Cochrane Ideas – Oct 2018

The Challenges Faced by a Small Canadian Charity Working to Improve Access to Water in Africa

With Laurra Olmsted
Director of Uniwater Education

7 pm, Friday Oct 12th, 2018
at King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane

Please bring snacks if you can. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Laurra: UniWater Education partners with African universities to get more people trained in Africa who have the skills needed to address African water challenges of the future. Based on her experience over the past 7 years, Laurra will outline the historic factors that have shaped African culture, and issues that influence our perceptions of Africa and Africans. She will contrast the differences in working as a small NGO compared to “the big 5” charities in the international realm. Also, the challenges of working in the water sector but not working at the community level will be addressed, and what implications this holds for water security in Africa in an era of climate change.

Please plan to attend her talk and add to the ensuing discussion centred on how best to effect change to the current paradigm.

Laurra Olmsted earned an MSc in Hydrogeology from University College London (UK) in Hydrogeology for Developing Nations in 1992. It was this exposure to Africans as classmates and the examples used in her studies that sparked an interest in working to improve access to water on that continent. She continued to work as an environmental consultant from 1989 until 2007, when an opportunity presented itself for a shift in her career.

Laurra has been working in the non-profit sector since 2005, co-founding Hydrogeologists Without Borders, and then founding and directing UniWater Education. She is a passionate groundwater proponent and believes that there is hope for a water secure future if we work collaboratively to create such a world.