"Things don't happen by accident..."
Hi everyone –
Cindee Rood here from Formidable Joy.
Zam Zam & Formidable Joy just completed our very first water project together in Malawi, Africa at Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Malawi is known as the “warm heart of Africa” because of the friendly nature of the people. It is one of the least developed and most impoverished countries in the world - currently ranked #6 by Global Finance Magazine.
In a country of 18 million, an estimated 20% of the population (over 3.6 million people) lacks access to clean water. As with many developing nations in the world, it is women & girls who bear the responsibility of fetching water for the family.
Located in Dowa, Malawi, Dzaleka Refugee Camp is home to 38,000 refugees, a camp originally built for only 9,000. Over 80% of the refugees come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Burundi and many more surrounding countries. The camp currently only has 32 water wells for a population of 38,000 (an average of 1,187 people per well). The water wells at the camp are so congested that they run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Formidable Joy works with local organizations and drilling teams to identify schools, health centers, and communities in need. Many of the villages and/or schools we serve rely on dirty water sources - from rivers and streams to hand-dug holes. We work with experienced, Malawian-owned drilling companies. We also rehabilitate old, broken pump/boreholes that were installed by other NGOs or the Malawian government. A simple repair can bring an old malfunctioning borehole back to life; thus improving the quality of life for a community.
We implemented our first solar water system at Mercy James Centre – the only state-of-the-art children’s hospital in the entire country. We partnered with Raising Malawi, an organization started by Madonna where 1,639 surgeries were performed at the hospital in its first year.
Formidable Joy is based in Los Angeles and was founded by Cindee Rood. She has personally assessed, spearheaded, and completed 36 water projects throughout 10 districts in Malawi - from remote villages to primary & preschools to health centers - impacting over 35,000 people to date.
Our work together is thanks to a delayed flight, talking to strangers, and the cliché of, “there are no accidents”. I was en route to Malawi a few months ago. The flight leaving Los Angeles was delayed, so I struck up a conversation with the man standing next me. Our brief conversation at 1:00am in Los Angeles led to coffee 20 hours later in the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia. Over coffee we spoke of our mutual love of Africa and of serving others. He is one of the loveliest people I had ever met, and also one of the biggest humanitarians I’ve come across. He is a husband, father, grandfather, runs his own nonprofits, and is a board member on several others. He’s a professor and it turns out he just happened to have an interest in clean water projects, as he serves on Zam Zam's Advisory Board. He suggested Yusuf & I connect, and the rest, as they say, is history. The “he” in this long story of mine is Jim Losi.
I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to Jim Losi and Yusuf Nessary. Installing an additional water point at Dzaleka Refugee Camp is the first project Zam Zam has completed in Malawi, and the first of (hopefully) many more collaborating effort. It’s a beautiful story of two organizations coming together for one common goal – providing access to clean water for people in need. The moral of the story is “there are no accidents”. You never know who’s listening and who wants to serve. Over 1,000 people benefited from a chance encounter.
So on behalf of the beneficiaries at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Thank you to all the Zam Zam supporters – YOU made this happen!
Zikomo kwambiri - Thank you very much