Last year WellFound employed five staff to open an office in Guinea Bissau. This is in line with our practice of using local partners, with their extensive regional knowledge, to ensure our projects are appropriate to the area and sustainable.
Amarilio De Mata, pictured above with the rest of the team on the far right, is our Country Director in GB. Amarilio, alongside the rest of the team, is based in an office in Bissau (the country’s capital), however he spends most of his time visiting existing wells or potential new sites. We caught up with Amarilio to find out more about his job and the impact WellFound has had in Guinea Bissau.
“The situation in the villages is people living in penury, in every area, especially the most elementary needs. I often go to villages where people are drinking “brown water”, as that is the only thing available to them. I also visited a village where people are drinking “white water” also known as palm wine, which is a drink made from the sap of palm trees. Drinking water should be colourless and potable. It is also difficult to see people walking some distance just to get a kind of water that’s going to bring to them diseases.
For me it’s a pleasure having a job that improves the lives of people that are in great NEED. I enjoy seeing properties constructed in the villages that can be well used and well preserved. When I see people practicing harmful traditions, such as open defecation, I see that I still have a lot to do and my labour is important in this society.
WellFound has had great impact in this country, proof of this is the requests that keep coming from different people and villages, because they have seen our work in other places and how it has changed people’s lives. Interestingly visitors often notice the drastic reduction of diarrhoea and sickness once people are drinking clean water.
We hope we can continue our valuable work for many years. I would like to send blessings and thanks to all our supporters”
Amarilio oversees the work of the other team members which includes health and hygiene education, pump maintenance training and agricultural training.