Uganda benefit dinner exceeds fundraising goals

In our privileged society, it is often easy to ignore the myriad of social injustices throughout the world. Fortunately, there are groups that strive to inspire action in those who are in positions to help. One such organization—the nonprofit humanitarian Ugandan Water Project—visited the Geneseo campus on Tuesday April 7 and proved it is possible for anyone to initiate change.

Invited by Geneseo InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Ugandan Water Project works to deliver systems for safe and accessible drinking water to the people of Uganda.

“I wanted to do something to make a lasting impact,” senior Angela Berardi said.

“We want to show God cares about resolving this issue and other social injustices and we are capable of facilitating,” senior Jennifer Chu added.

The event’s goal was to fundraise $3,600 to go toward a rainwater collection tank for the Bugoma Primary School located in the Kayunga District in Uganda. The Geneseo community exceeded the goal, making $5,219 in just one hour—an amount that continued growing in the campaign’s aftermath. The additional funds will go toward similar missions within the Ugandan Water Project.

Founded by executive director James Harrington, the Ugandan Water Project was established to educate the public about difficulties within Uganda and encourage support to solve these issues. The organization also seeks to impart a belief in one’s ability to make change in the world and motivate devotion to humanitarian causes.

The fundraiser included a presentation by Harrington examining the struggle for clean, accessible water in Uganda. Booths were set up demonstrating the water filtering system, selling fair trade Ugandan crafts and providing information about how to get more involved in the effort through trips with the organization.

“We want people to realize this one event positively affected the world and history, so imagine what a lifetime of effort could do. They made the change and they can persist in making change,” Harrington said. “I created this project because it was compelling to me to realize this is a problem we know how to solve and can afford to solve. Many people don’t understand how to connect with the solutions to problems. The Ugandan Water Project acts as a vehicle for that.”

“I think students here can expect to hear more about the Ugandan Water Project,” freshman Jonathan Becker said. “It’s a cause that will maintain support.”