BUSAN, South Korea — It’s well-known that drought causes some serious problems. Famine, dehydration and habitat damage are all by-products of a lack of potable water. The African continent has been haunted by drought and unclean water for hundreds of years.
Just A Droplet-Africa Water Foundation is a selfless organization based in Korea that is working hard to combat these effects of drought and unsanitary conditions in Africa. Just A Droplet-Africa Water Foundation (or JAD-AWF) was started in 2004 by Erick Omondi and other like-minded people who wanted to make a difference in Africa.
For founder Erick Omondi, it has been a childhood dream of his to establish such an organization and supply clean water to Africa.
“As a young boy, I had a profound awakening to one day live my dream of lending a hand and reaching out to different people in the world, most specifically Africa“, says Omondi.
There were other people who shared in Erick’s vision and they all came together to form a solution to the water problems in Africa.
“In 2004, I alongside other well wishers and young people who were concerned started ‘Just A Droplet-African Water Foundation’, a nonprofit rooted in the belief that “just a droplet” of water can make an incredible difference, as well as a drop of a penny to assist in this effort.”
JAD-WAF relies on digging wells in Africa to deliver clean water to small villages and poverty stricken areas that suffer from constant drought. They have started in Kenya but are hoping to one day establish themselves all over Africa.
Their goal is simple: to create clean water for consumption and improve sanitation in Africa. Small villages and schools are at the top of their vision, but they hope that entire communities will soon benefit from clean water and sanitation due to the organizations efforts.
To accomplish this goal, they are attempting to drill 10 new wells every 5 months. “We rely mostly on drilled water and therefore it is our wish to construct as many wells as we can,” Omandi said. This is a task that seems pretty simple and straightforward but in fact has proven to be a bit difficult.
They have already drilled several wells in Kenya so far, but have run into a few problems due to the financial burdens of such a costly project. This has also slowed future plans to keep digging new wells.
“JAD-AWF has been trying to work effectively for the past four years but our work has been marred by difficulties ranging from financial to other unavoidable circumstances,” laments Erick about their current situation.
Even though still in its infancy, and suffering from a few setbacks, the organization is set on going forth with its vision, with help from the generous hearts of the world being a key component to their success. Erick reaffirms that “my future plans are to provide water the poorest areas in Kenya first and also to get many foreigners to participate in these projects either by volunteering or donating to the organization.” This is where we come in!
The organization has two offices; one in Nairobi Kenya and the other here in Busan. They are looking for help from anyone in Korea, and the rest of the world, who wish to get involved. Their staff speak good English and they can provide translators for anyone communicating in a language other than English.
This is opportunity for Busanites to get involved in the efforts of the community that we currently live in. Anyone who is inspired to help can get involved in several ways. If your pockets are running a bit deep at the moment, donations are very much appreciated. You can also volunteer to work with the management team and bring new ideas and skills to the organization’s efforts. If you are feeling adventurous, they are looking for people to volunteer in Africa and help take the battle to the frontlines.
Going to Africa to volunteer is a great option, especially for those of us who are constantly pondering what to do after we leave Korea. What better way to spend our time and some of that won we worked so hard to save up than on a good cause. Not only that, but it’s a humbling chance to experience another culture and way-of-life; something so many of us set out to do by coming to Korea in the first place.
I am sure most of us can sympathize with the people of Africa; if not in our hearts then from at least one experience in our lives. Whether it has been a dirty cold shower, accidentally drinking the water in Mexico, or using the toilets in a third world country, it’s still only a fraction of what the African people endure on a daily basis.
While it’s obvious that it is an uphill battle and the problem is not going to be fixed overnight, it is a fight deserving of all of our efforts. It’s a chance to enthusiastically join the battle and work our hardest to solve the problems of the world one day at a time.
Despite any of the present or future obstacles, the organization refuses to give up and is working hard to ensure that one day they will “see Africa and its people finally get clean water easily.”
For more information or on how you can become involved, visit their website here