About Us


about_us_2 The Ryan’s Well Foundation grew from the commitment of one boy, Ryan Hreljac, who learned of the great need for clean and safe water in developing countries in his 1st grade class. With the support of friends, family and the community, Ryan raised enough money to build a well in Africa. In 1999, at age seven, Ryan's first well was built at Angolo Primary School in northern Uganda.

Although Ryan started raising money for water projects in 1998, the Foundation was not formed until 2001. Since then, Ryan’s Well has helped build over 927 water projects and 1120 latrines bringing safe water and improved sanitation to over 836,751 people.

Here is a quick glance of what we’re all about:

  • The Ryan’s Well Foundation is a Canadian registered charity (charitable registration # 88858 7110 RR0001)
  • On average, 80-85 cents of every dollar donated directly supports our charitable Build and Empower programs.
  • Over the years, we've involved over 650 schools in 30 countries in our fundraising activities. Each year, we share our message with over 120,000 people, mainly youth, through various speaking engagements.

Now, the work of Ryan’s Well has become the story of countless people, young and old, from across the world who are inspired to take responsibility and make a difference either in their own communities, or like Ryan, in faraway places. Ryan’s story has made people realize that anyone, even kids in Grade 1, can make a difference.

We have two goals – BUILD and EMPOWER.

Build: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects

Our BUILD program supports water, sanitation and hygiene education projects in partnership with local non-governmental and community based organizations in developing countries. Our current focus is to the communities of West Africa (Burkina FasoGhana, and Togo), East Africa (Kenya and Uganda), and Haiti.

Empower:  Get involved and make a difference

Ryan’s story has been compelling not just for his actions against the global water and sanitation crisis, but for all grassroots action. It continues to motivate people of all ages –youth in particular – to take action and effect positive change in the world.