Mulcahy family’s purpose: Clean water is a necessity, not a luxury
The Mulcahy family made it their mission to provide water sources for villagers in Kenya — and aims to build four more water wells there in 2020
Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Africa Water Wells
The Mulcahys are collecting money to build four more water wells in Kenya in 2020. There are more schools in the region where they hope to build rain-catch and filtration systems for clean water, and they’re also collecting laptops to supply for the schools.
To donate, make checks payable to Grace Covenant Church and on the memo write “Africawaterwells.” Send to Grace Covenant Church, 3402 W I-20, Arlington, TX 76017 or donate online at Gracecovenantchurch.org. To donate a laptop, drop off at Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen.
Clean water is something Americans take for granted. We use freely to water our lawns, enjoy long showers, wash our cars and bathe our dogs.
But being witness to places in the world where clean water isn’t available is an experience that never left the minds of Sandy Mulcahy and her son, Lee Mulcahy.
An African safari in 2010 was meant to be a 50th anniversary vacation for Sandy and her late husband, Bud. But the relationships formed during their stay in Kenya led them to a much greater purpose.
Now, at 84 years old, Sandy is traveling back to Africa regularly with Lee, and each time it seems their purpose grows even larger.
From hosting annual women’s conferences that teach female villagers how to make a living, to distributing buckets with filters that provide clean water, the Mulcahys have their sights set on making a difference that lasts well beyond their lifetimes.
Setting the stage for future wells
Sandy, who splits time between Arlington, Texas, and Aspen, Bud and Lee built their first well for Kenyan villagers near the town of Sotik in 2012. They added a water tower and tank in 2013.
After that project, for which Bud’s engineering background was instrumental, the village began thriving. With clean water available, the villagers gathered together to build a Christian school and named it after Bud — the Tili bei Bud Academy.
Moved by how their act of kindness could open the doors to new beginnings, they knew more had to be done. In 2017, Sandy and Lee led the construction of a rehabilitation and medical clinic. They brought a team of doctors and nurses in from Texas that were able to provide medications and exams, which was especially critical due to a national nurses’ strike in Kenya that year.
2019 fact-finding mission
In 2019, the Mulcahy family set out on a fact-finding trip to the same African region to see if they could develop more clean water projects. What they found was beyond anything they could have imagined.
“We went to three school sites and let me tell you, it absolutely ripped my heart out to see there was no clean water,” Lee said.
The first school they visited, Kipnogsos, is a school for children with special needs. Sandy Mulcahy said the children often soil themselves during the school day and have no means to get cleaned up.
“The whole thing was just heartbreaking,” Sandy said.
At Kipsingei Secondary School, a highly ranked Kenyan school with motivated students, there is no water source. Sandy said some of the resident students were using filthy water for bathing.
“This water was like nothing you would ever consider using for anything,” she said.
At the third school they visited, Soimosiek Primary, the children approached Sandy and Lee and begged for clean water.
“One by one, they were asking us to be given clean water,” Sandy said. “To know that we have water here in the United States and turn it on and waste it — there’s no way you couldn’t be affected by that.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.