Bringing water of life to Uganda
Teacher Aidan Jordan devoting retirement to charity
The Navan-based founder of the Irish branch of the Wells of Life charity is urging people to support a unique fund raising effort to raise funds to provide clean water supplies in Uganda.
Aidan Jordan, a St Patrick's Classical School teacher who retired this summer, is urging people to get behind Pat Rooney's Croagh Patrick Climb, which will take place on 21st August.
Pat will be climbing Croke Patrick with 15 litres of water on his back in an attempt to raise attention and much needed funds to provide rural Ugandans access to safe, clean water through the installation or restoration of sustainable borehole water wells.
Aidan's brother Nick founded the charity in the US in 2010 and Aidan founded the Irish branch in 2018 and hopes to give eve more time to it, now that he has retired.
He will be among the team who will provide support to Pat as takes on the arduous task of climbing Croagh Patrick with 15 litres of water on his back.
Aidan explains that as well as raising funds, the event will also raise awareness of the plight of Ugandans in rural communities and how difficult it is to access clean water.
"In rural communities throughout Uganda, people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water. Children in particular bear the burden of walking miles each day to find water in streams and ponds, full of water-borne disease that is making them and their families sick. Illness and the time lost fetching water denies these children of having an education," he explains.
Pat Rooney points out that research in disciplines like neuroscience and psychology reveal that early childhood (the age group of 0-8 years) is a critical period during which the foundation of lifelong learning is built and 90 per cent of all brain development takes place by the age of six.
"I’d like in some way to help and give these children the kind of experiences and opportunities my children have had and that they should have in their early years.
"This would enable them to have a positive impact not only on their personal / academic performance , but also on a range of social and economic skills. Quality of education in early years is so important in preparing children for future roles in society and is essential to achieving and offering better livelihoods and reducing poverty."
Aidan explains his family's involvement in the charity: "We lost our sister Joan in 2000. She was a nurse and there was a fundraiser in her memory and a school built in Uganda. Nick, who lives in the US, went out to Uganda to visit the school and realised the difficulties the people had in accessing clean water and when he went home, started the charity."
Since its inception, Wells of Life has provided 600 wells in a rural area of Uganda called Milyana Mubende, which is west of the capital Kampala. Each well benefits around 1,000 people.
Their first well was funded through Bishop Michael Smith who has been a great supporter of the charity. Groups and individuals also fund wells in memory of loved ones and the community of Gibbstowns and the Garvey family raised funds to mark the 100th birthday of former Gibbstown school principal, Vincent Garvey.
Aidan explains they are looking for sponsorship and donations for the climb and an I-Donate page has been set up at https://www.wellsoflife.org/ or you can also donate directly to AIB Navan Bic AIBKIE2D Iban IE80AIBK93218361669266
"We are also looking for more people to get involved. As a former teacher, I am hoping to reach out to secondary schools to get them involved and I am joined by Martin Kennedy who recently retired as principal of Skryne Natonal School who will be reaching out to primary schools," he explained.