Today, I met Bar from Innovation: Africa—although I remembered seeing her name in the Cheku guestbook before I even knew she existed. Sivan, the organization’s CEO, was one of the few people who responded to my emails about Iyoli, and she passed my name onto Bar, director of Africa programs. I talked to Bar a few times about the water situation in Iyoli. In retrospect, I realized that the organization must get so many requests to help communities in even more desperate situations. She could have easily brushed me off.
But she didn’t.
The donors who funded this entire project could have easily decided to put their dollars into another project or keep all the money for themselves.
But they didn’t.
Moshi could have walked away from the project when issues from the community came up, as they always do.
But he didn’t.
And here we all were, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and atheist, working together in a tiny little village that’s not even on the map because we listened to that little voice whispering, “Do it! This is for real.” We could have all walked away at various points.
But we didn’t.
Often, world news can be overwhelming because the focus is on chaotic differences that divide us, but in that tiny village, an unlikely group of people from different countries and cultures and languages walked around the project site, ate two meals together (our lunch was double booked), and figured out final project details during the last stretch to the finish line. We’ve had challenges and issues to solve along the way, but common ground kept us all together.
It’s not that hard to find commonality, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun. However, all roads have bumps, and this project was no different.