A Visit to Kouga from the "Clean Water Missionary" from Texas!
On January 6th this year I received the following email from Hayley Jenkins, a 28-year-old marketing and advertising professional living in Dallas, Texas.
Hello to the Kouga Catholic Communities,
My name is Hayley Jenkins and I am reaching out in hopes you may be able to help me. I am working on planning my own "mission" trip while in South Africa in early February. I will be in Cape Town for a wedding from January 31st - February 9th and then Jeffrey's Bay from the 9th to 17th. During my stay in Jeffreys Bay, I want to spend a bit of time doing what I can to help provide less fortunate communities with clean drinking water via water filters. Each filter provides clean water to 100 people, and I will be carrying a total of 5 (so 500 people helped). However, I am not quite sure with whom I should speak to about it. I am fundraising with Waves for Water (https://waves.donate.io/courier/south-africa-2015). Basically, they have given me a means to raise money to cover the costs of the water filters (which they will send to me) and then it is up to me to transport and install the water filters in (selected community/communities.
Therefore, I have a couple of questions for you (as I was unsure where exactly to start):
Do you have an idea of some (safer) communities that lie outside of Jeffrey's Bay that are in need of clean drinking water (I will have access to a car while in Jeffrey's Bay)?
And I would love to work with your Parish on this... Is there someone in particular I can reach out to in order to coordinate such a mission? I will most likely be traveling with just one other individual, so any resources/contacts to help me and/or accompany me would be extremely helpful and comforting!
Any help that you could provide would be SO greatly appreciated, even if it is just forwarding my email along!
Thanks for your time and consideration, and I hope to work with your Parish on this mission.
I forwarded this email to Dick Carter of the Jeffreys Bay Care Group, and Lyndon Muller of SVdP in Humansdorp. Dick followed up, and in due course met with Hayley when she arrived in Jeffreys Bay, and together they planned the "Kouga Clean Water Mission". It was decided that the filters would be most effectively used in the rural areas, and two farm schools in the Rocklands area were chosen, These were Rocklands Farm School, a Junior and Senior School with an estimated 500 pupils, and Ankervas Primary School also at Rocklands.
Filters were also given to Lyndon, who will be installing them at soup kitchens in the Humansdorp area.
Here is the story in Hayley's own words, following her departure:
I am 28 years old and am a marketing & advertising professional living in Dallas, Texas. I am currently between jobs and have therefore had a bit of time to research getting more involved in community outreach programs and volunteer organizations. I volunteer for the Humane Society, but want to broaden the reach/impact I can have on society. So several months ago I started looking into ways I could use my trip to South Africa to get started on this endeavour. I was already planning on going for a friend's wedding in Cape Town and then to visit a friend in Patensie/Jeffreys Bay. So I did a bit of research and came across Waves for Water. I thought that it was a wonderful idea: pack some lightweight filters into your luggage (for a trip you are already planning/have already planned) and coordinate with someone in the city/country to take them to those in need. It was the least I thought I could do! So I started a fundraising page and petitioned my family and friends for help. Luckily, I raised the money just in time to receive the filters and pack them into my bags for South Africa!
Once I was in Jeffreys Bay, I was warmly greated by Dick who was just as water as I to get the filters distributed. We drove from location to location and instructed the caretakers on how to use and wash the filters. My only hope is that the filters are put to good use. In retrospect, I wish we had quite a bit more time to sit down and really educate the schools we visited on the importance of clean drinking water. The filters (Sawyer filters) remove 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, which is remarkable! And if used properly, they will supply many hundreds of children with clean water for years!
I couldn't have completed this personal mission without the help from the Kouga Catholic Community, and in particular Dick Carter from The Jeffreys Bay Care Group. Frank Nunan was so great as to forward my initial email on to Dick, who then helped coordinate all of the filter deliveries while I was in Jeffreys Bay. We had a great time and heard so many appreciative words - it was well worth the work put into it. The whole process was a first for me, but it will absolutely not be the last!
Thank you again for the opportunity and I wish you all the best,
Hayley Jenkins - Dallas, Texas.
Our thanks to Hayley for this wondeful Outreach Opportunity, and to Dick Carter for taking up Hayley's invitation to make a difference and and following through so effectively.
Hayley, we wish you every success in the future with your "Clean Water Mission", and if you are ever in this area again, we would love to see you and introduce you to the Communiity!
The pictures show Hayley handing over a filter to members of staff at the Rocklands Farm School, and Hayley and Dick with Louis Schmidt at Ankervas.