I have dedicated the past five years to developing meaningful and lasting vocational opportunities for the people of Southern Chad. Many of you have joined with me in this endeavor, and in the process we have learned about a place and people that few take time to notice. Thank you for your encouragement and your generous financial support.
I'm very proud to see the seeds we have planted in and around Moundou begin to sprout. To date, 70 people in five surrounding villages have been trained and equipped to convert agricultural waste into a source of energy. In Moundou, where this energy is highest in demand, 15 people have been trained to convert charred waste from the pyrolysis process into a charcoal that competes with wood in both quality and price. We've experimented with two types of improved cook stoves, and these will be produced and sold on local markets, creating jobs for masons and carpenters.
While I am obviously extremely attached to the work I have been involved in since 2009, the time has come for me to step back and allow local leaders to take the helm. In many ways, ENVODEV has worked itself out of a job! After much consideration, our various programs will be turned over to in-country partners. Aquilas Dadje, our Chadian program manager, has literally bought into the idea, buying out the charcoal project and implementing the new cookstoves to reinforce his enterprise. We are preparing the way for a local organization called the Menonnite Central Committee (MCC) to stay alongside Aquilas and his employees over the coming months and years. I know Aquilas well and know his determination to see meaningful change in his country. ENVODEV would be nothing without him. Many others will follow his lead. I have little doubt that each year we will continue to see more and more eco-charcoal in Chadian marketplaces.
All great news, yet it is with extremely mixed feelings that I am writing this letter. A new door has recently opened, one that would allow me to put my experience to use in another context. After much deliberation, I've decided to walk through that door, and will be joining Water for Good (previously known as ICDI). Water for Good works in the Central African Republic, Chad's neighbor to the south. Water for Good drills and repairs water wells, providing clean water to remote villages across the country. Then they use that work as a catalyst to start community development projects in agriculture, sanitation, hygiene, and small business development.
After much consideration as to how to proceed, the ENVODEV board has decided that it would be best to dissolve the organization. The remainder of our funds will be used to tie up loose ends, ensure a stable transition, and finish well the work that was started 5 years ago.
As of this month, I have accepted the role of Director of Community Development for
Water for Good-bringing with me the wealth of experience gained from our work in Chad, and applying that to Water for Good's model in the Central African Republic. As I launch into life's next chapter, I sincerely hope you will consider joining me.
I would be honored to have you continue your financial partnership, and I look forward to introducing you to my new co-workers, and the incredible work that Water for Good has been doing in Central African Republic.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns, or would just like to chat about these changes.
Water for Good
Director of Community Development