Meet Our Entrepreneurs: Azaratu from Vene

Azaratu from Vene

Amin sat down with Azaratu, one of our newest entrepreneurs, to get her thoughts on the first month running a water business with Mata!

Azaratu grew up in Chihigu, another Saha community! She moved to Vene when she married her husband, who is from Vene. Together they have 6 kids.

Before the Saha water business opened, Azaratu used to harvest shea nuts to make shea butter, and she harvested wood to make charcoal. She also farms and during the dry season goes fishing!

Ti’pagya, Azaratu!

Vene’s water business opened last month (shoutout to #sahydrated), and Azaratu says the change in taste of her drinking water (from dugout water to clean water) has been great!

When Amin asked her what her favorite part about the Saha business was she said, “I was happy to see the field reps and talk to them about opening the clean drinking water center for our village. And I’m also happy the field reps told us after they leave people from Saha will still come, and you really show up!”

We’re so excited to keep showing up for you, Azaratu! Keep up the amazing work!

#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: Team Cameron, Maya, Nick, and Sita

Team Sita has been having an amazing time training our two women entrepreneurs Mata Allason and Azzara Ebrah in the wonderful community of Vene. While the trainings took place on some of our longest and hardest days, we also experienced some of our most impactful moments during this experience. It was also amazing to see involvement from the whole community throughout the process. We started the first day by cleaning our three drums. A group of women got to work as soon as we arrived and we all pitched in to make sure that they were clean and ready for water.  Then, three incredible individuals each put a large drum on their head and they carried them to the dugout where our business will be set up.  A large group of children followed us to the dugout, along with many women from the community.  The women all brought their jerrycans and garawas and it was an amazing sight to see them all work together to fill up the drums with dug out water.  Once the drums were filled, we could begin alum training with the women. We taught the entrepreneurs and a couple of other helpful women from the community how to make the alum balls and then how to use the alum to get the particles in the water to flocculate.  When one of the women saw the particles coming together, she exclaimed “thank you, thank you, thank you!”. It was very meaningful for us to see how excited the community was once they began to see the very first results.  We explained to them that the process of the particles sinking to the bottom will happen overnight and that Team Sita would come back the next morning to make sure that the alum worked and that the water is clear.

Sita and Cameron hard at work cleaning the orange drums!

The next day, we were very happy to see that the water was clear and the community was very excited to check out the clarity of their water. As we were getting the Polytank ready, we ran into a problem with the tap and we were worried that our day might come to an early end.  Luckily enough, we were able to get some assistance from Team Shak who is working in a near by community.  Once we returned, we were able to train our entrepreneurs on how to carefully scoop the water from the drums (as to not disturb the sediment) and transfer the clean water into the Polytank. They quickly became experts at this task and it was meaningful for us to see them master this important skill. Once the drums were emptied into the Polytank, many women from the community all worked together, once again, and filled up the emptied drums with dugout water.  We taught the women how to use the correct amount of chlorine to put into water in the Polytank  and emphasized the importance of killing anything that may have remained in the water after the alum treatment. Once we finished the chlorine training, the women used alum again with the dugout water that was put into the drums. It was very exciting for us to see them do the process over again with very little training and to see their enjoyment in watching for the particles to begin flocculating. 

Dugout water ready for some alum!

Throughout the process of training our women, Team Sita has been able to form relationships with many of the wonderful children and adults in the village by playing soccer (preparing to take on team Shak’s village in a match on our final day), teaching each other English and Dagbani, and simply interacting with one another and appreciating each other’s company. On our way out, we took a sample of the water in our Polytank to test back in Tamale.  The tests came back negative and Team Sita, our entrepreneurs, and the entire community of Vene is very excited to drink clean water on opening day! 

Everyone pitching in to help set up the center!