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WHO WE ARE

My name is Steve Hamer, President of WASH For Life, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organizion. I'm a retired business owner with 30 years of experience in the housing industry. After meeting several adult students from Malawi, Africa, who were attending Lakeland University, a relationship was formed and this eventually led to the development of a program of well installations (boreholes) at schools and villages in Malawi. In 2019, I visited many of the sites in Malawi and grew to love the country and its people. Once you've experienced the smiles of the school children, you'll understand why they call Malawi "The Warm Heart of Africa."

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Thanks to many generous donors, we have built over 20 boreholes, helping children, teachers, and family members receive clean water.

MEET THE TEAM

Jeff Elzinga retired from Lakeland University in 2018 with the title of Emeritus Professor of Writing. In his more than thirty years with the school, Jeff performed several administrative roles for Lakeland apart from teaching, including twice serving as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. He also created and oversaw for seventeen years Lakeland's Malawi Teacher Education Program, through which 55 bachelor degrees in general education and 20 master degrees with a specialty in reading education were awarded to visiting Malawian students. Earlier in his career, Jeff was a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, serving in Tunisia and Malawi. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Columbia University.

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Patrick Tembwe is the person overseeing this program in Malawi; he received his Master of Business Administration degree from Lakeland University in Wisconsin. He personally advises us on the application progress, installation, and presentation of the boreholes. He is also owner of Antigo Aquaponics Farm in Malawi, where he and his family reside. Patrick has been involved in all 20 installations of the boreholes and is responsible for overseeing each project. He screens all applications, makes arrangements for the installation of the wells, coordinates with the Head Teacher and the Village Elders regarding their involvement in the process, coordinates maintenance training, and provides visual aids as well as signage for each project.

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Bridget Stephen Bullard is originally from Kohler, Wisconsin, and is currently a student at the Boston Conservatory, studying theatre with an emphasis on creative entrepreneurship. Prior to her role in WASH for Life, Inc., she was a member of the non-profit organization GRO, Girls Reaching Out, which raised over $100,000 to build wells in Malawi, Africa. Out of her love of business and connecting with others, Bridget has taken business classes in order to better understand the non-profit world with hopes of merging art and business in starting a theatre company. Post-college, she hopes to earn her MBA and eventually produce for tv and film, while continuing her passion for bringing clean water to Malawi.

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Ethan Kapelka is a recent graduate from University of Wisconsin-Stout with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a concentration in game design and development. He is originally from Sheboygan Falls, WI. He currently works remotely as a programmer for Acuity Insurance, living in Madison, WI. Ethan and his girlfriend combine their computer and creative skills to help others. He has dedicated his time to WASH For Life by developing the website, writing blog posts, and managing the newsletter.

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