The big-hearted driver delivering amazing change
The Ganzilla community and children recently celebrated the opening of a new, clean water source. Built by imagine1day, funded by Australian water specialists, and made possible thanks to the kind and generous spirit of our driver: Amaha.
The man who moves mountains begins by carrying small stones. The man who moves rivers? He begins by taking small steps on a 436 kilometer journey.
Meet Amaha Girma, imagine1day driver and liaison officer. In mid-2014, as imagine1day staff visited Ganzilla to discuss the construction of a new school, Amaha was preoccupied with something else: six-year-old Nezifa Seid and her unusually large belly.
“It didn’t seem to be natural for me. So I organized some of the staff to contribute some money and took her to the nearest health center, which is 30 kilometres away.”
The doctors examined her and found out that Nezifa’s protruding belly was due to 35 parasites in her stomach. She was treated and quickly recovered.
Amaha then enrolled a group of doctors to visit Ganzilla School and do medical examinations. They found another 80 children in a similar situation. All were given tablets and healed.
The doctors noted that this was due to water-borne diseases. For Amaha, this was a one-time solution and thought he could do something about it to bring a long-lasting solution.
Amaha volunteered to do a 436 km walk from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to Ganzilla to raise fund for the construction of clean water supply scheme for the school and community.
His campaign went live on Indiegogo and Facebook and was heard across the world – specifically Melbourne, Australia. Laurie and Alison Curran, through their company Laurie Curran Water Pty Ltd, responded with a generous contribution and a new water point for the children and community was made a reality. Laurie and Alison’s contribution was facilitated by the Global Development Group, an Australian Government-accredited NGO.
The inauguration saw 500 people from the community, along with Laurie’s family, come together to mark the new clean source of water.
Three springs, generating a total water volume of 69,000 liters per day, were capped, and a 27,000-litre reservoir and three water points were built, ensuring clean access to water for at least 15 years.
Nezifa is now an eight-year-old girl in Grade 2 at Ganzilla School. The clean water source not only keeps her healthy, it means she, and all the other children of the community, can spend more time in school.
Her mother, Dire Kedir, says she is eternally grateful for the new water source, but more importantly, the care and attention shown by Amaha.
“Of course I noticed that she has a big belly, but I thought that is a normal thing to have for a well-fed child. I was wrong. I did not know that it was due to parasites from the poor quality of water we drink. I am grateful to Amaha, who noticed that my child has such problem and responded, and also to imagine1day, which made this happen.
“May Allah also bless the people who gave their money so we and our children have access to clean water so they don’t get sick all the time.”
Along with Laurie and Alison Curran, we would like to thank the 13 initial donors who supported this cause on Indiegogo. These people were the first to invest in Amaha’s vision and their support was crucial in making it a reality.