Angolo Community Welcomes Their Canadian Son home
Twenty years ago a six-year-old boy named Ryan Hreljac raised over $2000 for a well at Angolo Primary School in Uganda, by doing household chores and rallying his community. When he eventually visited the school and shyly traipsed down a dusty lane flanked by joyful villagers applauding their small hero, this unassuming little boy walked into history.
The line of cheers formed again in May of 2014, when Ryan and his family returned to the site of that very first well in Uganda to mark its 15th anniversary, and to monitor the projects in the area. Over 4,000 people were there to greet him; bursting into applause as his vehicle came into view.
He may have been a great deal taller, but he was still their Ryan, and the happiness and health he had brought them was reflected in their smiles and their cheers.
In a ceremony rich with music and dance, the people of Angolo Community welcomed their Canadian son home. Young and old waited to have a few words with Ryan, give him gifts (chickens and eggs) and have their picture taken with the young man who had given them so much hope. Ryan had time for them all; bending low to chat with the smallest children and speaking respectfully to the elders.
Since that first well was built, the clean water that now flows from over 1,383 wells worldwide brings healthier lives. Over 1,245 sanitation facilities now arm people in developing countries against disease. School children, community organizations, local businesses and countless generous donors have made Ryan’s Well their own, and brought real hope to over 991,578 people.
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