Wells of Hope

Wells of Hope Project in Guinea

According to UNICEF, access to water is a challenge for many in Guinea. Located in West Africa, about four million people who live there (roughly one-third of the nation’s population) do not have consistent, safe drinking water. This can lead to a variety of social problems, particularly for young people, including making them susceptible to diseases and exposing them to violence.

Aicha Keita is a student at the Glenelg Country School in Maryland. Prior to the pandemic, she visited Guinea, where she has family origins. While there, she met a young girl named Fatou. Fatou lives in a remote village called Nienouyah. This is located in the Northeastern part of Guinea, about eight hours of travel from the capital city of Conakry.

Fatou was very positive and dedicated to completing her education. However, Fatou had to begin every day by walking a great distance to collect water for her family. This was hindering her ability to thrive in school.

Aicha decided to assist Fatou’s community by raising money to have a well drilled. David Weeks—the Glenelg Country School’s Global Education and Community Service Director—supported this effort and has inspired many young people to think about giving back. With the help of the Fund for the Future of our Children (FFC), her school community, the Ashai Changemaker Challenge, and others, Aicha collected enough resources to make this project happen.

The well has now been built, which has brought great joy to the community members and to Aicha. It is providing the villagers with access to cleaner water, which is vital for health, sanitation, and long-term development. Fatou and the other people of their village are now able to spend less time traveling to collect water and more time on school and other matters.
The well is already making a big difference, but Aicha is continuing to expand her impact. She is raising additional funding for a solar panel to charge the well’s battery. She is also hoping to purchase and install a water storage tank, an additional water faucet, and a shed.
Aicha has learned a great deal from the project. She has said, “You don’t realize how much privilege you have until you experience what it is like to not have the basic necessities of life. I’ve personally had the privilege to travel outside the US and go to Guinea. There I saw first-hand how difficult life was for the villagers. It was really heart-breaking… I was able to positively impact someone dear to me, a little girl named Fatou.” Aicha’s realization led her to take action—action that will benefit an entire village for many years. FFC is proud to support youth leaders and looks forward to continuing to invest in Aicha’s impact in Guinea.