Who We Are

Who We Are

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We are a non-profit partnering with organizations in Africa and the United States to provide clean water to African communities that have none. Our network of almost 400 donors and volunteers continues to grow.

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WATER gets most of its money from 2 places.  First are individual donors and second are corporate or larger donor agencies who become exposed to and interested in the issues which WATER pursues.  These issues mainly involve the integration of disease control with water and sanitation.  We work on the ground in Africa and have done projects in Ghana and Nigeria.  We rely on others to help us fundraise.  

WATER invests in boreholes, mechanized systems, hand dug wells, builds latrines and does maintenance on all of these.  WATER also educates communities on how to organize themselves  to manage their own systems by setting up WATSAN (Water and Sanitation) Committees.  As part of this work in the communities, WATER is frequently involved in helping identify diseases, specifically neglected tropical diseases or NTD's but also on how to identify other health related problems.  Over the years WATER has been part of guinea worm eradication, trachoma surgeries, cataract surgeries and locating and fighting buruli ulcer disease.  Corporate donors include Diageo, Sahara Group of Companies, Ghana Guinness Breweries Limited, Hershey Corp. and others.  WATER has also worked on a variety of Rotary club and Rotary International projects over the years.   

Two wonderful stories of donations. 

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July 15:  Kay Roe, 8 years old, has been volunteer working in her dad's nursing home since school let out.  She has been taking care of animals, visiting residents, and helping in any way people need.  Kay's dad kept track of her time, and she has earned $200.  Today, she handed that money over to Thomas Awiapo's daughter Loretta so kids in Africa could have clean water.   This is not the first time Kay has saved her money and donated it to WATER.  She gave over $250 of birthday money when she was only 6.  What a wonderful and compassionate girl.  THANK YOU, Kay.

June 23:  We have received $10,000 donation from the widow of a friend of our board.  Upon hearing of the wonderful work, she suggested her husband would have loved it and sent a check.  Blessings, Kay and Linda!

A $52.40 donation from 2nd grade Brownies from Girl Scout Troop # 43192 in Sammamish, Washington.  This is what we call grassroots!  Way to go Alysha, Elle, Jillian, Bridget, Leigha, Chloe, Ashlyn, Bella and Alyssa!

Moral of the stories? No amount is too big or small!

 

Thanks to Zheng Wang for the documentary Hope: Ghana

Many people attended at the "Hope, Ghana" Documentary and appreciated the excellent production.  The film has now been invited to a London film festival to compete.  Stay tuned for more info as it comes in.  Over $1000 in donations was brought in for W.A.T.E.R. that evening with some being matched.  Keep that water running, Zheng!

 

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 Jim Niquette, Founder / Board Member

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Jim Niquette worked for the Carter Center from 2002 to Sept. 2011 as a consultant with the Guinea Worm Eradication Program and then as Country Director for Ghana from 2006 until 2011. Ghana was the first Country in Sub Saharan Africa to bring Trachoma below levels recommended by the WHO for antibiotic distribution.  It also eradicated guinea worm during his period as Country Director, reducing cases from 4,282 in 2006 to 0 in 2011.  The last case was reported in May, 2010.  Guinea Worm and Trachoma were the only health projects the Carter Center had, so in August, 2011 he closed the Carter Center offices in Ghana and began a full time effort with WATER.  Prior to the Carter Center, he was a private business person working for a variety of technology companies, including his own in the United States and Australia for a 15 year period. During his time in technology, he was a sought after international speaker, having authored a book on converting minicomputers to Unix and LAN technology. He was also a consultant to organizations such as the New York Transit Authority, Hewlett Packard and the US State Department. His original African experience came as a result of being a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, Africa. He is the founder of W.A.T.E.R. and a graduate of Notre Dame University with a degree in Business Finance. He resides in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana.

 

 Minta Aboagye, Board Chair

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Mr. Minta Afosa Aboagye, Chairman of WATER, is an accomplished Hydrologist and Water Resources Engineer who has garnered wide experience in the water sector in Ghana.  He reitred from pulic service as the first Director of the Water Directorate of the Ministry of Water Resouces, Works and Housing in December 2010 after 34 years service in the water sector.  As the Director for Water, he was responsible for policy formulation, coordination and monitoring of WASH activities at the national level involving both bilateral and multilateral development partners, NGOs and civil society operating in the sector in Ghana.  While there, he oversaw the development of a comprehensive National Water Policy and also the Sector Strategic Development Plan. He served on many important committees including the Ghana Guinea Worm Eradication Program (GGWEP) which spearheaded the eradication of guinea worm with support from the Carter Center, UNICEF, WHO, the European Union, World Vision, Rotary International and others.  He was Ghana's representative on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Africa Ministers Conference on Water (AMCOW). He holds a bachelor degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Ghana and a Masters degree in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Kensington, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  His is also a member of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (MGhIE). He is married with one son.

