Cara Coweth is a charity founded in Stithians, Cornwall. Cara Coweth is Cornish for “A caring group of people working together” and our aim is to raise money to build clean drinking water wells in rural areas of Sierra Leone.
The committee was formed in late 2012 and our first main fundraiser was a Burn’s Night supper in January 2013 at the Stithians Centre, which raised an amazing £1500 thanks to the generosity of all who attended. We’ve now held a Burn’s Night every January since and our support has only grown stronger which is greatly appreciated by the committee.
Since we’re a small charity, it’s only expenses are those incurred from organising events and the small money transfer costs which are taken out, therefore practically all of the money raised is sent directly to our partner NGO Alan Biscoe Water Aid Sierra Leone (ABWASL).
ABWASL is managed by Father Daniel Samura, a Catholic priest in Sierra Leone, and was set up in collaboration with Cara Coweth Water Sierra Leone. The money we send to ABWASL covers the cost of the materials, many of which are given at a discounted price by local businesses. The wells themselves are hand-dug by the local people which helps to give the people an sense of achievement and accomplishment, as well as removing the risk of reinforcing the stereotype of dependency on overseas aid.
The availability of clean water within rural villages doesn’t only benefit health. Children usually head out into the ‘bush’ early in the morning to collect water to carry home. The time they spend doing this often prevents them from going to school, therefore, with water available on their doorstep a greater number of children can go to school and improve their prospects for the future.
Since it’s formation, the charity has received many messages from Father Daniel Samura and the Paramount Chief of the area, the first of which informed us that the usual cases of cholera and dysentery which plague the villages every year during the monsoon season (May to October) have been largely absent in the villages we’ve worked in due to the clean water. This is a fantastic result and helps to prove why the wells are so appreciated and needed by the communities.
We have now managed to provide a fantastic 9 wells in total, some through our own fundraising and some through one off donations from families wishing to build a memorial well for a loved one. We have now provided a well in each village of this district which was our original goal, however before we move on to our next district we’re completing one final project which we’ve explained in the ‘Madina’ tab of our ‘villages’ section.
In 2013 and 2014 some of the committee members and sponsors went to Sierra Leone, on a self-funded trip, to visit the wells and the people who have been so grateful to receive them. Some of the committee members were also made honorary village chieftains, as a gift from the people, as they had nothing else to give to show their gratitude.
Fortunately, during the Ebola Crisis of 2014/15 none of the villages we’ve worked in suffered from the disease itself. Unfortunately however, due to the government imposed ‘lockdown’ of movement to prevent the spread of Ebola, many people suffered from hunger during the outbreak. During this time the wells proved their worth, providing the villages with clean drinking water and preventing the need to break the ‘lockdown’ in need of collecting water.
If you wish to know more about our charity then please leave a comment on the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.