When my internship began last August, several members of the Blood:Water team were preparing for a trip to Africa for the Partner Summit in September. They returned weeks later with renewed passion for this organization’s mission, increased respect for our partners and their work, and beautiful photos and stories of our friends in Africa.
They told of a village whose closest water source was unclean and unreliable, causing them to walk seven hours round-trip during dry season to the next nearest source of water, which was also unclean.
This February, some of the Blood:Water team members returned to the same village and were met with overwhelming celebration and gratitude from the community members who now have, not one, but three nearby sources of clean water!
I couldn’t help but think, “That is what it’s all about.” The people in that village, and many more like it, are the reasons why Blood:Water exists, and the opportunity that I have had to join in this incredible work for the last eight months is simply an honor.
Not only have I been blessed to witness the realization of clean water for that village from beginning to end; I have also witnessed the continued support of Blood:Water’s other partners and the beginning of organizational growth that will empower even more African organizations to provide clean water and HIV/AIDS support services in their communities in the future.
I have learned so much about the inner workings of nonprofit organizations, and my eyes have been opened to an incredibly important principle in nonprofit work: development. Blood:Water knows what it takes to create lasting change in Africa, and they have spent the last 14 years lifting up local heroes to implement change in their own communities.
I am fully confident that years from now, organizations that once partnered with Blood:Water will be strong and flourishing on their own; people living with HIV will have the care and support they need to live full lives; wells, catchment tanks, and source springs will still be providing life-giving water because of the training that community members received; and I will still be a monthly donor, until we see the end of the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.
Although it’s the end of my internship at Blood:Water, this organization will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I will always be proud to talk about the way it dignifies and empowers our incredible friends in Africa. Thank you, Blood:Water team, for such an amazing experience!