For Immediate Release For further information contact:
November 1, 2005 1008 Wells Foundation
Jadeine Shives 407-460-7276
Twenty-two Indian well projects pledged over the next two years
While the wind howled at speeds of sixty miles an hour and over eight inches of rain fell on Central Florida thanks to Hurricane Wilma, villagers in India probably never guessed that one day a freshwater well would manifest in their village from an agreement made in the United States on that fateful day. On Monday, Oct. 24, the 1008 Wells Foundation pledged over $32,000 in funding over the next two years to World Neighbors for freshwater well projects in India.
“I’ve always heard that rain is a blessing from the heavenly realms, especially in the drier regions of India. Well today we are experiencing a multitude of blessings and well wishes from above on this new partnership,” shared Jadeine Shives, founder of the 1008 Wells Foundation, “Yes, it is a joyous celebration with thunder as applause and bolts of lightning for fireworks!”
The nonprofit, nonsectarian organization based near Orlando, FL raises awareness and funding for freshwater wells in India. Motivated to make a difference in the lives of the outer villages, her inspiration was born from a pilgrimage throughout India back in 2001. “It was heart wrenching to see women traveling for great lengths carrying heavy loads of water home to their families knowing this back-breaking work occupied the majority of their day. I made a vow that somehow, some day I would come back and dig wells . . . though I really didn’t have any idea how or when that might happen. I just knew I needed to do something!”
After organizing a group of other like-minded individuals who realized that they too could be a local person making a global impact, the 1008 Wells Foundation was formed. “We had a purpose, a plan, and even funding. What we needed next was another organization in India that could oversee the construction. That’s where World Neighbors came into the picture.”
World Neighbors is a nonprofit organization with over fifty years experience in India serving as a catalyst for positive change through grassroots efforts in marginal communities. As an international leader in participatory and integrated development strategies, they assist village councils to identify problems, take collective action and assess results. Rather than doing the work for the beneficiaries, World Neighbors helps participants form local groups to progressively take on more responsibility for program activities as their capacities increase. This way, participants become the driving force behind the development initiatives and have a vested interest in continuing the efforts long after the original financial support by 1008 Wells Foundation is received.
“World Neighbors is proud to be associated with the 1008 Wells Foundation,” said Melanie MacDonald, president and chief executive officer of World Neighbors. “This partnership is yet another example of how we are inspiring people to help strengthen communities throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. Access to clean, safe drinking water is so vital to a person’s – and a community’s – well being. The wells provided through 1008 Wells Foundation will allow villagers that access.”
Madan Gurdial, President of 1008 Wells Foundation shared his determination in reaching the auspiciously numbered goal, “When we said 1008 wells, it was us giving our word to the Universe. It’s a promise we made - a sacred promise to all the faces in 1008 villages though we may never get the opportunity to meet. Their souls know our souls and are counting on us. This partnership with World Neighbors is our first major step in keeping our word.”
Sharing how others can join the partnership and bring those wells to reality, Madan went further. “Now here is the truth. We cannot do this alone. We need you, your support, your encouragement and your enthusiasm. I am sure that you are aware that the best feelings you’ve ever felt in your life were created by participating in something that had nothing to do with you and everything to do with helping others. So my request is that you jump in and treat yourself to some good feelings. We’ll have fun creating the future together.”
With great enthusiasm, Ms. Shives shared that the fist well project has been completed. The Hindu University of America, also in Orlando, FL, sponsored a gravity flow drinking water system for the village of Sinji Gram Panchayat in West Bengal. “The one hundred and twenty residents of this remote community now have a real chance at making a difference in the war on poverty, hunger and disease that is caused by the lack of clean drinking water. It’s a great feeling being a part of something larger than just our limited selves. You should try it. One well can change hundreds of lives, not to mention your own!”
The 1008 Wells Foundation raises funds through private and corporate sponsorships, fundraising events, speaking engagements and proceeds generated from Digging a Well to Heaven, the Founder’s story behind the inspiration experienced on that now infamous pilgrimage to India of 2001. For more information on how you or your civic organization may sponsor a well project please visit http://www.1008wells.org or call 407-460-7276.
Further more information about World Neighbors please visit http://www.wn.org or call 1-800-242-6387.