The FRIENDS Story
FRIENDS founder Evie Treen
with Woni Educational Trust founder Magdalene Ngina in Goleta.
To date, Friends of Woni has impacted more than 15,000 community members.
To achieve true long-term sustainability, simply providing access to water is not enough, quality education is a prerequisite too. – Evie Treen
Magdalene Ngina and Evie Treen
Friends of Woni Kenya International Inc.
Who we are and what we have done because of a dream
We were formed in 2008 and are a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the USA. Our main objective is to raise funds to drill water wells in Kenya, but we have other dreams that have come up over the years.
We have spent many months in Kenya identifying locations that need water.
The lack of water has women and girls walking four miles to twenty-five kilometers every day as a result, girls are not educated due to the responsibility of having to help their mother fetch water for the family.
In 2005 Friends of Woni visited a Maasai village in Amboseli where the average walk for water is four miles each way.
A need for a well was apparent so we began searching for funding. And finally, in 2010Global Water received funding from Oasis Bottling Company in Dubai for wells in Africa and the Maasai village was chosen to have a borehole drilled.
In February 2011, the well was drilled to PRIMARY WATER DEPTH and it has forever changed the lives in this village and others around it. Now there are about 2000 people coming to this well each week for water. And it was reported by the Maasai that no more water borne diseases were found in the children so less loss of lives to the clean water.
In late 2005 Ms. Treen visited another village in Central Kenya, home to the Kamba tribe. The Kamba are farmers that relied on the rains for water but ten years of drought depleted the water reserves. We met with the locals and told them we would search for funding to drill a well; finally in 2009 funding came from Santa Barbara North Rotary in Santa Barbara California. In March 2011 the well was drilled to PRIMARY WATER depth and was sighted by a Geologist from California, Pal Pauer who searches for Primary Water that comes up between the fissures in the earth, it is not ground water. This well after four months was still free flowing water at a rate of 55 gallons a minute. On the second phase of this project the Rotary again funding the cost of two water storage tanks, pumps, pipelines to the second tank high on a hill, plus an in-line pump to push the water up the hill. This enables the water to gravity flow to many homesteads on both sides of the hill. In 2019 another pipeline was added for four miles down to a medical clinic near the town of Machakos. No wonder it is called the “Magical Well”.
Our third well is located about ten miles from the town of Machakos, in a high school. The school is named Kyaani High School. Due to the fact that this area is h homesteads and hardly any of the people have cars or motor bikes it was impossible for the children in this area to get anything more that primary school education, so the locals came together and built the school.
Once again water was needed, they had to truck water in for daily use for the students. Once again Santa Barbara North Rotary came to the rescue and funded the drilling of a well on the school grounds. They ask Pal Pauer to go to Kenya to sight the location for the well, which he did. Prior to his getting there a Kenya Geologist had decided on a location for a well, the Government came in and drilled for four days only to have a dry hole so it was abandoned. Now Pal is pressed to find a location, which he did. A successful well was drilled and equipped with solar panels and pumps, now the school has their own water.
What was asked of Friends next was a Dormitory for girls so they would not be walking long distances to and from school. We started raising fund and in 2020 February construction was started on the dorm for girls. It houses up to eighty girls. The wonderful thing is it also has showers and flushing toilets which most do not have at home. Now they will get the education they desperately needed all these years to break the cycle of poverty. That was a $120,000. oo US dollar project.
Our next project started in April 2021, to build state of the art bathrooms for the boys and girls of the high school. Those are in progress now and should be finished by mid-May 2021, his is a $50,000.00 US dollar program.
We also have done other small projects, tree planting of 10,000 trees including the Moringa tree which the pods and leaves can be eaten and have a high source of minerals and vitamins, school uniforms for the Maasai pre-school, hand washing tanks for pre-schools, educational material for teachers in both NGU Nyumu and Maasai schools, turn out soccer uniforms for rural school, soccer balls, all of these are small things, but most welcomed by the schools.
We have guidelines that villages have to follow to qualify for a well project, we bring in the Geologist that searches for the best place to drill a well. Individuals own most of the areas in Central Kenya. Once the site is located, the community comes together and asks the landowner to donate about one half acre of land to a legally formed Community Based organization. The owner of the land “Deeds” the well site portion and an easement to get to the site to the CBO, that way the land and the well cannot be claimed to be owned by one person and their family heirs to have to abide by the “Deed”, and the money spent will be for the community as a whole.
Friends of Woni Kenya INternational, Inc have the experience to handle funds donated for water wells and other projects, to find a good drilling company, we have the knowledge on, proper plumbing to install for long lasting life of the well. We are able to work with the people for a better understanding of how to maintain the well once it is installed and help to form the Community Based Organization, with a Board of Directors, evenly balanced with both women and men. The women get the water so they will know if the well needs servicing, the men to repair it. We help set up By-Laws governing the well as in most places in East Africa a small amount of money per container is charged for clean drinking water. With this money, they are able to maintain and repair the pumps and generators when there is a problem. We encourage them to set up a water management bank account to deposit funds paid by water customers.
None of the monies received goes towards payroll of board members, the only funds used from donations are for a website, insurance and Accounting Professional.
Will you help us raise money for our projects in Kenya? Please contact me at 805-961-9407, or info@friendsofwoniKenya.org, www,friendsofwonikenya.org.