Pictured are children from the village of Ngeza, Uganda.

Wishing Wells Society (WWS) is a registered Canadian charity founded in 2000 and based in St. Andrews.

WWS is dedicated to building wells and irrigation ponds in small, rural villages. The projects began in India and have since spread to help communities in Haiti and Africa, providing clean drinking water and ensuring better health. The irrigation ponds enable the growing of crops and food which relieves extreme poverty found in these regions.

Since 2000, a total of 108 village water or irrigation pond projects have been provided. These projects have a tremendous positive impact on the health of the people, the women and children who carry the water and their ability to grow a second crop in the dry season.

This year WWS has reached the final year of their organization. The Ngeza water system, on which planning and work began in 2018, will be one of their last projects.

In the interim between their Kenyan and Zambian projects, Inverness County Cares began a partnership in 2018 with Wishing Wells to provide the funds to install a rainwater collection and distribution system to benefit 350 families in Ngeza village, a very poor area, even by Ugandan standards.

“The project was applied for by Transform a Village in Africa (TVA), and although we liked the project very much and TVA had excellent references, we just didn’t have the funds for it,” Mary van den Heuvel, chair of Wishing Wells Society states. “We are so pleased that ICC has agreed to provide the $10,000 funding which is so desperately needed, for this water project.”

The project will provide four 10,000 litre storage tanks which will connect to collection centers in the community through pipes and taps. The new water system will serve the refugees, immigrants and displaced persons who recently settled in the area of Ngeza, without any government support. The project will improve the health and livelihoods of the people by providing them with a source of clean water.

These 10,000 litre tanks are used to store the water collected from the roofs of buildings.

“ICC is honoured to be a contributor to the water project in Ngeza village, Uganda,” said ICC member John Gillies.

Inverness County Cares was founded in 2012 to address the wants of a needy school in Nairobi, Kenya. Throughout the journey with this school, ICC worked to help them develop agricultural skills, with the aim of providing a means to develop sustainable garden practices and self-reliance.

In 2015 ICC began a three-year partnership with Chalice, an aid organization based in Bedford. With the combined efforts of the two associations ICC was able to provide the Kenyan school with a foundation upon which the school is now able to continue to move ahead independently.

With the wrap up of the Kenyan project, ICC researched to find a new mission on which to focus its energies. The Ugandan project fit the bill as a short term, one-time commitment as ICC transitioned from working with the school in Kenya to the Kawambwa project schools in Zambia.

“We were familiar with the work and story of Wishing Wells and know the stresses of water poverty, so the WWS project was a very good fit for the ICC mission statement,” said ICC member Ted van Zutphen. “ICC is especially pleased to be involved, for in 2014, ICC was the recipient of a similar gift, when Living Water Africa provided our sponsored school (St. Charles Lwanga) with a water collection system. We are well aware of the positive impact a source of water can be to a community.”

Next month in Part 2, ICC will share what it took to install and complete the Ngeza, Uganda project… not an easy task!

Inverness County Cares always welcomes new members. Individuals who wish to donate can use the donate button on their Web site: https://invernesscountycares.com or send a cheque to Inverness County Cares, Box 99, Judique, NS, B0E1P0. Tax receipts will be provided.