I recently read Wine to Water by Doc Hendley. This short book describes the author’s experiences in war-torn Darfur (western Sudan), trying to improve drinking water supplies. Doc provided what might be called guerilla aid. WtW is an easy read filled with many frustrating, harrowing, and illuminating moments. One illuminating example:
If my greatest successes revolved around the people, then the best way to really make a lasting difference in Darfur had nothing to do with fixing the most wells in the shortest period of time. It had to do with the people.
I realized that what I needed to do was to empower the locals, to give them the tools they needed to solve their own problems and become self-sufficient.
Hendley’s organization “Wine to Water” has expanded its humanitarian efforts into several other countries besides Sudan. In Uganda, locals are assemblying slow-sand water filters for use in the north.