“I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness.” ~ Exodus 23:25
Nearly 80% of illness in developing countries is linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
The Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) is the social justice ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University. As a community, students seek to embody the Christian call to be the "salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13). SALT helps students develop a passion and practice of Christian social action. SALTers draw upon God’s love for all people to cultivate the skills of community organizing, awareness raising, and fund development. SALTers are equipped to lead lives of social justice and serve as agents for positive change in their communities.
As an essential part of this mission, SALT partners with a local or international organization in order to address critical needs within the region. Every year for more than twenty years, SALT has selected a specific project in need and organized a fundraising campaign around it—known as the World Relief Campaign (WRC). These projects vary greatly in location and philanthropic endeavor, but consistently offer a sustainable asset to the selected community. The community is also engaged in the development of the proposal and implementation of the project. Once the project and target monetary goal are established, SALT works to educate and organize the campus and surrounding community in order to both increase awareness of the specific social justice issue encompassed in the not-for-profit and raise funds to aide the organization.
SALT is excited to announce the 2012 WRC “Kenya Dig It: A Well for Wellness”. We are partnering with Vision for Kenya to meet the healthcare needs in rural western Kenya. This campaign will fund the building of a well at a mission hospital located in Bungoma County, Kenya to make clean water accessible at the hospital and in the surrounding community. SALT will be working in cooperation with Vision for Kenya to carry out this fund raising campaign and educate the Valparaiso community about the impact of water issues and healthcare in this global village.
Kenya is a country in East Africa that has a coastline on the Indian Ocean. The terrain varies from low plains to central valleys and is bisected by the Great Rift Valley. This fertile valley is subject to drought during many months and excessive flooding during the rainy season. Kenya has a population of 41,070,934 as of 2011 and 78% of the people live in rural areas. Many ethnic groups in Kenya are united under two national languages—Kiswahili and English.
Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963 after a liberation struggle led by Jomo Kenyatta, who became the first president. The country is now a multi-party republic after some several violent elections in the early 1990’s that challenged the prior existence of a one-party state.
While Kenya is a center for trade is East Africa, the country has struggled because of years of corruption. The inequality is more prominent in the rural areas, especially in western Kenya. Bungoma District is one of the western most provinces and has a population of over 850,000 people in a 2,000 km2 area. The economy is founded on agriculture with the majority of the crops being sugar cane and maize. In Kenya, access to healthcare is a growing concern because of clean water access, sanitation, infectious diseases, and HIV/AIDS. Hospitals are estimated to have 1.4 beds/1,000 population, and less in the rural country.
Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital is located in the village of Lugulu in Bungoma County, which is a densely populated rural area in western Kenya. It is a Quaker-affiliated hospital that provides healthcare services to an area of 710,445 people. The hospital began as a first aid station in 1912 and was upgraded until it became a fully licensed hospital in 1977. Lugulu Hospital is continuing to expand and grow to meet the needs in the surrounding area by running more rural clinics and dispensaries. The hospital has a staff of 140 people and sees around 1,000 inpatients and 25,000 outpatients per year.
Vision for Kenya
The mission of Vision for Kenya is “is to improve access to healthcare in the rural areas of Kenya by working in partnership with rural healthcare providers. They volunteer their time and lend their policy expertise in order to develop practical and improved operational methods that increase Kenyans’ access to health care. In addition to their healthcare policy work, the founders match rural healthcare institutions with donors who can equip them so that these institutions are able to function more efficiently and reach their fullest operating capacity.”
Vision for Kenya is a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois. Five native Kenyans came to the United States for their college education, have all pursued higher degrees and established themselves in professional positions across the United States. With a passion for serving their home country, the five founders came together to form Vision for Kenya to aide healthcare centers and rural hospitals in Kenya.
Vision for Kenya specializes in designing healthcare policy initiatives that expand the footprint of healthcare institutions in rural areas. The organization works hand-in-hand with various missions, hospitals and clinics in order to ensure that they not only meet the immediate needs of the rural medical institutions, but also that they make a long-lasting contribution and impact that will benefit rural communities for years to come.
