Nearly every day, the “06880” tagline — “Where Westport meets the world” — is proven true.
Today’s story takes us to Uganda.
Last year, the Kaners — 2nd selectman Avi, his wife Liz and their 3 kids — were looking for a new charity for their family-owned supermarket to support.
Innovation: Africa seemed perfect.
The 8-year-old non-profit uses Israeli solar technology to bring electricity and clean water to African villages, dramatically improving and transforming lives in 7 nations.
Morton Williams Supermarkets’ annual golf tournament raised enough funds to develop a solar-powered system in Bukaduka, Uganda. Pumping water from deep underground, it saves women and young girls from walking several kilometers, many times a day, to fetch parasite and worm-filled water, shared by livestock, that causes diseases like cholera and typhoid.
The water is also tied in to a drip irrigation system, which provides food and income for farmers and their families.
That’s great stuff. But the Kaners did not stop there.
Last month, Liz — an extraordinary volunteer with a variety of local organizations — and her daughter Julia headed to Uganda. They got a first-hand glimpse of the lives changed by their water system. It pumps 16,500 liters of fresh water a day in the village.
Touring Bukaduka and other villages, the pair saw the incredible impact solar-powered water and electrical systems have on schools, orphanages and religious institutions. Hospitals too — lights have replaced kerosene lamps, while refrigerators can store medicine and vaccines.
The Kaners were greeted with skits, songs and dances. They were presented with homemade gifts.
But none of those gifts compared to the smiles on the faces of the men, women and children Liz and Julia saw — and the water and electricity that flowed — as they traveled to the remote Ugandan villages that now enjoy the fruits of innovation.
Watch Liz and Julia Kaner turn on the solar-powered fresh water system for the first time in Bukaduka Village, Uganda:
Watch Julia speak to the villagers during the water system dedication:
(Click here for many more photos and videos from the Kaners’ journey.)