Life's most persistent and urgent question posed by Martin Luther King Jr. "what are you doing for others?" I nominate Ryan Hreljac for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award for enriching the lives of African people with clean water, he did this of his own free will. Ryan’s early life consisted like most kids, but that all changed when his 1st grade teacher read to the class about places in Africa and there being no clean water, that it looked like chocolate. This proved to be very irksome to Ryan, because all he had to do was walk 6 feet to get to the water fountain, and yet kids in Africa had to walk miles every day, just for a drink.
Ryan decided to help those kids, so when Ryan got home that evening, he begged and begged and BEGGED to have 70 dollars to build a well, but his parents wouldn’t give him the money. Ryan resolved to do chores until he had the money to get the well built. He took his money to Watercan, an international organization, to build a well, only to find out that actually it cost 2000$ to build a well in Africa. “Oh, well. Back to the drawing board,” Ryan thought.
Ryan continued raising money to build a well, doing chores, and was featured on a newspaper article, and people heard about him and wanted to help. Most of the people sent donations, and Ryan FINALLY had enough money to build a well. He selected Uganda as his well site, so kids can enjoy it the water and not worry about finding water.Ryan built the well with a little help from a new friend from the drill company, and he decided that he was going to make an organization dedicated to giving clean water to the world.
Now the Ryan’s Well Foundation is thriving and has built over 700 wells, the exact number being 878, though possibly Ryan’s Well has also built over 900 latrines, too. They haven’t just done their magic in Africa, though. They have done it in 16 different countries! His service has been here for 16 years. Ryan has also involved 650 schools in 30 countries to help fundraise. Ryan has also saved a certain Jimmy Akana, and adopted him after he was almost abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Ryan is a very persistent person, I think, and he never gives up, as he has founded the Ryan’s Well Foundation. I also like the fact that Ryan has done this through self-sacrifice, and is still helping out with Ryan’s Well.
Ryan has proved that Robert Burns is correct in saying ‘Man to man the world o’er shall brothers be for a’ that.’Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Ryan has answered that question with this, ‘all is well with a water well.’
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