Amina Capaldi was born and raised in Togo, Africa. She has lived in the United States since 1996, and feels tremendously grateful to be an American. Her strong calling to help those she left behind in Togo remains her primary focus as clean water is a luxury in her home country. The limited water source is often contaminated with dead animals and other debris, leaving villagers with waterborne diseases from bacteria and parasites. Sadly, children are especially susceptible. Amina lost three of her siblings all under the age of 5 years.
Northern Togo, where Amina Capaldi grew up, has only 2 seasons: six months of rain and six months of hot, arid weather. During the six months of no rain, villagers have to look for water far from home. Women and young girls search as many as six hours a day to find water, walking miles with no shoes in unrelenting heat (100+ degrees), with heavy buckets balanced carefully on their heads to bring water to their families; all searching being done often with no food in their stomachs.
In 2013, Amina Capaldi formed Wish Them Well, a non-profit organization, and began collecting money to build wells in villages in Togo, Africa. The first well was built in May , 2013. Each well costs $1500. I was fortunate enough to meet Amina during a Yoga teacher training certification course 3 years ago. We bonded easily and quickly, as we were, and are, dedicated to helping all human beings find peace, happiness, and health through the practice of yoga.
During Brandywine Springs School’s comprehensive African Dance and Music Project in Spring of 2017 (which involved all K-8 students, and which was in collaboration with Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education), it seemed just right to bring Amina Capaldi in to speak with our K-1-2 students. The students listened to Amina’s story and made bracelets of love and care, symbolizing the students’ support of the people of Togo, Africa. For three weeks, students brought their pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, or whatever donation they could spare, in to our wishing well to raise money for a well to be built with Brandywine Springs School name on it. Parents, teachers, and students came together to raise the money necessary to create such a well!
It is will great pride in, and admiration for, my friend, Amina, and our amazing BSS children and families that I can announce that the ground for our well has been broken. I fully intend to travel with Amina to Boudori in Togo, Africa, to see our completed well within the next nine months. There is no limit to what the human heart is capable of. The pictures tell how truly grateful the villagers of Boudori are for our school community!