Alum Works to Bring Filtered Water in Uganda
Michale Goldberger (’11) wrote to us from Uganda, where she is working as the marketing manager for a social enterprise called SPOUTS.
SPOUTS was founded by two Harvard grads in 2011 to help bring clean water to the Ugandan population. In Uganda, even the richest people in the country do not have clean piped water to their houses, as there is contamination in the piping. Most people simply drink water out of the sewers or from contaminated bodies of water. About 60 percent of Ugandans boil this water to purify it, which is a costly and time-consuming process.
SPOUTS manufactures and distributes ceramic water filters, which is a simple and cheap technology that can help households clean their water. We currently work with many partners across Uganda, including UNHCR, Save the Children, BRAC, and FINCA, with over 200 retail locations. My role is to strengthen our relationship with our partners to support them in making sales.
I mostly work directly with our partners, helping troubleshoot problems they are experiencing. These can range from lack of product knowledge to difficulty in transporting the product to customer distrust of the filter. I am also formalizing our company’s training program and working on other marketing campaigns, such as a campaign to encourage everyone at our partner organizations to personally purchase a filter. It has been an incredible experience to live in and learn from a different society.
In addition to working at SPOUTS, I’ve been very involved in the local Jewish community, the Abayudaya tribe. While most of the Jews live in Eastern Uganda, there is a small population of students and young workers living near me. I have had the opportunity to share much of my Jewish knowledge with the shul, and I even teach Hebrew 1-2 times each week.
So many Academy graduates are working to enrich their communities, near and far, and we are so grateful when we get to hear about it. If you have an Academy Story to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.