Editor’s note: In the following article, Ph.D. student, Augustina Osabutey, shares the story of how she and her two sisters raised funds to build a number of boreholes for two Ghanaian communities. As philanthropists, the Osabuteys hope to work harder to support more communities in Ghana’s Western Region to get access to clean water.

Adelaide Osabutey and Fidelia Osabutey pitching their project at Lifelink Model United Nations Conference in Ghana.

The quest of three siblings, Augustina Osabutey, Fidelia Osabutey and Adelaide Osabutey, to provide clean drinking water for the Adukrom-Axim community became the responsibility of their elder sister, Augustina Osabutey, a Ph.D. student at South Dakota State University in the USA, when they were unable to secure funding for their project.

Back in June 2019, Adelaide and Fidelia set out to secure funding to construct a well for the Adukrom community, a suburb of Axim which is located in Ghana’s Western Region. The community of about 1,000 people had no access to clean water. The sisters first pitched the project during the Lifelink Model United Nations Conference in Ghana. The programme allows Ghanaian teens to identify social and humanitarian challenges in their local communities and to pitch ideas to address them. Students with winning project ideas would then receive funding, mentorship, and the opportunity to carry out their projects. When the sisters’ project did not get selected for funding, they turned to their elder sister Augustina for help. The sisters sent Augustina videos (https://www.facebook.com/ButteMTghanah2oproject ) they had produced that depicted the community’s existing nonfunctioning dilapidated well.

Two sisters raise funds in American community to provide clean water for Ghanaian villages

After watching the videos, Augustina said she could not stop thinking about the water situation in Adukrom. “I just couldn’t let myself go without doing anything about it,” she said. Like most girls growing up in Axim, Augustina had to walk several hours each day toting large buckets she’d filled with water from a well and haul back to her family home. “Sometimes we would walk about a mile to fetch not-so-clean water in buckets that we had to carry on our heads,” she said.

To start, Augustina turned to her church community in Butte, Montana, USA, for help. “I showed videos of my sisters’ project to Sheila O’Neil in my church and others in the Butte community, who then suggested doing a fundraiser in Butte and online, through GoFundMe,” she said. A fundraiser was organized in Butte on January 30, 2020. With the funds raised, two mechanized boreholes for Adukrom community were constructed under the supervision of Peter Osabutey, father, and John Paul Osabutey, brother, respectively, of the Osabutey sisters, Samuel Adumuah of African World Airlines, and Theophilus Anaman of Ghana National Youth Authority. These were handed over to the community on March 2, 2020.

Two sisters raise funds in American community to provide clean water for Ghanaian villages

With money left over from the successful completion of the Adukrom-Axim boreholes project, and permission from the original fundraisers, Augustina set out to construct another drinking water well for the Yediyesele community in the Western Region of Ghana. The Yediyesele project was supervised by her father and Theophilus Anaman of the Ghana National Youth Authority. This well was also completed successfully and handed over to the Yediyesele community on February 26, 2021.

Augustina hopes to continue constructing boreholes for underserved rural communities whenever possible. The construction of the wells wouldn’t have been possible without the support of friends in Butte, Montana, USA, the Osabutey family, Samuel Adumuah of African World Airlines, and Theophilus Anaman of Ghana Youth Authority.