Hello friends! Or, jambo rafiki, as they say it in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On Feb. 9-13, PLNU hosted a student-run water challenge called ‘Hello Friends.’ The idea behind this campaign was to connect the PLNU community with Pastor Celestin Chishibaji and his community in the DRC in order to find meaningful solutions that would improve water access in the DRC, as well as provide education on healthy water hygiene and sanitation behaviors.
The Hello Friends campaign was generated from a multidisciplinary effort of students, faculty, and staff across the PLNU campus. The campaign proposal was submitted in a Nazarene Compassionate Ministries national water justice competition where PLNU was awarded second place and an implementation grant to turn the campaign proposal into a reality. Of this award, $7,500 was given to the Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund and the remaining funds were used to support the Hello Friends campaign.
PLNU’s art and design department spent significant time working on various design aspects for the campaign. Their hard work resulted in a Hello Friends website, social media channels, stickers, t-shirts, and bracelets. The Center for International Development and accounting professor, Susan Brownlee, also spent several hours planning and preparing for the campaign week. Hello Friends was made possible through a collaborative effort of different departments around campus.
“It was exhilarating to see all the people on campus come together to help us bring this story to life. When we asked for help we were met with love, generosity, and support,” said PLNU graphic design instructor, Courtney Mayer.
The Hello Friends campaign launched Monday, February 9, on Caf Lane with cardboard art installations covering two iPads that were used to tell the campaign story, how to get involved, and how to donate.
The week continued to unfold on Tuesday with the introduction of the campaign’s overall theme, “Give to the Well.” Through the Hello Friends campaign, PLNU hopes to raise $6,000 by April 3, to build a water well in the DRC at Ep. Mutombo Primary School and Mutowa Institute.
Wednesday’s Hello Friends event consisted of two soap-making workshops that were hosted in the ARC by PLNU alum, Lucy Henderson. Around 60 PLNU students attended the event Wednesday night. Some of the soap that was made during the workshops is now being sold to help fundraise for the water well.
To end the eventful Hello Friends campaign week, students participated in a cliff cleanup and barbeque at Sunset Cliffs.
If you would like to learn more about Hello Friends, please visit www.hellofriendsplnu.org.