Last year AOL held an International competition where employees got a chance to enter a Charity, of their choice, for a first prize of $10000.
Wells for Zoë didn’t win but the next best was exposure on the homepage of the main AOL website aol.com which gets up to 16 million hits per day
The slot is on the homepage and is called Cause of the day.
Even though the announcement was made at the end of 2012, we asked for February 1, the feast of St Bridget. This powerful woman of the 5th Century, links well with the extraordinary women we work with in remote, rural parts of Malawi, and also links our wells with St Bridget’s wells all over the country.
AOL (Aol.com) has selected Wells for Zoë, as its Cause of the Day, on February 1, 2013. AOL Impact features a daily cause or charity on AOL’s home page, which in their own words is “dedicated to everyday good.” AOL has created the cause of the day as “a way to connect people with charities, to make it easy to get involved, and share the missions of organizations simply doing amazing things.”
Doing everyday good in remote, rural areas of Malawi, ranked, close to the bottom, in the world’s rich list, is exactly what Wells for Zoë are doing, with their focus on clean, safe drinking water. They also have an education project impacting 25,000 primary school students and they run 21 rural preschools. Their other area of interest is on conservation farming producing fruit trees and seeds of native African trees, as well as training and research on their various farms.
Amazing things is exactly what Malawian women’s Self-Help groups are achieving with a little inspiration, education and challenge and without any external financial inputs.
Eight years on, Mary and John Coyne, a 50-years-together couple from Ireland, spend almost half their lives in Malawi, moving Malawians to empower themselves on the tiniest of a shoestring budget, donated often in micro donations by family and friends, some of whom they never met, from all over the globe.
They are a fully voluntary organization except for their Malawian workers, where the founders pay all organizational expenses and volunteers cover all their own costs. This allows 100% of all donations to get directly to the projects in Malawi.
This opportunity from AOL is very timely when they are trying to match last year’s amazing achievement of bringing clean, safe drinking water to another 100,000, of the World’s poorest, in 2013. They consider clean water as the first step on the development ladder. When a well and a pump come to a village everything changes. Illness is almost eliminated, girls get to go to school and women have time to grow more food and do little businesses. To W4Z clean water is not an end, it’s just a beginning. It becomes the start of a continuing relationship with communities. They help bring the water, and communities do the rest. They work with communities on their own plans, having learned that shutting-up and listening is regularly the only the way to go.
Wells for Zoë works with Government at a local level and only where no-strings-attached co-operation is forthcoming. They are a bottom-up organisation, who are careful with every cent. They don’t do hand-outs and help is given in areas where Malawians are lacking the education or skills to do it themselves and then only by means of mentoring and training.
We are really appreciative of the support that “AOL’s Cause of the Day is an affording us” says Mary Coyne of Wells for Zoë, it gives us exposure to a much wider audience and enables us to show what can be achieved with a lot of commitment and a little money.
You can change someone’s life forever by giving them a donation that you won’t miss, but one that they will remember forever.
We want to give 100000 people clean water in 2013 and we can with your help