It started with an idea that I wasn’t even sure was very good. In fact, I was so skeptical I kept it to myself for months. But then God gave me a sign (in a thrift store of all places) and I knew I had to bring it to life. Here’s the original idea: create a fundraising kit for kids where they sell 12 elephants handmade in India by young women rescued from slavery. When 50 kids each sell a box, their combined efforts will generate enough money to drill a well and change the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people in India’s lowest caste. I call it Crowdsourcing Kids. And this month we are launching the sixth round. Here is the real proof! These are the village full of children who can now attend school, babies who didn’t die from drinking parasite-infested water, and families who can earn a living.
Thanks to the combined efforts of 50 kids in the spring of 2018, the first #CrowdsourcingKids well was drilled in India. The well provided fresh drinking water to 414 people in the village of Bangarumetta. According to our partners on the ground, this village used to rely on a tank that collected water from the hills, but for the past several years that water has not even lasted two months out of the year. That means the rest of the time villagers had to go to water sources far away to collect water, a job that often fell on school-aged children.
The children that sold elephants in the fall of 2018 made it possible for Water of Life to drill a well in the village of Gorrepadu. This is a life-changing gift for the 1506 people that call this village home. This was an answer to prayer for the people here who struggle to secure work because they’re often focused on finding water.
In the spring of 2019 50 kids joined forces to each sell a box of elephants. When they were finished they had raised enough funds to drill a well in the village of Narsipatnam. Before the drilling of this well, the 1,370 villagers there relied on the water source in another village. Mothers and children spent the majority of their days traveling to the other village to collect water for their families.
Because 50 children each sold a box of elephants, the whole village of Venkata Reddy now has clean water. That’s a life changing gift of clean water for the 700 people who live there. Before the drilling of this well, the villagers relied on an irrigation water source miles outside of the village. Children didn’t go to school because they spent their whole days collecting water for their families. Almost all of the families in this village depend on agriculture labor for their living. Because the village lacked sufficient water many were unable to work.
On World Water Day 2020 we launched the 5th round of Crowdsourcing Kids. Despite the pandemic, creative kids still found ways to sell elephants and spread the word about the work of Set Free. And those efforts paid off! We were able to bring clean water to another village that desperately needed it: Naidu Palem in the Prakasam district. Incredibly, 3,980 people received clean water thanks to this well.
Want to get your kids involved? Just visit CrowdsourcingKids.com and sign up to receive a box of elephants! Our 6thround of Crowdsourcing Kids is unique because the handmade elephants are actually ornaments! You can hang this reminder of the well you helped drill on your Christmas tree! I’m sure these 50 boxes will go fast so get involved now!