FAWCO’s Target Program was created as an opportunity to increase awareness about an important global issue and to fundraise together in support of a project.
The first Target Project was nominated by FAUSA member Yolanda Henry, and was voted in by FAWCO clubs in 2010: Tabitha Foundation’s Wells for Clean Water in Cambodia. Fifty-seven clubs out of the 73 in FAWCO (or 78%!) and FAUSA participated in some way, either by fundraising for the project and/or raising awareness of water problems and challenges among their club members.
While a few smaller water initiatives were supported, the bulk of the money raised went to Tabitha Foundation’s Wells for Clean Water, and $135,255 was donated. This, in turn, allowed 267 family wells and 370 field wells to be dug in Cambodia!! A family well cost $150 and was used by three families for a kitchen garden, cooking and drinking, and personal hygiene. The cost of a field well was $250, and it was used by two families for a kitchen garden, cooking and drinking, personal hygiene and for the irrigation of 10 acres, making intensive agriculture possible. This means that the wells FAWCO paid to dig changed the flow for 1,541 families in Cambodia!
A recent interview by Anne von Oorschat with the founder of Tabitha, Janne Ritskes, appeared on the FAWCO website. Here is a highlight.
Question: Can you tell us more about how a family or field well changed the lives of Cambodian families?
No access to water meant no school for the kids, as they were tasked with finding and fetching water. No access to water meant poor hygiene, which resulted in more illness, and with no water for irrigation, only one crop harvest per year was possible. A supply of clean water changed all these points dramatically! Kids went to school, people were healthier, and the industrious Cambodians grew and harvested three crops per year, greatly increasing their incomes. In a short period, people’s incomes had tripled and quadrupled! Within 1½ years, they started making improvements on their small, thatched homes and buying simple things for their families. Families went from having a small income to having 4-6 sources of income – from pennies a day to dollars a day – and within five years, their whole lives had changed dramatically for the better!
Thank you Anne for this fascinating look back at the first Target Project, and to FAWCO for the information in this article. Watch the full interview with Janne Ritskes (15 mins).