was delivered and the training of the women could begin. The village chose the two women who are currently running the water business, Ramatu and Fati, to manage the solar business as well. They learned how to hook up the power convertor, do some troubleshooting and how to manage the sales they will make from their new business. Lanterns were distributed household to household and we are now ready for Opening Night!
At our every step, there are thirty little steps behind us with smiling faces…
Shak is our translator, but he is also project manager, carpenter, navigator, “fixer of everything” and now, friend.
It’s been a long road all the way to Tamale, but we made it here and accomplished what we set out to do. Team Wahab did it! Leah, Logan, Alfonso and Wahab built the water treatment facility in the village of Gburma and trained four women from the village, Afishetu, Amata, Salamatu, and Chokopa. The women were taught how to use the alum to make the turbid water clear and how to use the chlorine tabs in the Polytank to kill the bacteria and further purify the water. Afterward, we went around the households in the village and handed out the Safe Storage Water Containers explaining how to use them for clean water storage and how to keep them uncontaminated. The entire village is so involved, excited and committed to having clean drinking water.
Everyone from the children to the elders wants to make use of the Safe Storage Containers and improve their health by drinking the clean water. They all couldn’t wait to taste the water and were so surprised at how good and clean it tasted on opening day. They constantly thanked us for providing them with clean water and their enthusiasm was palpable.
There is no better feeling than turning dirty, bacteria infested water into clean drinkable water that will improve the village’s health and longevity. Being a part of this project with Saha Global has truly been a life-changing experience that will stay with us forever.
It is crazy to think we had all just arrived in Ghana just 6 days ago for the Fall Global Leadership Program! The Field Reps have literally hit the ground running! This Fall Program is different from other programs because it is just two weeks, compared to the three-week Winter and Summer Programs. In order to shorten the time spent in Ghana, the Fall Field Reps did all of their orientation in the States via webinar, logging in from California, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York. This program we have two teams, a Water and Solar Team. The solar team consists of Anne, Terry & Shak, and the water team consists of Leah, Logan, Alfonso & Wahab!
All the Field Reps arrived into Accra last Wednesday. The next morning we took a flight up to Tamale with enough time to make it out to the field that afternoon! We arrived safely, dropped our bags off at Gillbt, hopped into a taxi and were off for a site visit to Kurugu Vohoyili. Kurugu Vohoyili is a community of about 23 households and has both a water treatment center and solar charging center business. We first stopped off at the dugout to check out the water treatment center and then headed into the community to try and meet up with the entrepreneurs, Ayi and Fusiena.
Friday was an early start as we loaded back into taxis and headed off to Sakpalua to visit another site and get a feel for monitoring.
That afternoon we met at back at the Saha Global office for some lab, alum, and solar training. All the field reps have been on top of their training which is awesome to see because they just had two days in Tamale before they approached their new communities.
Both teams had extremely successful first visits to the new communities! The implementations have really taken off with community meetings and constructing! Word from our Fall Field Reps soon!