Crossroads Springs Institute - Hamisi, Kenya
Crossroads Springs Insititute in Hamisi, Kenya was established in 2004 to provide education to the children of the area who have been orphaned by the death of one or both parents to AIDS. Crossroads Springs now provides primary and middle school education to around 340 children.
In July of 2012, Rev. Elena Delgado was asked to research funding to dig a well on the school property. Through her research, she discovered the Sawyer SP-180 clean water filter system. Elena proposed bringing a dozen filters to the school to provide the children an immediate source of clean water.
Friends, family, and church groups responded so enthusiastically to the idea that enough money was raised to purchase seventy filters and buckets. Those filters were distributed to all the teachers, support staff, and the board of directors of Crossroads Springs. Additional filters were placed in the staff room, the kitchen, the dining hall, and a filter was even placed in the poultry coop to provide clean water to the chickens.
All recipients attended a two hour training workshop on assembly, use, and maintenance of the filters. Participants assembled their own bucket filter system and demonstrated understanding of proper maintenance to preserve the lifespan of the system.
In September of 2012, Jackline, Director of Food Services at the school, wrote Elena a letter thanking her for the gift of clean water for the school and her family. While the filters in the school were providing clean water to the children while they attended the institute, Jackline emphasized the need for clean water in the homes of the students.
Elena responded to Jackline's challenge to provide clean water to the children in their homes by shining a light on the issue and raising enough funds to provide a filter to the families of each child attending the school. Elena returned to Crossroads Springs in January of 2013 to begin this new initiative. With the assistance of Jimmy Rashwak, the Kenyan representative of the Sawyer Company, training was provided to families in both Kiswahili and the local tribal language. The importance of ownership was a critical part of the discussion. In order to encourage a sense of pride and accountability to their community, the family representatives agreed upon a monetary pledge that all families could support and decided to give this money to a classroom project at the Institute.
The response from the families and students was overwhelmingly positive, and the community continues to benefit from having access to clean water in their homes.