 

Lamisi Mbillah, Board Member

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Lamisi Mbillah was Miss Ghana in 2005 and became the first African woman to ever be awarded the Miss World Beauty With a Purpose title at the 2006 Miss World pageant in Poland. She won the award and was named a semifinalist in the pageant as a result of her work with the Ghana Health Service, Carter Center and UNICEF in the eradication of guinea worm and promotion of the distribution of iodized salt during her reign as Miss Ghana. The award is given to the contestant who contributes the most to humanity and society during her reign. Following this she has continued to give her time to humanitarian work and in 2008 Rotary International awarded her the highest honour in the organisation as a Paul Harris fellow.  Lamisi holds a Bachelors degree in Zoology and a Masters degree in International Development from the University of Ghana.  She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in International Development at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom    

 

Dr. Andrew Seidu Korkor, Board Member

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Dr. Andrew Seidu Korkor, a medical doctor, is the National Program Manager for Guinea Worm eradication in Ghana and has been working with WATER in Ghana for the past several years. He brings his considerable skillset with eradication and control of neglected tropical diseases to the WATER board. Ghana announced the break in transmission of guinea worm in July, 2011, a feat accomplished under the leadership of Dr. Korkor as Program Manager. His addition is consistent with WATER's desire to couple the provision of water and sanitation with disease control.

 

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Thank you to all the volunteers who have travelled to Ghana with W.A.T.E.R.

Each person making our trip pays his/her total expenses AND most have raised additional funds for wells. 

A special thanks to Sue Niquette, sister of our founder.  SInce 2005, Sue has volunteered her expertise as a CPA to help us keep overhead low.  Thank you, SUE!

Courtney Plummer, Summer Intern

Courtney Plummer, our summer intern, is enrolled in the University of Washington Daniel J Evans School of Public Administration working towards a master's degree.  She is a past long term volunteer with Esperanza International in Tijuana, Mexico.   Courtney has now returned to U.W. for her second year.  She has created a detailed report on the sustainability of ALL of our W.A.T.E.R. systems.  That report will be available on this web site shortly or email plummerc@uw.edu  and request a copy.  We are truly making an enormous difference to thousands of Ghanians.  Special kudos to Courtney for her 'on the ground' work on the Life Teen/WATER Raskob Foundation grant.  $19,000 is the result of her work.  Thank you, Courtney! Courtney Plummer

Andrew Romaner

Andrew Romaner has a Masters in Public Health from the University of South Florida where his concentration was Global Health Practice.  He also holds a certificate in Infection Control.  His B.A. is in International Affairs from the Elliot School at The George Washington University.  He has completed two terms of national service with AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps and another with the Student Conservation Association.  He has a strong interest in water and sanitation as well as Neglected Tropical Diseases. Andrew Romaner

Kirsten Sands

Kirsten Sands holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Studies from Susquehanna University. Kirsten spent January - June 2010 in Accra, Ghana, working with both W.A.T.E.R. and OSU Children's Home, the largest orphanage in Accra. Prior to her time in Africa, Kirsten worked in Washington, DC for the American Democracy Institute, a small non-profit dedicated to professional and leadership development where she served as Executive Assistant to the Founder & CEO, while also serving as Assistant Project Manager to various other programs. She has a dedicated and proven interest in community development which led her to co-found a Mentoring Program for the Children's Home by designing a mentoring model and creating a partnership with a local university for sustainability. Kirsten's short-term plans include moving back to Washington, DC for her career and continuing to raise money and support for various projects, including the rebuilding of Elohim Academy, a primary school in Ghana's central region, and W.A.T.E.R. Kirsten Sands

Daniel Cembrola

Daniel Cembrola holds a B.A. in Business Law and Political Science from University of Miami.  He also completed coursework in International Law at American University.  While at Miami, Daniel was involved with the international nonprofit Invisible Children which works with child soldiers in Uganda.  His initial post-graduate work involved legal research and assistance at a Washington, DC law firm.  Daniel then spent the months of January through June of 2010 in Accra, Ghana.  He divided his time in Ghana working at the country’s largest orphanage, Osu Children’s Home, and with W.A.T.E.R.  In coordination with another volunteer, Daniel co-founded a mentoring program at the Osu Children’s Home.  The mentoring program’s aim is to create a sustainable source of volunteers at the children’s home through a partnership with a local university.  In Daniel’s near future, he plans to pursue a career in International Relations.  Much time will also be devoted to ongoing projects at Osu Children’s home, and fundraising on behalf of W.A.T.E.R. and Elohim Academy, a small primary school in the Central Region of Ghana.

