The Small Village Foundation provides funding, and volunteers during student trips, to a number of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of rural South Africans.
Sustainable Clean Water Projects
It is hard – if not impossible – for most of us to imagine that someone can not get clean, safe drinking water simply by turning on a faucet in their home. In many African countries, however, most people do not have running water in their homes and must spend a significant amount of time and travel substantial distances to collect clean, safe drinking water. The lack of easily accessible water not only poses health risks, but also limits educational and employment opportunities for girls and women, who are typically responsible for the time-consuming task of collecting water.
One of Small Village Foundation’s missions is to provide clean, safe drinking water to rural Africans. SVF has helped with the installation of over 30 PlayPumps and 15 Rainwater Harvesting Systems. PlayPumps are essentially merry-go-rounds that are installed directly above boreholes (holes drilled into the earth to extract water). When children play on the merry-go-round water is drawn up through a pipe into an elevated storage tank. A tap near the tank enables residents to get clean, safe drinking water from the tank at no cost.
Rainwater Harvesting Systems are a simple means of catching and storing rainwater. On the June 2009 student trip, students participated in the installations of several of these systems. The systems were placed next to a crèche (pre-school) and provide nearly eight months of drinking water for the children, at a total cost of less than $400 per system.