18 July 2019 at 07:00PM
Wells Bring Hope
Ida Beal Harding has been a volunteer with the chapter since 1993. She has held virtually every position that exists in the chapter, as well as numerous positions in PMI Global. But she has also volunteered for eleven years with another organization named Wells Bring Hope, which she helped found.
Along with six other LA women, she helped found this organization in 2008 after seeing a slide presentation by Gil Garcetti (father of Mayor Eric Garcetti). They were overwhelmingly touched by the women & girls in Niger, West Africa, having to spend all their time walking miles to get water for their families & girls are being allowed to go to school. & particularly because this water they work so hard to get is CONTAMINATED. It consistently causes disease & even death. Currently 1 out of 7 babies die before they are 5 years old!
Wells Bring Hope partners with World Vision & does fundraising to drill wells in the villages in Niger, West Africa, consistently the poorest country in the world. World Vision does the actual boots on the ground work there. 100% of all donations go towards wells, a claim few other nonprofits can make. Every donor receives a report about the village they’ve helped drill a well in. It shows the date the well was drilled, the name of the village, its location on the map of Niger, its GPS Coordinates, its population, & how deep the well is.
Their model is different from other nonprofits. Having traveled throughout Africa, Ida has seen many abandoned wells drilled by well meaning groups across the world. Abandoned because the local villagers feel the well belongs to those outside groups.
So they require the village to 1) contribute a small amount of money (to feel a sense of ownership) & 2) create a maintenance committee of 7or 9 people (half women) whom they train in how to maintain the well & also in sanitation/hygiene & how to build latrines. They train the rest of the village.
Afterwards they provide microfinance programs for the women of the village.
So far the organization has drilled 577 wells, improving lives of over 580,000 people immediately & will affect generations to come.
She is on the Board of Directors and acts as Director of Volunteer Management. She works approximately 700 hours per year for the organization, as she has for the past eleven years. In those years when when she travels to Niger (to interview women about the need and photograph), the time is obviously much greater.
Her team of 4 volunteers writes job descriptions & posts them on Volunteer Match.org. Ida trains & oversees team managers in how to manage their volunteers (because managing volunteers is different from managing paid employees). They have 60-70 volunteers at any one time, as well as advisors in different areas who help when called upon. They also focus on retention of volunteers by 1) doing check-in calls with each volunteer to see how he/she is enjoying the volunteer role & 2) by publishing a monthly volunteer newsletter
She feels that working with Wells Bring Hope has changed her life. She has an emotional connection with the cause and gets a strong sense of purpose from her volunteer work. She enjoys the types of tasks she does such as interviewing nominees & finding just the right position for them. She also enjoye writing and editing articles, motivating & leading her team of volunteer coordinators & encouraging team managers on how to better lead their teams. She has made lasting friendships with other BOD members & volunteers & donors.
For more information about Wells Bring Hope or to make a donation, go to www.wellsbringhope.org.
Ida has created a Water Circle for the chapter where we can track the donations made just by PMI-LA chapter members.
One easy way to donate to it is to go to https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/water/PMILosAngeles Or text "water45" to 71777
Nagode! (Thank You!)