Meet RSM Pursue Your Passion Winner: Joy Herrmann
My passion is to bring clean water and teach proper sanitation techniques to people in need in a foreign country. While the vast majority of us in the United States are able to access clean water easily, which we often take for granted, there are many places in the world that need clean water. More important than simply accepting water donations, they also require assistance in drilling clean water themselves and learning proper sanitation techniques to build a sustainable future.
I have had immediate access to clean bottled spring water my entire life. My grandfather owned a spring water delivery company, and shortly after I was born my father started his own spring water business. Throughout my lifetime, I have witnessed my father constantly and with humility donate water to friends, family, athletic tournaments, a variety of organizations and anyone in need.
There are many organizations that lead mission trips to provide clean water to countries in need. I recently discovered Living Water International, which is a nonprofit organization based in Houston, Texas. Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water and to experience “living water” which alone satisfies the deepest (spiritual) thirst.
I would like to continue in my father’s footsteps and continue to supply the gift of water. Through Living Water International, I will participate in a mission trip to bring clean water and educate the people in a community in Honduras. My father’s selfless charity and quiet generosity set such a positive example in my life, so I will invite him to come on this trip with me to serve a community in Honduras.
The objectives of the trip are to drill a shallow-water well, teach hygiene and encourage the villagers to develop a healthy community. The trip is not only about bringing safe water but also forming relationships with people in the village, the field staff and the team. The trip will be six to seven days, beginning travel on Sunday. On Monday, work in the community will start. For four days, the team will work on building the well or facilitate hygiene training. I believe that I can utilize the delivery skills I developed from RSM’s Facilitating Interactive Learning training to effectively facilitate hygiene training. Additionally, the team will attempt to drill a shallow-water well using mud rotary. The hygiene team provides hygiene education, teaches lessons and plays with the children. Usually the team finishes on the fourth day of drilling and then enjoys a well-dedication ceremony.
The core values of RSM align with my passion to bring access to clean water to Honduras:
- Respect – Latin America has a male-dominated culture. For example, women are required to dress modestly and not to hold extended eye contact with men. On this trip, men can set a great example through their interactions with female team members and local women. These actions of respect will be observed by the locals and may affect positive change within the community.
- Integrity – the founders of this organization and volunteers are dedicated to helping the locals while honoring God, developing people, pursuing excellence and being good stewards.
- Teamwork – the pump repair, drill and hygiene teams will work together to assess well performance and will partner with the local communities to find solutions to bring water back to service. Although the teams will be divided during the day to assigned tasks, all trip participants will come back together as a team each evening for meals and devotions.
- Excellence – water access is about more than just installing water systems. It is about installing the correct type of system to facilitate sustainable access to clean water for years to come. Additionally, it’s about helping whole communities and regions to have enough safe, accessible, reliable water to significantly improve the lives of the people who live there. It will be hard to determine which lives will be changed more – those there to serve or those being served.
- Stewardship – team members will use an LS400 drill rig and work aside hygiene teams to teach proper sanitation techniques. During the trip, we will develop meaningful relationships, experience the local culture and hopefully return home completely transformed.
My Pursue Your Passion award will cover costs of the well, travel and I hope to purchase gifts including toys, school supplies, Spanish bibles and general hygiene supplies for the Honduras community.