Rotary-Church-World Hope Partnership Raises Nearly $2M for Sierra Leone Water Project

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Clean Water and Energy, Partnership

A 16-year partnership with two Rotary clubs and an Indiana church has raised nearly $2 million for World Hope International (WHI) to drill water wells in Sierra Leone. In 2024, World Hope will drill the 200th well there for the Water Is Life project. 

“The Fishers Rotary Water Is Life project began in 2008,” said Thomas A. Branum Jr., a Rotarian in Fishers, Ind., during a 2023 speech in Sierra Leone. “It was logical. Our club was looking for projects that suited our skill sets, passions to make more of an impact, and that took advantage of our main superpower: We were/are Rotarians. We knew when we combined these strengths, we could change the world.” 

The partnership demonstrates the effectiveness, reach and power that partners of varying types can create together.

“WHI installs the wells and provides the sustainability process, as well as the hygiene training required by each grant,” Branum said. “We couldn’t have been successful and wouldn’t have a continuing vision for our project if we did not have the partnership with World Hope.”

In 2023, the nonprofit and faith-based partners — Fishers Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Heartland Church — raised nearly $300,000 for Water is Life during the 2023 holiday gala for the Fishers Rotary Club.

The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International, matched Heartland Church’s $10,000 cash gift at the gala. What’s more, the foundation matched all other funds raised at the event by half. Together, World Hope partners raised $290,600 in one evening.

As part of its 2024 implementation, World Hope will repair and expand the gravity-fed water system and tank in Hastings, a community of 30,000. Nearby deforestation has contributed to the community’s diminished water quality and availability.

World Hope also will provide borehole wells with hand pumps in 25 more communities across Sierra Leone this year, benefiting 12,500 people, said Saidu Kanu, global ambassador with World Hope.

Each well site location is carefully selected for optimum performance, water quality and ease of access by schools and health clinics. Since the Water Is Life program began in 2008, 100% of the wells dug by World Hope still deliver clean water to their communities. (Hand-dug wells run dry quickly, but World Hope’s newest equipment can drill borehole wells faster and deeper … and these wells last for many years.)

Since the Water Is Life program began, partners have raised more than $1,800,000 directly or by inspiring others to give.

To learn how your corporate organization, faith-based organization like Heartland Church, or other organization like Rotary International can partner with World Hope and change lives around the world, please visit our partnership page.

Kristen Wright

Kristen Wright

Special Guest Contributor

Kristen Wright is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience covering global issues. She is chief strategist and editor at Kristen Wright Strategic Communications. Reach her at and wrightkristenm on LinkedIn. 

Together, let’s help HOPE flourish around the world.