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Tuesday October 21, 2014
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Ann Arborite Josh Greenberg

 

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rural southwest, the villagers' main concern is not antenatal health, but something even more basic: access to safe drinking water.

Greenberg was taken aback. "We had no funding" for a water project, he recalls now. But he quickly changed the trajectory of his organization. "We had to emphasize to them that we couldn't make any guarantees. We told them, 'We're going to go back to the States and do everything we can to obtain funds for this, but we can't promise anything.' "

A year later, Greenberg was back in Uganda. He'd raised nearly $200,000 in funding from the Ronald McDonald House to launch a rainwater-harvesting program, installing seventy-six 20,000-liter collection tanks in public buildings throughout the region.

After unveiling the project, Greenberg stopped to see a local shopkeeper who had been a member of a focus group the year before. He says she told him: "We can't believe that you all are bringing this program here. We thought you were joking with us."

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