2014 End of Year Wrap-up
What an extraordinary year for International PEACE Projects!
It started in January with a pottery brigade organized by our partner, Potters for Peace. Brigadiers visited eight pottery villages over a rugged two week adventure in Nicaragua's remote north where we tested water quality and scouted sites for future borehole wells and shared ceramic technique with artisans.
With Jody Sather Friedman providing the skills and artistry, we created and launched our web site which is a wonderful platform to describe our work to enhance people's quality of life though access to clean water, clean food, environmental education, arts and community building. Our first drill rig was successfully shipped to Tanzania and our clean water team members, Sylvester Mbaama and Paul Mandah coordinated the intricacies of international import and transport to bring the rig down through Tanzania and into Zambia in a 1200 mile odessy. We now can expand our drilling operations to even more remote sites and our drilling costs per well will decrease as we now execute drilling and pump installation ourselves!
We completed five new borehole wells. That means over 6,000 people are drinking clean water for the first time in their lives and children are not dying from tainted water.
We established learning gardens at each well site and teachers will use these gardens as learning laboratories. In a environment where no school books exist, this is a wonderful addition for children's development. WE COMPLETED THREE MAGNIFICENT WATER EDUCATION MURALS IN Nicaragua! You can check our facebook page to see these stunning murals which are located in the busiest streets in Granada.
At the mural sites, we completed arroyo clean up-removing hundreds of pounds or trash. We are now working with the Mayor of Granada on an arroyo enhancement program to protect the watershed and build awareness of the streams and their connection to the economic and aesthetic vitality of the Granada. We imported 300 pounds of school books for Granada schools.
We held a two day class with students where we collected water samples and tested them for E. coli. What a fascinating hands-on learning experience for the children. We also restored seven murals in Granada that we had previously painted. These had lost their luster due to weathering. We brought the colour back to its original vitality and sealed the murals with a protective coating. This project was underwritten by our new partner in Granada, Sur Colour - a paint manufacturer using environment practices. Finca Vive Verde went into production growing fine organic fruits and vegetables which will provide an income stream for our water education projects. This is so exciting! We also opened negotiations with Nitlapan, a think tank in Nicaragua which is exploring subsistence agriculture issues and adaptations necessary as climate changes. Our Finca will be a laboratory for experimental crops managed by Nitlapan if our vision is realized this coming year. UC Davis has invited us to mentor students in their Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We have submitted a proposal to Bioneers, the preeminent confab or thinkers and progressives, to present at their International Conference in Marin Co. California next year.
Songs for Nicaragua fundraiser - we raised $700! A stunningly successful year:
We met our funding goals
We exceeded our project goals.
We brought educational enrichment to thousands of children with books, educational gardens and science education.
We created enduring water education art and protected the legacy of art that we began in 2008. The communities in Nicaragua and Zambia where we were fortunate to work are enjoying a quality of life enriched by healthy children and community building around clean water.
Most importantly, with our partners, Life Giving Water, International Water, Potters For Peace, Social Enterprise Fund, SlyPaul Foundation, APRODIN and others, we saved people's lives through our bore hole wells and water quality testing.
We are so blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy these people and share in their lives.
Our lives are immeasurably enriched by the experience. Sincerely, Leslie Warren Founder and Director International PEACE Projects