“This organization is all about bringing life to people. We want to bring them life.”On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship on West Gay Street held a benefit concert for ‘Water for Africa” in Sykes Ballrooms. Fellowship member Ryan King, an alumnus of WCU, created the organization in 2007 in hopes to bring clean water to people without the technology of filters and other resources.
King’s inspiration for “Water for Africa” came from a picture of an African mother with an infant on her back collecting water from a river. The picture was captioned “Last month, this mother lost her oldest son from drinking water out of this river.”
“This mother has to give the same water to her youngest son, knowing that it will kill him, but she has no other choice,” King said. “And that just broke my heart.”
“Water is something so simple, and the water is right under the continent of Africa, it’s like 150 feet away from them, they just can’t get there, because they don’t have the resources. I have the resources – how can I get them over there?”
King then built “Water for Africa,” which teams up with well stations already established in Africa. King’s organization focuses mainly on fundraising and cause promotion, raising awareness specifically in Chester County.
Proceeds raised by “Water for Africa” are then given to a well-digging team that meets the organization’s criteria.
“We want to make sure they can maintain the well,” King said. “Over 20 percent of all wells built in Africa are now inoperable, because they weren’t maintained.”
The organization also looks for established crews that will use local people, creating jobs for individuals in the area.
The benefit concert is just one of the events “Water For Africa” is hosting on campus this year. Later on in the academic year, the organization will host a fundraising dinner, with food donated by restaurants such as Limoncello and Eclat Chocolate.
The price per plate is $50, which may seem a bit steep to students, but King says there will be an option for students to be sponsored in order to attend. The dinner will be open to students and West Chester borough residents, just like the benefit concert.
Some of the musical acts at the benefit concert included A New Commandment, Waiting for December and Receiving the Ghost. Poet Mark Savage and saxophone/keyboard duo Jubilee also performed.
The benefit featured a merchandise table, complete with jewelry and t-shirts, and plenty of food for concert attendees.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the organization’s cause of drilling wells in Mozambique and Senegal.
Currently, “Water for Africa” is about 30 people strong. Anyone wishing to get involved in the organization can get in touch with Ryan King at waterforafrica.info or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tara Tanzos is a third-year student majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. She can be reached at TT649875@wcupa.edu.