Today we got started with our initiative to bring running water to needy families. Our first family is in the small village of Vileyka about 5 kilometres from Chausy. This family lives in a tiny home with 3 rooms and includes a Mother, Father, 3 children and a Grandmother. Today the well was drilled and the casing put in. Margaret Campbell, from Chatham, ON, is sponsoring this project and raised the funds to bring water to 3 families. Here is Margaret with the mother, father, and 3 children in front of the new well head.
Since the area has very sandy soil and no rock like our home region, the driller is able to use a very small drilling rig on a trailer. The well ended up being 25 metres deep.
We will have a cement casing put around the well in order to be able to access it for repair. Here the casing arrives by front-end loader from the cement plant.
Before today, the family had to walk about 50-60 metres to get to the local well to draw water using a chain and a bucket. Imagine raising 3 children and every time you needed to get water to wash the children or clothes you would need to make this trek, especially in the winter! Here Margaret is trying her hand at drawing water from the well.
Grandma was very proud to show us her artwork, She creates artwork from traditional folktales and it is really good!
This family is so appreciative to have running water brought to their home. Marina, the mother, was in tears when she tried to say thank you to Margaret.
In the process of choosing the 3 families to receive running water this year, six families were interviewed. Although they met all of the criteria and were chosen, one family actually suggested giving it to someone else as the home they live in is state owned being part of a collective farm. When Dave was leaving the home he noticed that they had food stored in the unheated back room of the house. He asked about their refrigerator and they pointed out the 40 year old fridge that had stopped working.
Mom was overcome with emotion when she thanked us for the wonderful gift. She told us that no one had ever given her a gift like this. Here we are with Mom and her children and the hand-knit socks that she had made for us.
I have said it before but rings true every year. We are here to help others but it often feels like we receive much more than we give. The genuine gratitude and emotional response from these wonderful families is both heart warming and incredibly satisfying.