The Hollywood famous couple stars Will Smith and his wife
Jada Pinkett Smith paid three days working visit to rural areas of Tigray.
The well known American movie and film actor as well as singer Will Smith together with his wife Jada Smith arrived at Mekelle Air port in 29 June 2012 and welcomed by Mr. Teklewoini Assefa, REST Executive Director and other management staffs of REST. The Executive Director recognized the works of Charity: Water and A Glimmer of Hope in Tigray state especially in areas of safe rural water supply. Charity: Water brought advanced machineries to achieve REST’s water development campaign.
After met with the Executive Director of REST, Mr. T/Woini Assefa, and the management they travelled to Hawzen Wereda Erasuru village to observe the acute water shortage and discuss with the needy society. Then after the team composed of the Hollywood stars, Charity: Water members and REST staffs were welcomed by the community, local administrators, school community, old age people, and religious leaders. Discussions were actively held with the future beneficiaries (especially women and girls), village representatives, Charity: Water guests and Executive Director of REST about the overall clean water needs of the village. Will Smith practically observed the community’s chronic potable water problems. He saw women fetching unprotected, insufficient and contaminated water source sharing with animals.
REST struggles to avoid this and built separate water point for community and animals (photo REST)
After observing the situations in the ground and met with the community, the Hollywood star said that “I am very excited to be here. This is a beautiful for gathering and I can feel just your love, and your energy. I am just happy to help in what ever small way that we can have.”
In addition to their discussions with residents of Erasuru village about chronic water problems, they visited historical places of the area like Mariam Korkor, rock hewn church. The power couple has spent few days in visiting water supply projects in REST operational Wereda such as Hawzen, K/Awlaelo and S/Saeda Emba with Charity: Water team to highlight the acute water shortage of Tigray in the world for fund purposes. Holly wood Stars Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are not strangers to charity work in Tigray, they gave up their birth days to sponsor drilling of fresh water well in Shire, Tigrai in 2010. In the end of June, 2012 Will and Jada Smith decided to go in person to Tigray to perceive REST water supply activities in the remote and marginalized areas.
Holly wood Stars Will Smith and Jada Smith visited rock hewn church of Mariam Korkor
Holly wood Stars Will Smith and his wife Jada Smith at Guemse, Tigray welcomed by the people and Orthodox Church (photo REST)
For their kind and reliable support of REST to facilitate the 100% safe rural water supply coverage in Tigray region, the community provided indigenous gifts to express their gratitude. Though they are small, the gifts impressed the team and help to strengthen the continuous collaboration between REST and the Charity: Water guests like Will Smith the Hollywood star.
For his contribution, Will Smith received local gift from Community representative (phot REST)
Being amidst the clean water supply beneficiaries (women, girls, community school and so on), the Hollywood stars together with community representatives opened the inauguration ceremony of completed hand dug well at Guemes village Saesie Saeda-Emba Wereda, Tigray state.
Will Smith and the priest hold scissor to cut hand dug well inauguration ribbon
The American super star couples (Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith) come to REST, Tigray with help of Charity: Water. Charity: Water is a global NGO based in New York City, America to give people an opportunity of fresh water provision throughout the world.
Charity: Water has been supporting REST continuously for the past 5 years in the development of Rural Water Supply. Its support provides in terms of technologies encompassing deep boreholes, shallow boreholes, hand dug wells, solar pump and roof rain water harvesting systems integrated with sanitation and hygiene (WASH) work to alleviate rural poor chronic water and hygiene problems. This has enabled thousands and thousands of families to get access to clean water, to help children go to school and women improve their socio-economic statuses.
For its (Charity: Water) cohesive support of REST, Executive Director of REST, Mr. T/Woini Assefa really appreciated Mr. Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water. He said “thanks Charity: Water and AGlimer of Hope. This area is one of our five clusters. With Charity: Water and A Glimmer of Hope we are thinking to cover water supply in terms of quantity and quality in the coming four to five years. Up to next February Hawzen wereda will be covered with potable water supply, because this is the center of our cluster to the Eastern part. To do this there are a lot of technicians, experts and drilling machines here around. What we need is to support the commitment, the leadership and determination of Scott. Before I was brave fighter carrying Kalashnikov and all this things. Now Scott is better than me. He is bringing the machines, the money which we are operating. With out him we can not do anything.”
Left to right, T/Weini Assefa, Executive Director of REST, Hollywood super Stars Will Smith and Jada Smith and Scott Harrison, Founder of Charity: Water
In the past five years, Mr. Scott Harrison, has been flying from New York, America to rural Tigray more than 20 times to support the people of Tigray in collaborating with REST. He brought many donors from America to Tigray to notice the overall achievements of rural water supply performed by REST in the region. With the strong efforts of Charity: Water and REST more than six hundred thousand people able to get clean water supply around them. This helped them to participate in other local infrastructure works rather than spend more hours in searching of water.