How Catholic Entity is Seeking to Provide Permanent Solutions to End Poverty in Africa

Some children at a solar-powered well sponsored by Water 4 Mercy. Credit: Water 4 Mercy

The leadership of Water 4 Mercy, a religious Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), is working towards ending the cycle of poverty in Africa by offering clean water and agricultural technologies.

The NGO that was established in 2018 by Normine Khouzam Rubin is offering solutions through partnerships with different African and international agricultural-oriented organizations.

In a Press Release obtained by ACI Africa Monday, August 9, Mercy 4 Water founder says the goal of the initiative is “to empower all of Africa and beyond, every area that is subjected to drought-induced poverty.”

“I will be working hard to bring in multiple organizations for the common cause of liberating Africa from poverty to instead be on the road to economic prosperity,” Ms. Rubin says.

She highlights her plan is “to raise worldwide awareness to gain support and receive enough funds to scale up AITeC (Agricultural Innovation and Technology Centres), so that Africa is on the road to self-sustainability within 3-5 years.”


Water 4 Mercy founder, Nermine Rubin poses with villagers showing off the watermelon grown with their new agricultural system

Ms. Rubin adds that “working together, we can break the cycle of poverty and implement sustainable systems that will produce instant and long-term success.”

With enough support and funding of their projects, the Water 4 Mercy officials say they will “prove to the world that Africa can be self-sustaining.”

In the Press Release, the Water 4 Mercy officials indicate that they are collaborating with Israeli NGOs: Innovation Africa (iA) and CultivAid to “bring water to villages by installing solar-powered wells, continuously monitor the system remotely, implement the Israeli-developed drip irrigation systems, and encourage financial independence through farming.”

“Israel’s advanced solar, water and agricultural innovations have proven to make the desert bloom. Bringing that know-how to Africa is extremely fruitful and leads to economic prosperity,” Water 4 Mercy officials say.

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They also highlight a partnership with the Don Bosco Network of Technical Institutes (TVETs) in Africa “to implement their Agricultural Innovation and Technology Centres (AiTeC).”

“The centres are designed to create permanent self-sustainability throughout Africa by ‘teaching the teachers to teach’ with hands-on curriculum that incorporates the collaborative water and agricultural expertise of Israeli NGOs Innovation:Africa and CultivAid,” officials of the religious NGO say in the Press Release obtained by ACI Africa.

The first AiTeC was established at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Dodoma, Tanzania.

At the Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB)-owned TVET, Water 4 Mercy officials have been training locals on agricultural technologies.

“The goal is to have them be proudly independent through the sustainable system that is being implemented, giving them the ability to fend for themselves, to succeed,” say the Water 4 Mercy officials.


Students at the AITeC Dodoma welcoming us during our most recent donor trip. Credit: Water4Mercy

They add that the problems experienced by the locals in Dodoma “will be solved by their own dedication to sustain and adopt what is being set in place, and this is already being eagerly done.”

“I want to empower each person, so that we eventually work ourselves out of a job, one that will hopefully cease to exist,” Ms. Rubin says in reference to the AiTeCs.

The leadership of Water 4 Mercy has established its second AiTeC in Nairobi, Kenya.

“This initiative will present immense food potential in food sufficiency in Kenya and the region. The goodwill of the partners and the efforts of the farmers will bolster the cooperation that exists between our two nations and boost Kenya’s economic power,” the Israel Ambassador to Kenya, Oded Joseph, has been quoted as saying during the signing of the memorandum to establish the Nairobi AiTeC.

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.