Our History in a Letter From Our Founder

Dear Friends:

 

In 2008, while traveling with my family in Zambia, I became acquainted with Daniel Mubiana, (the gentleman on the right in the photo) who was the gatekeeper at our lodge. During our stay, Daniel told me that his 104 year-old grandmother (center of the photo) had fallen while collecting water in the bush country near Mubiana Village and had broken her leg. His dad, pictured on the left, is the headman of Mubiana Village. Because there was no access to a doctor, his grandmother's leg healed crookedly, and sadly, she could no longer walk. She now had to drag herself in the dirt to the village latrine, to community activities, and to and from her conical mud-daub home. I was so moved by this sad story, I told Daniel that I would find a wheelchair for his grandmother while I was in his country.

In the days I had left in Zambia, I spoke to people in hospitals, clinics and retail businesses. I also talked to tradespeople and lodge staff, but failed to find a wheelchair that would be suitable for use in the bush. I needed a wheelchair with wheels adapted to rough terrain not concrete sidewalks. Despite my best intentions, I failed to fulfill my promise to Daniel, and when we left Zambia, we left his grandmother in her awful predicament. (Strangely, several years later, while studying at UC Davis, I learned that my professor had a US AID grant and operated a wheelchair factory in Zambia which then, as now, is producing wheelchairs for use in the bush!).

When I returned home to the United States, I decided that if I could not find a wheelchair for Daniel’s grandmother, I could at least get Mubiana Village a borehole well so that no one else would be injured collecting water. Through an online search, I found a wonderful NGO called Life Giving Water whose mission is to raise funds to drill borehole wells in Zambia. They taught me about international fundraising and provided indespensible advice. I raised money for the borehole through a network of friends, family and business associates; Daniel found a driller and before the year was out, Mubiana villagers no longer had to walk for miles to the river to collect water. Instead, they have a borehole well which is operated by a hand pump, produces clean water and most importantly, is located in the safety of their village.

 

Daniel insisted that I return to Zambia and Mubiana Village the next year to celebrate the borehole well. It was an invitation that I could not refuse! What an honor to enjoy the village celebration complete with fresh goat meat, drumming, dancing and singing!

 

It was then that I decided I would raise enough money each year to drill one borehole well in a Zambian village. Over the years, my goals have grown, as you will see as you explore this website.

International PEACE Projects was organized to deliver clean water, provide clean water education and confront the practices that harm the environment and threaten water supplies and health. As funds are available, we drill up to three borehole wells per year, and in 2013 we imported our first drill rig from the U.S.

 

In addition to borehole well drilling, we work with communities to provide clean water education, watershed clean-up, environmental 

mural art, organic farming, water quality testing and community building. We have a comprehensive program built for delivery of clean water and protection of the water supply.

 

I have worked in community development and environmental education throughout my career. I have been lucky to travel and experience cultures across the globe. As I reflect on my 40-years of professional life and travel,

I believe that our acronym, PEACE, encompasses all the elements required for human dignity to flourish:  

 

To enjoy the quality of life that each person deserves, People must have access to Education, Artistic expression, a sense of Community and a healthy Environment in which to live. That spells PEACE!

 

When the dignity of every human being is honored, regardless of where they live or what they do, all people thrive and our world is a better and more peaceful place.

 

Thank you for your interest in the work of International PEACE Projects and our partner organizations. Thank you for becoming active in our work by donating to the projects about which we are so passionate!

 

Sincerely, 

 

Leslie Warren

Founder and Director, International PEACE Projects