September 29, 2014 Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Story by Paula Rayo, Communications Work Study Student

This past summer, King's graduates embarked on a trip of a lifetime throughout Africa as they helped raise money for a non-profit organization called The Water Project. Haaris Ahmad '14, Aaron Beaudrow '14, and their friend Michael Vandenberghe initially planned to travel to Africa as a graduation trip but when they realized that they could make a difference in the world, they turned this trip into an unforgettable fundraising adventure.

It all started a few years ago when Ahmad and Beaudrow met at King’s. “Without King's, we never would have met each other or began planning for this graduation trip! A lot of professors encouraged students to travel after school before they were stuck in a full-time job, so we took the advice and rolled with it”, Aaron stated. Although it was initially supposed to be only the two guys and their friend Michael, Michael’s friend Antoine (who met on an exchange to Helsinki) joined them on their trip.

The Water Project is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing sustainable water projects to various communities in sub-Saharan Africa who lack access to clean water and proper sanitation. They successfully raised over $1,000 during their time in Africa, which is a significant amount of money to help towards completing a new water project in another community. They were able to raise the money by having people make direct donations to their website during their time in Africa. They also received tremendous support from many of their sponsors.

The guys started off the trip in June right after convocation and it came to an end in August. It began in Durban, South Africa, and from there they drove along the coast of Cape Town. From Cape Town, they made their way towards Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and finally Kenya. “In the end, we raised a pretty penny for The Water Project, successfully drove our 1999 Land Rover Discovery to its breaking point, and had an awesome time seeing the different cultures, landscapes and people of the countries”, Aaron said about the trip.

In the end, the 3 guys in Africa (plus one more) admit that this trip is one that they could never forget. From the lifelong memories and friendships that were made along the way to the satisfaction of helping a good cause, the guys in Africa will forever be admired at King’s. If you would like to make a donation to The Water Project, you can find more information on their website: https://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/aaron-haaris.