- Matt Hobson, Project 58 Director-
This September, Holly and I were invited to attend the Wine to Water Summit in Boone, North Carolina. (Wine to Water is an organization that some of you have heard a TON about if you've been around Project 58 for anytime at all- we’ve partnered with to help bring clean water to those who don’t have the means to obtain it themselves.)
The Wine to Water Summit was an amazing, eye-opening experience for both of us. Let's face it: seeing the headquarters and meeting the guys who are calling the shots and making things happen really lets you see the heartbeat of any organization.
The first thing I noticed in their office was this: Art work everywhere! And not just art- but creations from the field, from all the places W2W has dug wells. The art hung like trophies- or momentos- of the places where lives are being impacted everyday. Almost like W2W took something TO the people (clean water) AND brought something back (incredible connections, and an expression of the people themselves.)
Anyway, the highlight of our visit was a cocktail party which included W2W ground partners from around the world- including Nepal, Amazon and Dominican Republic.
We were able to meet them and hear their stories. There's nothing like hearing someone's story to really know who they are, where they're from, and the struggles- and victories- they've endured.
Roshani is from Nepal. Knowing the connection Project 58 had in her country, we were moved to tears as we listened to her story of living in Nepal during the 2015 earthquake, and the connection that was formed between her and W2W through a relative at Appalachian State.
Wine to Water mobilized assistance immediately.
Roshani is now the National Program Manager for Wine to Water in Nepal, and Word Alive’s own Pavan Mudiam will be on the ground in Nepal for a year beginning in January 2017.
Another WAIO staff member, Barry Hinds, also joined us on the trip and is going to be serving in Cambodia for 2017. He’s been spending time preparing as well as learning all he can about W2W. While at the headquarters (while we were looking at art!), Barry spent some time in the filter factory, saw the manufacturing process for the filters he'll use to take clean water to our brothers & sisters in Cambodia, and got the inside scoop on how they work.
After he's nestled into his new role there, we'll get him to post a video and show you firsthand. The methods they use are ingenious.
I know. It sounds crazy. Two of our own heading overseas for a year, to live in a place where there is NO WATER, right when others are looking at diving into careers, getting married, or making plans for the next chapter of life.
But, when you look at the art on the wall... and you hear the stories of the people BEHIND the art, it dawns on you: we can't all go overseas, but the craziest thing any of us could do is to simply do nothing.
Wine to Water’s main staff is less than 50 people, but with the help of volunteers and W2W Chapters, they’ve reached more than 500,000 people with sustainable, clean water. Think about the ratio there: 1 staff person changes the lives of 10,000 people- and counting!
Project 58 is honored- and ecstatic- to partner with Wine To Water.
We look forwarding to locking arrms with them to #BeTheChange around the world into the future.
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