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Ain’t no party like a new well party

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You may think of yourself as a person who knows how to celebrate. You can plan it down to the themed toothpicks, you can put out a spread like nobody’s business, or you can be the first one on the dance floor, but you have NOT seen a party until you’ve seen a community start pumping water from its well for the first time.

A new well in northern Uganda means so much more than water. It’s more than relief from long, dangerous treks and unrelenting illness. It’s more than children returning to school and families earning more income. It’s proof to the people living in that community that they are seen and loved. It’s proof that there is hope and a future. And because Lifewater works with communities to build in key pieces of ownership and sustainability, the community sees evidence of its own strength. They experience that their talents and attitudes matter; their work and sacrifice, together, brought about a good thing. For people who have survived decades of violence, displacement, and indignity, this is a huge win.

It’s a reason to party. Unlike the parties we we might be used to, this party goes all day. There are more than a few toasts (ok, speeches). Everyone is there. The adults crowd in to witness with their own eyes what they’ve prayed for, asked for, and worked for, sometimes for decades. They give thanks. The oldest ones speak of responsibility and pride. The mothers speak of dignity and hope for their children. Children encircle the crowd, climbing trees to get a better view of the event they sense signifies a turning point in their young lives.

And then the grandmas start dancing. And singing. And there is music, clapping, hugs, laughing, crying, and more dancing. It’s a party that leaves no one out. It’s a party where the joyful, the relieved, the grateful, and the resolute all find a way to express themselves.

These parties will keep going this year because of what the Wheels 4 Water community is doing. As we help bring safe water to the people in northern Uganda, thousands will experience the best reasons to celebrate.

Sada Andrews, JD is the Director of Advocacy and Communication