Save the Rain | A Year in Review 2021

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December 2021

WATER CHANGES EVERYTHING. Help us end the Global Water Crisis.

Water is life. Everyone should have the right to it. Rainwater collection is the simplest way to make that happen. We believe the solution to the Water Crisis is falling from the sky. All we need to do is help people catch it. By constructing rainwater collection systems, communities gain access to clean and safe drinking water. We educate villages about conservation, reforestation, sanitation and sustainable agriculture. Our projects bring about gender equity, alleviate poverty and increase the health of communities.

Saving rain saves lives.

a note from the executive director If we had to give this year a title – not just for Save the Rain but for the world – we would have to call it “The Adjustment.” For many of us, including myself, there has been so much uncertainty about how to navigate.

My year has been filled with so many communal and personal moments of vulnerability with donors, in-country teammates and recipients. Thanks to Zoom, we held hands across the world and knew we would rise up together.

Since its inception in 2005, I have never experienced Save the Rain from the vantage point of my window ledge, looking in, 14,000 miles away from the people we are trying to serve. In this time, I have relied heavily on my gratitude to drive me to a new level of commitment to service.

And we have. New projects have answered new calls of need. We produced training videos on How to Build Rainwater Collection Systems because getting to people in other countries is harder. We launched a new team of builders in Nigeria to harvest the rain for their community. We designed and manufactured residential greenhouses to prevent famine due to inflated food costs. We launched a survey system to collect data to help us understand the challenges and successes in a new way. We designed comic books for COVID education to keep the illiterate informed. We created a storytelling initiative to share our recipients’ stories to bridge the pandemic gap. And of course, we harvested rain in six new villages and trained 269 new builders.

I wanted to reach out and say thank you. For it was in those moments when I needed to remember the good in the world, I needed to look no further than you. Our generous family continues to give in a time when need is abundantly apparent everywhere. One donor wrote, “In this time when it seems scarier to give, we are drawn to give more.” That exchange created a faith that could be felt around the world. SAVE THE RAIN


So this year, for our 16th birthday, we honor all the underdogs who are pushing through the storm. Regardless of the new lens we look through, we are laying a new path to a better tomorrow - brick by brick, drop by drop. --Kelly Coleman SAVE THE RAIN




If you teach a woman, you teach a nation For Irene, it’s true. Uplift a woman, and you uplift whole communities. Ten years ago, Save the Rain taught her to build rainwater harvesting systems, and she lifted herself out of despair. Ever since, she has done the same for countless others. When Irene’s team of women turns up at a site, they get asked when the builders will arrive. ‘It’s us,’ she says. And no one believes her – until the women set to work. Irene is less than five feet tall and looks more like a young girl than the mother, leader and powerhouse builder that she is. Her teams’ strength is collective, from hard labor, sharing sweat, lightening loads. From self-belief and having that belief reflected in the eyes of others, they define what women can do.

It’s clear that the fulfillment Irene gets from her work comes from its transformative power: the possibility to bring to others the changes she has experienced herself. It’s why they select women from each community they visit to build with them: to make them understand the strength of their own potential. It’s why each recipient must provide rocks and water for the build: it makes them co-authors of a better story for themselves instead of reinforcing their helplessness with charity. The tanks are symbolic, precursors of the ripples of change that follow. A permaculture garden supplements each tank. Solving water and food means women can move beyond survival mode. Their resourcefulness is freed. They might start a business, manifesting more resilience, self-sufficiency, a better life for the family. Children begin seeing their mothers as strong, capable and inspiring. Girls grow up with good role models, and boys grow up with respect. SAVE THE RAIN


Water changes everything.

Life is not possible without it; it lays bare the commonality we share. The cruel irony of a pandemic is having our interconnectedness proven by a virus – and forbidding us to commune ruptures the weave of community. Her regular work was impacted by the pandemic this year. But wherever Irene and her team went, they spread the message of COVID-19 prevention, bringing health in SAVE THE RAIN


the form of clean, safe water and leafy greens, plus vital information -- emissaries of new life-changing messages this time. For those whose ripples of change had reached, she is grateful for the resilience keeping them afloat. But her heart aches for others. The breakdown of community broke down homes, too --unemployment, domestic abuse, children out of school, despair. It’s been a brutally hard year for many.

She knows the power of water. You can’t stop it. Water will always find its way and get to where it needs to go. To understand the scope and magnitude of what she does is to understand the tragedy of people locked in solitude by fear of transmission. Irene’s message of abundance can manifest when water changes lives. It is the antidote to all that the pandemic has preyed on and changed. There have been setbacks this year. But Irene has seen what’s possible. She knows the power of water.

Yo u c a n ’ t s t o p i t . Wa t e r w i l l a lway s find its way and get to where it needs to go. SAVE THE RAIN


After receiving a tank, 96% of women reported that they never had to walk for water again. Neither did their daughters, granddaughters, neighbors or relatives.








hen we reviewed our goals during this strange time, keeping people off of public transportation was imperative. But then a locust infestation hit East Africa. Both a pandemic and an apocalyptic event, really? Like one wasn’t enough?

had 37 prototypes that took three hours to install and cost only $150. We then selected recipients in different climate zones to try them out. Four months later, we have tripled the number of recipients, and the reports are unbelievable.

A decade ago, we implemented sustainable agriculture programs as part of every water project. Clean water alone wouldn’t solve the hunger crisis. So villages, schools, and residents all received organic gardens based on permaculture design.

Before receiving assistance, we found that 61% of families suffered from food shortages more than two weeks out of every month. Those mothers reduced their own food portions by half to feed their kids. Today, some of those same women are enjoying abundant and consistent food crops grown in these greenhouses. Mary, one of the recipients, said that she never been able to eat leafy greens every day. But, today, because of her greenhouse, she can.

With current events, we knew we needed to safeguard those crops to ensure we keep hunger at bay. Four years ago, we received a generous contribution of an enormous greenhouse. It is more than 100’ long, 35’ wide, and nurtures tens of thousands of seedlings that we distribute through our projects. On a zoom call in June, we discussed the greenhouse and our desire to shrink it and distribute it to families. Within a week, the Tanzanian team had worked with a welder to create the framework. By July, we SAVE THE RAIN


Our team has a simple dream – to help people thrive – and we were able to take a simple idea and turn it into a victory. Perhaps when you have lived the struggle, the ingenuity to create the solution comes more simply. Our goal is to build these greenhouses with the same drive as we build rainwater tanks. And with your help, we can.



Thanks to our corporate sponsors, 100% of public donations directly fund our projects.




With $15, you can provide a child with access to clean drinking water for the rest of their life and the life of their future offspring.


With $150, you can provide a family with food security through a residential greenhouse filled with oragnicrops that harvest multiple times per year.


With $500, you can free a family from the countless hours spent searching for water by providing them with a residential rainwater collection system.

With your help, we can help stop the Global Water Crisis. Donate Today SAVE THE RAIN

14 P.O. Box 1510 Mount Shasta, California, 96067 T: 530.926.9999 F: 530.926.5050

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