Daniel Cembrola

Rocky Dawuni

Visit Rocky Dawuni's website.

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Christopher Dube, Webmaster

Volunteer web master Chris Dube is a junior at the University of Washington, studying mechanical engineering.  Chris made his first trip to Ghana summer of 2010 and many of his photos grace our opening page slide show.  He continues to add to our organization on a regular basis and is a valued member of the volunteer leadership team of W.A.T.E.R.   


W.A.T.E.R. Travelers 2006

Jan Kline
Teddy Alejandrino
Teri Anderson Cella
Karla Gergen
Paul Graddon
Aly Howisey
Jennifer Mullis
Ashley Zerangue

W.A.T.E.R. Travelers 2007

Jan Kline
Eugene Cash
Kevin Duggan
Pam Dunkley
Barbara Harrington
Anne Janssen
Barb Luxenberg
Julie McSorley
Sue Niquette
Laurie Thibert
Ashley Zerangue
Marit Zimmerman

                                                            

W.A.T.E.R. Travelers 2008

Group 1

Jan Kline
Marti Bolcer
Kevin Duggan
Arece Hampton
Robin Kaminski
Mike Kline
Stephanie Larson
Barb Luxenberg
Karen Taylor
Marie Taylo

Group 2

Jan Kline
Deana Barrow
Chris Freni
Cortney Howisey
Martine Kulesa
Bob Maher
Jennifer Mullis
Jennifer Reubish
Eduardo Zavala Reyes
Steve Zeller
Ashley Zerangue
Grp 3 Laurie Thibert
Roger Gouldberg
Courtney Hoch
Tanya Myers
Zheng Wang


W.A.T.E.R. Travelers 2009

Jan Kline
Clay Anderson
Shari Anderson
Al Drinkwine
Jerrie Drinkwine
Jerry Graddon
Laurie Thibert

 

W.A.T.E.R. Travelers 2010

Jan Kline
Bob Maher
Christopher Dube
Jennifer Guterman
Hallie Hemmingsen
Blair Howisey
David Meyer
Jennifer Reubish
Courtney Plummer
Kirsten Sands
Dan Cembrola

 

W.A.T.E.R. travelers 2011  

Jan Kline

Becky ROe

Nicky Macinnes

Wendy Krakauer

Brian Greenleaf

Natalie Kline

 

 

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Jim Niquette and Family with Fmr. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter

Carter Center

We have been working with the Carter Center to aid their mission to eradicate guinea worm worldwide.  President Carter and Mrs Carter are pictured with Jim Niquette, wife Afia and their son Jeffrey.

 

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

 Motto is “Need not creed.” 

CRS is the charity and international aid arm of the Catholic Bishops of the United States.  They reach more than 100 million people in more than 100 countries on five continents. CRS has been in Ghana for more than 50 years.  Visit their Ghana projects page

 

World Health Organization and Ghana Health Service

WATER is working with the World Health Organization and the Ghana Health Service to participate in a drug study in Ghana which is testing the replacement of Streptomycin with Clarithromycin for Buruli Ulcer paiients in Ghana and Benin.  WATER is also working with Ghana Health Service to try to raise awareness and money to fight Buruli Ulcer in Ghana.  

 

Global Charity Foundation

Global Charity Foundation (GCF) is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.  WATER works with GCF to keep children in school in Ghana by finding children who were working and placing them in schools near to their homes.  GCF is the main funder and WATER does the monitoring of grades, payments, etc. 

 

Life Teen

Our partnership with Life Teen, the Catholic youth organization,  raised $217,000 in 2010.  We are inviting many of the parishes to continue their relationship with W.A.T.E.R. in the future.  

For more information on this fundraising effort, check out our Life Teen Information

Or visit Life Teen's website

 

World Vision

World Vision and W.A.T.E.R. partnered to build a water system in the key Guinea Worm endemic town of Savelugu.  The mechanized system included an overhead tank, taps and submersible pump.  The project helped reduce guinea worm cases in the town 93% the year following completion