Wisconsin News

Wishing for a Well: Part One

ELROY, WI - In America, turning on the faucet for a glass of fresh water is just expected, but for some people in other parts of the world it's only a dream, a dream two young girls in Elroy are working to make come true for two small towns in Africa.

Emma and Claire Herek have grown up hearing stories from their grandpa, the bishop of their church, about the people of Malawi Africa and their need for food and protection from disease-carrying bugs.

While they've saved their quarters throughout the years to help with those needs, two years ago they set their sights on a bigger goal.


It's an idea that started small: make enough bracelets to raise $3,000 to dig a well in Malawi, Africa.

"Emma came up to me and said, 'Maybe we should start making bracelets,'" said Claire Herek.

But with each bead strung, Emma and Claire quickly learned their goal was too small.

"They sold each of the bracelets for $4 or $5. Within the first few months they were at $10,000," said Emma and Claire's mom Missy Herek.

"I never thought that we would be able to get this far with our project," said Emma.

So they bought more beads and aimed higher, deciding to dig two deep wells at $10,000 apiece.

"We decided to do the deep-bore wells because they would last a lot longer," said Emma.

More than 2,000 bracelets later, Emma and Claire began seeing what a few beads and many generous community members can accomplish.

"Someone's been sending pictures of them drilling the wells and we get to see a lot of children around the wells looking at everybody drilling the well so it's really exciting," said Claire.

"This is something that hasn't only been locally supported but globally as well. We just feel that strong connection from a small community such as Elroy but then being able to branch out into the nation as well," said Missy.

As the wells were dug, the Hereks began planning a trip with their church to see their work first-hand.

"We knew that someday we wanted to travel to Malawi. It's just going to be amazing," said Missy.

"It's unreal to believe that I'm actually going to Malawi," said Emma.

"I'm excited for them to come to our well and for us to dedicate it to them," said Claire. 

And while the girls can't wait to visit the wells, seeing people living with such joy despite their poverty could change Emma and Claire forever.

Thursday night on News 8 at 5 we'll follow the Emma and Claire on their journey to Africa.

For more information on how to join in the effort visit, http://www.missionmalawi2013.blogspot.com/

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