One day when Kevin was 14 her dad walked in the door and put a book in front of her and said, “Flip through it.” It was Water is Key: A Better Future for Africa, full of photographs by Gil Garcetti. She couldn’t believe what she saw and read.
“I never knew that the lack of clean water could cause so much harm—terrible diseases…even death. I was shocked to learn how much Nigerien girls suffer. Women and girls are responsible for gathering water for their families. They walk 4-6 miles a day and do the back-breaking work of pulling up water and carrying it back on their heads. They do this every single day of their lives. Without an education, these girls marry at a very early age, as young as 12, and 75% of them are married by the time they turn eighteen!”
These statistics made her think about how different her life would have been if she had been born there instead of here. That made her more determined than ever to do everything she could to help improve the quality of life for girls in Niger. She had a meeting with the assistant principal and pastor of her school and parish, St. Paul the Apostle, and they arranged for her to speak at five Masses that weekend.
In her five-minute presentation, she talked about the immense challenges of life in Niger and about how 5,000 African children die every day, often from diseases related to a lack of safe water. Then she told the parishioners about Wells Bring Hope and how it only takes $5,600 to drill a well and save lives. That weekend she raised enough money for two wells and more kept coming in. She started raising money at school too, participating in fundraisers where she did things like wash dishes for tips. Her friends became interested, and they started helping too. They raised enough money for five wells, giving more than 3,000 people access to clean, safe water.
Kevin’s Water Circle has brought joy to villagers in Niger and to her community as well. Not only was the school engaged in hearing the stories, but business people supported the efforts too, so that fundraising activity increased and more boreholes were drilled, transforming more lives. The Team learned so much about the importance of sharing knowledge and resources with others. To date, Kevin has raised over $100,000.