Growing Global Communities

College students find inspiration from a variety of sources – professors, parents, friends, authors, or maybe a moment in time. For Master of Science in Human and Community Resources student Sam Dinga, motivation to make a difference came from the tragic loss of his sister.
Dinga established the Ma-Kah Water for All project through the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin. Named after his sister Ma Kah Rosemary Dinga who died from complications due to unclean water in 2009, the project aims to raise money to build wells in rural areas of Dingaʼs home country of Cameroon in West Africa.
Dinga, who earned the prestigious UWSP James H. Albertson Chancellor’s Leadership Award this year, is able to translate what he learned during his master’s courses into a successful role developing communities. While fundraising on his own, Dinga leads a delegation of donors and volunteers who work alongside villagers to dig and build each well.
"Villages that have benefited from our wells are happy and thankful," said Dinga. "I am surprised how $5,000, the cost per well, can make such a huge difference."
The first well was finished in December 2009 in Bamumbu. Two more were completed at the Bosa Orphanage and the Naka Village in December 2010 while Mbelluh Village was the site for the fourth well. The goal is to complete 40 wells.
Future plans for two wells to be completed in December 2011 are in the works when Dinga will travel to Bafut Village, which recently suffered a cholera outbreak. He will travel with seven students from UWSP, St. Louis University, and Stevens Point Area Senior High along with community members from Madison and Milwaukee.
Dinga’s drive to make an impact doesn’t affect only the villages in Cameroon. As an adjunct faculty member in the School of Health Promotion and Human Development (HPHD), he is currently working to establish a service learning study abroad trip to allow other students to have this type of opportunity.
"I am proud of those who believe in what we are doing and I am thankful to all the donors and volunteers," he said.
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