Save the Rain | A Year in Review 2023

Page 1

December 2023

Women spend their days searching for water. The walk is unsafe. So is the water –if they find any. We bring clean water home through rainwater harvesting.

Saving Rain Saves Lives.

a note from the executive director

Valeska Handing Over Ceremony. August 2023


itting down to write this note had me stumbling. Recent global events leave me feeling helpless and furious at the same time. My thoughts wander the roads of solution. Somehow, all this contemplation leads me back to Save the Rain. I am always amazed by the faith of people experiencing so many challenges. This work has taught me that abject poverty and scarcity create a tightrope that faith attempts to walk. Getting to the other side is not a guarantee. But when scarcity is removed, and people feel connected to the possibility of tomorrow, desperation is quieted, and faith and resourcefulness become the loudest voices. Promise takes flight, and change begins – regardless of obstacles. I am reminded of moments I have shared with Tanzanian women over the last 18 years, moments filled with incredible laughter with people who have survived so much – years of failed crops, starvation, driven from their homes, sexual violence, silenced, haunted by the endless search for water. I find myself echoing them right now and often repeat what they said, “We have no choice but to find the strength to stand back up, wipe our tears away, and take steps towards new solutions.” This year, Save the Rain took many steps forward. Our American team returned to Tanzania after a 3.5-year

absence due to Covid. We rejoiced in our reunion and went to work repairing the dents the separation had caused. We found that the pandemic had taught the world to stay apart and that some people needed help remembering how to be together again. We found that when you stretch your creativity and focus on solutions that address drought, nature hears you and sends the rain - lots of it. We found that food scarcity compounds shame and that honest dialogue can change everything – even hunger. We found that $30,000 can feed 10,000 people for a good amount of time and that small amounts of money when spent properly, open great opportunities. We found that the rain is a healer of so many things and that dancing in it restores the soul and germinates hope. We found that rainwater tanks are not just a holder of water but a vessel of transformation. As we review the last 18 years, we are reminded of all those who made that transformation possible. All of you. If you can, dance in the rain and remember that even in the darkest times, everything good is still possible because the world has good people like you.

With immense gratitude, Kelly Coleman Save the Rain Executive Director

5,633 families benefitting from residential rainwater tanks

372 large community rainwater tanks constructed

XXX residential rainwater tanks constructed

1,105 residential greenhouses constructed

6 large community greenhouses constructed

*supporting economic development + food security with women’s cooperatives*

15,320 people helped with famine relief through food distribution program

92 school scholarships funded


A Lifelong Legacy


ave the Rain turns 18, and as we come of age, we’ve been thinking of the many gifts each year has been blessed with. Perhaps the richest of these is that we can sit face to face with every family who has received one of our rainwater harvesting systems. We know their names and their stories. We have watched their children grow, and their joys and victories have been our happiest moments. Water is the agent through which we come face to face with our people – then we join hold hands, and walk the rest of the journey together. Our tanks are built to last – and so are our relationships. Ultimately, we’re building a structure out of rain that delivers love. 18 years ago, a conspiracy of magic and destiny brought us 14,000 miles to Joseph’s home in Tanzania. His daughter Violeth walked for water each day, her body bent from the labor and

dangerously high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the nearby river. We built our first rainwater harvesting system on his house, and, perceiving its transformational potential, he said – what you have given to us, we would like to give to our country. Joseph took us to Nambala Primary, encouraging us to join students on their quest for water to bring to school and home. It was a devastating education in the myriad ways scarcity steals childhood and robs children of a future. We went home and immediately began fundraising to build our first rainwater harvesting system on this school. Our next school project was 12 miles away, but our budget only stretched as far as a bicycle. Materials were stored at Joseph’s home, and each day, he’d load up his bike with rebar, wheelbarrows, shovels, and people, powering forward with irrepressible energy and unwavering faith.

of Change

The women of Lositeti walk for water.

Joseph with his children Kelvin and Violeth

Three years later, we passed a woman and baby walking for water. 13 hours later, we saw her again, lugging her buckets and baby home. The plight of women and their enslavement to the pursuit of this elusive resource hit with the full force of heartbreak. For Joseph, the solution was obvious: we were to give every household a rainwater harvesting system. Every household...? we asked. Yes – every household. And God will bless you. So, Joseph selected a team of six women, one of whom was Diana. He knew her circumstances; she needed the work. She worried she was too weak to build, but he lent her his faith, and with it, she found she could. She is called ‘Mama Zawadi’ –

zawadi means gift, and it’s the name of her eldest daughter. ‘Mother Gift’ is a true embodiment of the giver-receiver model that Save the Rain is founded upon. What delivered her from despair was the act of building a tank for another woman. In uplifting others, she stepped into her own power. She decided to hire laborers from each new community she was building in to spread wealth and introduce women to their strength. When she returns for a second, third, fourth round of building – the same team of trained women are there, and their lives look different every time.

Diana sits by her tank that was built in 2012. She was part of the first female team of Save the Rain residential rainwater tanks builders.

Joseph meets with the King’ori team in July 2023 to discuss future projects.



“I am still amazed that such a small team of people can touch hundreds of thousands of lives and create possibility where there was none. I am so grateful to have that daily example that anyone can change the world.” --Violeth Masoud

When we measure our victories, we look at statistics, but the real gold lies in the stories: generations of daughters who’ll never know what it means to walk for water. Smiles of schoolchildren turning from fluoride-stained brown to dazzling white. The way these women hold themselves, their pride and power. From each life Diana’s team touches, exponential change radiates out. To chart how far we’ve come, we needn’t look any further than how we began. Violeth was a child, walking for water… now she’s an adult, working alongside her father and with two children of her

own who will never want for anything. They play with Diana’s grandchildren. As the saying goes, it’s not the years in your life that count – it’s the life in your years. The age of a tree is measured by counting concentric rings, and you could measure ours the same way. Each tank is an act of charity that ripples out in a multiple of at least 18 – Freedom from the walk for water. Safety from the danger of that walk. Time. Energy. Health. Education. Food security. Future. Income. Community. Respect. Dignity. Empowerment. Independence. Abundance. Security. Strength. Love.

LOOKING AHEAD... Today, 1 in 3 children worldwide live in severely water-stressed environments. The ripple of water vulnerability is food insecurity, and that insecurity can be felt around the globe. To battle those pressures, we have expanded our reach. From the Maasai all the way to the Māori and a handful of other tribes in between, we are adapting what we know to serve those in need. Some new projects include scholarships and food security programs in New Zealand with the goal of using rainwater harvesting as an economic development tool for Māori youth.

Support for small communities in Nigeria allowed them to expand rainwater storage and begin using handmade greenhouses to ensure food availability. In Tanzania, food insecurity and an insurgence of failing seeds sold in local markets have us focusing on heirloom seed banking, emergency food distribution, and more large-scale greenhouses. With each new project, we attach all that we have learned. No matter what language the need is spoken in, the answers always come back to the rain, the land, and sincerity of listening.




$15 provides a child with access to clean drinking water for the rest of their life and the life of their future offspring.

$150 provides a family with a residential greenhouse that is filled with organic crops that harvest multiple times per year.

$500 provides a residential rainwater collection system and frees a family from searching for water.

With your help, we can end the Global Water Crisis. Donate Today.

Thanks to our corporate sponsors

100% of public donations directly fund our projects.

Patanumbe Primary School, August 2023

SHOP WITH PURPOSE Every purchase made in the Save the Rain shop directly funds our clean water projects and supports female artisans in Tanzania. Everything is handmade, beautiful and unique. SHOP.SAVETHERAIN.ORG

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.