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Poverty Alleviation Projects

November 30, 2011

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your November 2011 report for The $10 Club.

Nigeriens have a short life expectancy, 54 years. Forty percent of the population has trachoma, which when left untreated, leads to blindness. Niger also has the highest childbirth rate in the world – 7.6 births per woman. One in seven women dies in labor or from complications during pregnancy. Only a third of expectant mothers either deliver at hospital, health post or with the help of a trained midwife at home.  As a result, a significant number of women who survive giving birth suffer from complications during labor like obstetric fistula which causes lifelong incontinence and ostracism from their village.

In Niger, 52% of the entire population and 70% of rural villages lack access to clean water. Women and girls typically walk 4-6 miles per day to find water for their families. Mothers must enlist the help of their daughters for this difficult task. As a result, young girls don’t get an education. While the Niger government recognizes the serious need to provide safe water for its people, they can afford to drill only 10% of the 12,000 wells needed.

Lack of access to potable water is the single most important factor for the high mortality rate among children there. One out of four children dies before the age of five, typically from diarrhea or other water-borne diseases. The premature deaths and water-borne diseases can easily be eliminated when a borehole well is drilled in a village. When this happens, public health is dramatically improved and infant mortality drops by 65%. Girls go to school, often for the first time in the history of the village. When girls are educated, they tend to marry later and bear children later, reducing the number of pregnancies and the chances of death in childbirth.

Wells Bring Hope (WBH) is committed to drilling wells to bring safe water and good sanitation to rural villages of Niger, West Africa—one of the poorest countries in the world, according to the 2010 UN Development Index.

This month, 247 of us donated $2,470 to Wells Bring Hope to help fund the drilling of a well in Niger. This is roughly one-quarter of the well project cost. WBH will campaign to match our grant, and then its partner organization, World Vision, will fund the second half of the project. The well we help fund will serve more than 500 people. Thank you.

The well will be fully sustainable. Villagers will be educated on how to maintain their well and learn where to get parts for up-keep. The village will also set up a maintenance fund to which everyone in the village contributes, thus ensuring that villagers take responsibility for their well.

Only the Democratic Republic of the Congo currently ranks below in Niger in human development. If we can help create one water well for one community we will have helped, quite literally, those who are among the poorest of the poor. Surely this is worth $10!

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org