Tell us a little bit about the Lemolo community and KIDS’ previous projects within the camp.
"KIDS Initiative partnered with this refugee camp multiple years back. We originally started our support through school supplies, sporting equipment, and water tanks. From there we developed a harvest irrigation project which allowed for acres of land to be harvested, providing food supplies for the school so that the students would receive a meal a day. That project was heavily supported through the Winnipeg Rotary East AM Club. From there, we moved on to develop an agriculture and food security project, this project allowed us to provide seed and fertilizer for every single family in the camp rendering them with an income-generating project to support funding for their own basic needs and education for their children. This project works in conjunction with a local co-op who purchases their harvest and maintains a small portion of proceeds to cover the next season’s seed and fertilizer. Another huge success! The last project for this camp, to render them sustainable, is the borehole project! This will allow safe clean sustainable water access for all individuals in the camp and especially to support their crops during times of drought."
How does the water shortage affect day to day life in the Lemolo community?
"I think we can all understand that every human being requires access to water to survive, it’s one of our basic needs. The water shortage in this camp means that families go thirsty, it means they are often accessing water ridden with waterborne diseases, it means that they have difficulty cooking, cleaning, and it also means that should the weather not accommodate crops, they could potentially lose their one main income source."
Finally hitting water in Lemolo must have been a very exciting moment for KIDS! What will having a sustainable water source mean for the Lemolo community?
"When we went ahead and implemented phase 1 for the borehole project, we could not have anticipated reaching water so quickly! It was an extremely emotional moment for everyone in the community, our partners at VICDA, and of course for our team at KIDS Initiative. This sustainable water source will mean that every individual in this community will drink water without fear, be healthy, have the ability to cook meals for their families, have access to clean materials, and have the opportunity to ensure that they always have the water necessary to maintain healthy and plentiful crops."
Now that water has been struck, what are KIDS plans for the Lemolo camp?
"We are looking to secure Phase 2 for the borehole project. Phase 2 will complete this project with the piping, tanks, tapping, and foundation necessary to complete the borehole in its entirety. Once we’ve completed phase 2, we’ll be retiring the program and will shed tears of joy!!!"
How can we help KIDS continue the amazing work it’s doing in developing communities?
"Donate! We have $30,000 left to raise to ensure over 7,000 people get water. Let’s make it happen Canada!!!! You can donate to us by heading to www.kidsinitiative.ca/donate or by contacting us directly at email@example.com."
An interview with Cat Ross, founder and president of KIDS Initiative