The Uganda Story: First 100, Next 1,000 Filters to Help Children in Uganda
Based upon an interview with Pam Shero written by Barb Eljenholm
The children that One ATTA Time were able to help in Uganda in 2017 were located in the Rift Valley near Tanzania in Southern Uganda. Over 600 people were drinking water from an extremely dirty and polluted pond located down a steep, muddy, slippery slope. Over 300 school children were drinking the water from the contaminated pond. It was the job of the children after school to fill their buckets with this diseased black water and bring it home to boil it to drink. Sometimes they did boil the water and other times they drank directly from the pond water, which was spreading disease and causing the loss of lives. One school dug their own unclean dirt pond for a water source and over a dozen families drank water from dirty runoff along the roads.
When the black water in the buckets was filtered with the Sawyer filters taken to the children and families by One ATTA Time and local partners and youth leaders, the water came out of the filters crystal clear and bacteria/virus free. There were two children, ages 4 and 6 who came running across the field to see the clean water that they had never seen before. Their ill bodies were broken out in bumps and sores, which cleared up after they had been drinking the filtered water for a period of time. It is common thinking among the people of this area of Uganda that clean water is only for the very wealthy, so this gift of water has been one of the greatest gifts they have received.
Although the Uganda government gives typhoid tablets to the children and families, the infected water carries much more disease that cannot be overcome by the tablets. The 100 filter systems taken to Uganda in 2017 were given to those with the greatest need. The local youth leaders in the area take the filters provided by One ATTA Time to the people and teach them how to use, clean and maintain them. These young leaders go out with “a gift from God” and take pride in their ability to help their community. The filters will last up to 30 years and serve multiple families if taken care of and cleaned properly, healing multiple generations.
People try to build wells, but there is no water or it is not clean. The families in this region live in mud huts and are exposed to the environment much of the time. Beyond the bad water, there was famine because crops had been washed away. Even the town where the ATTA team stayed did not have clean water because the hotel water is pumped in, but is not safe to drink.
Pam Shero, currently planning to be a part of the upcoming August trip, was taking her fourth trip to the area in 2017, having visited her sponsored child with prior church groups, and served as a church leader for Uganda. It was through her sponsored child that she learned of the school children having to gather buckets of the tainted water, gather wood for fires which was scarce, and boil the water or drink it in its filthy state. After taking 100 filtration systems to Uganda in 2017, Pam knew that One ATTA Time should take 1,000 on the next trip, due to the extreme need for a simple clean water solution. . . and that is exactly what the August, 2018 trip will provide.
One ATTA Time is partnering with Reverend Enoch Karamuzi of the North Kigezi Diocese. He began a ministry to help teen mothers learn a trade, such as beaded jewelry making or sewing so that they could make a living for themselves and survive as children raising children. He and his organization are now partnering with One ATTA Time to bring healthy clean water to the children of Uganda who are dying of preventable diseases due to lack of clean water. For the next trip on August 2018, the Reverend wants to lead ATTA into four areas of dire need, including last year’s location.
The six-person ATTA team that will join this trip, giving their time and hearts to save the lives of so many, will include Sean Kappauf, Pamula Shero, George Hrebien, Norm Bennett, Patrick DeVusser and Elyse Snipes. They will make the nearly three day trek from the U.S. to Dubai and on to Uganda with an 8 hour bus ride upon arrival to Rukungiri. They will be providing 1,000 filters, checking filters already in operation and working with the Reverend and youth leaders to make an enormous difference in the health and lives of those without clean water.
Thank you to the One ATTA Time donors and sponsors who provide the financial means to accomplishing this important mission. To donate to the 2018 Uganda trip and provide healthy, clean water to save the lives of thousands of children in Uganda, visit our donor page for Uganda, Africa.
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