Ten years ago today, the IRS granted the nascent Ann Campana Judge Foundation temporary 501(c)(3) status as a publicly-
supported nonprofit organization. In 2007 we acquired permanent.determination as a 501(c)(3).
Its mission statement is simple:
The Ann Campana Judge Foundation exists to promote, undertake, support, and fund philanthropic projects focused on potable water, sanitation, and health in developing countries.
Since its beginnings, the ACJF has raised almost $300,000 - not a lot by most
standards - to support water and sanitation projects in a number of countries. It now focuses on Central America, especially Honduras and Nicaragua. We've focused on those two countries because we are getting to know the landscape - political, social, topographic, cultural, etc. Best to work in those areas you know better than others.
From a foundation that supported others, the ACJF is now undertaking its own projects in Honduras (see small map above) and
has an informal partnership with the Municipio de Omoa (see map to the right) in Honduras, located on the coast in the northwest corner of Honduras near Guatemala. The projects are gravity-flow surface water projects for potable water. We work in the rugged Sierra de Omoa.
One potable water project, Brisas de Rio Cuyamel, was completed last summer. The photo shows the tank with me and friend Rolando López on the far right. Rolando acts as our facilitator; we could not work here without him.
Alex Uriel del Cid, a teacher by profession and also an Omoa city councilman, does the technical stuff. Alex has been instrumental in getting Omoa to help out by providing in-kind services such as 4WD trucks, human power, etc.
I once asked him why he worked in the remote Sierra de Omoa, he said that the people there had no political power so the politicians ignored them and the NGOs would not work there because the chances of failure were too great. I immediately knew this was a man with whom I would like to work.
Omoa Mayor Ricardo Alvarado has also been a huge supporter. Here's a photo of him presenting me with a certificate of appreciation. Rolando is on the right.
We are currently working in Los Mejias, a village of several hundred persons. The project should be completed by the end of August.
Total cost to the ACJF is about $22,000. The Brisas de Rio Cuyamel project cost about $9,000.
Here's a photo of some GI pipe that will be used to link the small dam to the 5,000 gallon tank. The smiling man to the right of the pipe is Alex.
We are scoping out additional projects in including Rio Abajo (Omoa) and El Pacayalito (Santa Barbara). We'll also have to raise a fair amount of money, probably about $20K - $25K each.
Want to donate? Your money will be put to good work. Only about 2-3% will go to administrative costs.
Several things I've learned:
1) Think sustainability! If you can't do sustainable projects, don't do them at all (thanks mainly to Ned Breslin).
2) Solve the global access to water issue one village at a time; you can't do everything everywhere.
3) Appropriate technology and solutions, please! [See #1]
4) ¡Muy tranquilo, por favor!
It's been a great ten years. But I'm just getting started; I'm looking forward to ten more.
“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” - Betty Reese