Water and grassroots efforts fuel long-time CWS supporter

Gail Peterson saw the results of Church World Service donors' partnership with "grassroots initiative" during her 2008 CWS sponsored trip to Kenya.

gail peterson
Gail Peterson (with David Reger of Fullerton, Calif. on right) listens to Jennifer speak about the change brought to Chepkichir, Western Kenya, by the community’s building of a sand dam
Photo: Doug Smith/CWS

When grassroot initiative finds direction

in the midst of desperation and brokenness,

it assembles in strength, and stands up — often

on the legs of women. That strength

builds community around a common goal.

More than survival: reason to live. The heart

to push life into new possibilities.

-Gail Peterson

Gail Peterson saw the results of Church World Service donors’ partnership with grassroots initiative during her 2008 CWS-sponsored trip to Kenya.  After visiting the water projects of Yang’at and other partners in Kenya, her poetry journal of the trip reflected on the theme of partnership.

In response to Gail sharing her experience, her home congregation of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California, set a goal of raising $5,000, the cost of a sand dam, to support CWS water programs.  With a matching gift from Gail, the congregation exceeded their goal.  Among the contributions was a $500 gift from the Church's Mission and Justice Commission for future grassroots initiatives led by CWS partner Yang’at.

Gail has also been a key member of the Berkeley CROP Hunger Walk Committee.  The revived Walk raised more than $10,000 last year.  With Gail involved in the Berkeley CROP Hunger Walk's leadership, there are high hopes for exceeding last year’s totals this spring.

-Doug Smith/CWS


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