Last month we let you know about our crucial first step to every water project – the PRA. We use a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) approach to empower people to be a major part of their solution and to help us select the next community for a water project.

Right now, we’re hosting PRAs in multiple communities to select the right fit for us – and we want to take you along in the process!

You may be asking, how does this all work again?

1. First, we request that the citizens organize a meeting to talk about what’s going on in their community.

2. On that meeting day, we divide the community into two sessions – one for the men and one for the women. Our female and male staff members separate to lead their appropriate meetings, and then it’s time to get down to business – making a community map! Using flour for roads and matchbooks for buildings, this is as much a meeting icebreaker as it is an “information-gathering session” for the team.

3. Then we bring out a box of clavos (or ‘nails’ in Spanish, which is also slang for ‘problems’) to pinpoint problem areas in their village. Some examples include: wells that quickly dry up or abusive households. Shame, pride, and fear are just a few factors that can make people hesitant to share these clavos aloud. That’s why holding separate meetings is so important.

4. Finally, we ask the community to dream for a moment… If they were to win the communal lottery as a community, what would they fix, and in what order?

5. If water is priority number one or number two in both meetings, then we would certainly further consider this community for our next Turn on the Water Project. As you can probably imagine, selecting a community is hard work. It’s important that a community already recognizes the lack of clean water as a top priority because this is a key indicator of their desire which is a critical factor in how well they will be able to sustain a water project for the long haul.

Would you join us in praying as we continue putting on PRAs in different communities? We’re asking for clarity and peace about which community to choose. And of course, we’ll keep you updated along the way!