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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Philippines: From Edmonton to Kauswaga, With Love

This week our absolutely wonderful friends Elizabeth Duffield, Katie Duffield Somerville, Gregg Oldringg and Margaret McPhedran pulled off an extraordinary feat.

These Edmontonians annually hold a fundraiser that is attended by only a modest number of committed friends and family members. They routinely raise enough to transform an overseas community completely.

This year was no exception: they achieved their goal of raising enough to provide the district of Kauswaga, the Philippines, with two clean water systems that will serve 600 people altogether.

Kauswaga is a district that epitomizes the struggle of Philippine Indigenous Peoples. Its inhabitants are mainly farmers and fisher-folk, and 70% of them are extremely poor. This district lacks all major services. The people are desperate for help.

Clean water is an excellent starting point for the kind of development that will allow Kauswaga’s people to be healthy and self-sufficient. These families will emerge with self-confidence and organizational capacities they did not realize they had, as our work in developing water sources always entails training the families to plan, implement, and manage their own water systems.

So kudos to our friends in Edmonton, who once again made something wonderful happen for a lot of people they will likely never meet.

Let’s give Beth the final word, as she describes the value of their hard work better than we could:

"We are amazed by two things, that our little community of friends and family continues to band together to support a community overseas. When it comes to clean water, it is within our capability to something and so in the end, we are just thrilled to be able to partner with amazing people in the Philippines for such incredible, long-term change. And second, that all this is happening, simply because we asked."

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