Lexie Seward ‘19 will be representing Denison as she travels to Northern Ghana this winter break. She will be working with Saha Global to bring purified water and electricity to impoverished communities. This, however, is not the first time Seward has worked with a non-profit company.
Last summer, Seward, an international studies and communication double major from Bloomington, IL, worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“I was working for GRI Club, a real estate and infrastructure company, as a junior researcher in their international development sector,” said Seward.
Her time spent in Brazil was when she realized the diversity of people there. She explained that there was a massive difference between some of the rich Europeans and impoverished Brazilians. It was this diversity that inspired her to become a part of something bigger than herself. She remembers a time in the subway where she saw children with dirty feet and ripped clothing. “That’s the kind of stuff that sticks with you, and I would think about it all the time,” said Seward.
“When I got back to the US, I got an email from ASA (African Student Association) talking about Saha Global and what they do,” Seward said. “I was looking for something more, something sustainable that would have a lasting positive effect on the people it helped. I found that and so much more in Saha Global” explained Seward. After consideration, she applied to the program and was eventually accepted.
Seward explained, “Saha Global is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that partners with rural communities in developing countries to establish sustainable social businesses that provide basic services, like clean water and electricity.” Women in impoverished communities are given the opportunity to run their own businesses that offer clean water and electricity to the community. It was the female empowerment aspect of the program that really got her hooked on Saha Global’s mission.
“During the month of December I will be working for three weeks in Northern Ghana with three other field representatives to implement a water purification business in a village currently lacking access to clean water,” said Seward. Everything they use to purify the water is locally found and relatively easy to work and figure out, but Seward’s job is to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Seward is excited to branch out and take on this new leadership experience.
“I love feeling uncomfortable because that’s when you learn the most. So I’m definitely excited to be outside my comfort zone and learn more about a culture that I’ve never really experienced.”
In fact, reaching out of her comfort zone is something Seward feels passionate about. In her future years at Denison, she hopes to study abroad, ideally in South Africa. “I’m really excited to experience that culture too because sometimes Africa has a stereotype of being all the same, but every country is just so different.”
As for now, Seward is working on funding for this program. Her goal is to reach $3,000 by December 7th. “All the donations that I get goes toward buying a big 200 liter drum to store water,” explained Seward. “With that money, in the village every house or family unit will get a safe container that will store their water.” All the funds that she raises will be used directly for the business she creates for the community in Ghana.
To donate to Saha Global and help Lexie raise her goal, you can either send money to her Venmo “GetLexieToGhana” or check out her fundraising page linked on our Facebook page.
Photo Courtesy of Lexie Seward