Kenya Dig It? A Well for Wellness
SALT will be raising $14,000 for the construction of a well at Lugulu Hospital in Kenya. Through our partnership with Vision for Kenya, we will be funding a well that will be built by experts and involve the community’s help for materials and labor. The community will also be trained to maintain the well and be responsible for its upkeep in a value chain approach.
There exist many reasons for SALT to support this project for the 2012 WRC. Not only did the proposal arise from the hospital, which is in much need of a functioning well, but it also has a long-term sustainability aspect. Currently, Lugulu Hospital operates with one well that is decrepit and cannot supply the hospital with the amount of water the hospital needs to run efficiently. Therefore, the patients are required to bring the needed water for their own healthcare procedures. It is a common sight for people to carry large jugs of water or many water bottles to the hospital. This also means that there is a build up of plastic around the hospital, which is not being disposed of properly. The water is needed for many basic activities. Hospital workers use water to prepare dining services and launder the linens, as well as many other basic tasks. Having the water accessible will make it easier for them to complete their jobs in a reduced time period.
The well will also serve as a resource for the surrounding community to get subsidized water. The funds that are generated by this method will go directly to the maintenance of the well and development of new water projects for the community. Having a reliable source for clean water in the community of 150,000 people can also affect the healthcare system by reducing exposures to parasites and other diseases.
The object of this project is to build a well at Lugulu Hospital for a reliable and consistent source of water that enables them to provide healthcare services to their fullest capacity as a rural health care institution. SALT and Vision for Kenya believe that access to health care and water are fundamental rights that are yet to be fulfilled in the rural areas of Kenya.
The intended outcome of the 2012 WRC: Kenya Dig It? A Well for Wellness is threefold:
1) SALT has set a monetary goal of $14,000 to be raised by May 1st, 2012, which will be used to fund the sustainable well at Lugulu Hospital in Kenya.
2) SALT is seeking to educate Valparaiso University and the surrounding community about the culture and people who live in Kenya (specifically the Bungoma District), and the effects of water issues and healthcare on these rural populations.
3) SALT hopes to equip and inspire student leaders to become lifelong activists.
Opportunities for Offering Support
SALT gratefully accepts any personal and corporate monetary donations. Furthermore, campus and community social organizations are encouraged to plan fundraising events. Anyone interested in working directly with the project may attend upcoming on-campus fundraisers organized by SALT, as well as join our meetings on Tuesdays at 9:30pm in the Lumina Room of Huegli Hall. SALT welcomes opportunities to speak to campus groups, congregations, and community organizations. Finally, SALT invites you to pray for this worthy cause and seek opportunities to serve those in need in your community and around the world.
Donations may be directed to:
Chapel of the Resurrection
Valparaiso, IN 46383
219.464.5093 ext. 5
*Checks payable to Valparaiso University with “WRC” in the memo line
Questions may be directed to
Krista Schaefer, WRC Chair
Other Contact Information
Vision for Kenya: Jacob Sitati, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) is the Spirit-led social
justice ministry of the Chapel of the Resurrection in which students in
community seek to embody the Christian call to be the ‘salt of the earth’
(Matt. 5:13). Taking seriously this call, SALT students develop and
practice a Christian theology of social action, and raise awareness and
encourage a Christian response to social justice issues.
As an essential part of this mission, SALT partners with both
international and local communities in order to address critical needs
within those areas. Every year for the past two decades, SALT has
selected a specific project in need of funding and organized a
fund-raising campaign around it known as the World Relief Campaign
(WRC). These projects may vary greatly in location and type but
consistently offer a sustainable asset to the selected community. Once
the project and target monetary goal are established, SALT works to
educate and organize the campus and the city in order to both increase
awareness of the need within that region and raise funds. Begun and
completed during each spring semester, the World Relief Campaign is a
fast-paced and large-scale fundraising drive.