A Spring of Hope searches for rural, underprivileged schools in South Africa in desperate need of water. These schools are often identified during the A Spring of Hope Team’s trips to Africa or when people contact us who know of a school in need. Our team looks at what kind of adversity students face and how the school could benefit from a well. Most often, at primary schools, many students suffer from malnutrition and a significant percentage of students are orphans. Schools also typically struggle financially. These are compelling reasons to drill a well.
Once a school has been located our South African Project Manager visits the school and performs a preliminary survey of the school’s grounds. He performs a basic scan for water known as divining, during which he holds two metal rods and positions himself over the land that may hold water. Divining is useful to check for underground breaks in the rock beneath the surface. Intersections of underground rivers are ideal locations for boreholes. Then, a geohydrologist is called in to inspect the land. Once it has been confirmed that the location is promising, we organize the construction.
Drilling begins when A Spring of Hope acquires the appropriate funds from either a sponsor or donations and/or fundraising through clubs at schools. Drilling is a highly delicate process during which a driller uses machinery to reach 100 meters or more below the ground. A powerful flow of water is needed for our wells since the water we draw is usually used to operate toilets, garden sprinklers, and faucets. Once a strong enough stream is located, we plan for the installation of the pump, protective cage, and appropriate piping.
Volunteers from A Spring of Hope visit each of our schools to educate faculty and students about the proper use of water, sanitation, and agriculture. We believe that education must be coupled with the new source of water. Schools then typically begin a new or expand on an old school garden which supplies fresh fruits and vegetables for students and teachers alike. Some schools provide orphans and underprivileged families with some fruits and vegetables. In most schools, the surplus food is sold to fund necessary school supplies. In time, gardens provide nutrition for learners and a stable income to the school.
We maintain relationships with our schools and provide repairs of wells if needed. Our team visits schools annually to check up on the school’s progress. However, our long-term goal focuses on helping schools become independent of aid. In the future, we hope to provide comprehensive entrepreneurial advising for schools to help them generate the funds needed to assert ownership over their well.