Wishing Well hoping to quench African thirst OC nonprofit produces documentary of mission

Many people take for granted the gallons of water used each day, while thousands of people in other countries have little or no water. 

Wishing Well hopes to inspire people to be a part of the solution to this problem by raising funds to build wells for fresh water in Africa. 

OC sophomore Ryan Groves introduced Wishing Well to Oklahoma Christian in fall 2006. Groves' brother started Wishing Well at Pepperdine University in early 2006. 

"The emphasis of Wishing Well is change. Changing the culture here and changing lives over there," Groves said. "Our first goal is to enact social change here in America in response to the humanitarian situation in Africa, and our second and probably most poignant goal, is to raise the money to go and build clean water wells in Africa." 

Groves has received a larger response than he expected from OC's students. 

Over the past two years, Wishing Well has found creative ways to raise money and awareness about the issues in Africa, and many people have gotten the chance to do their part and find a way to get involved.

OC freshman Brianna Gaither made bracelets and sold them to raise hundreds of dollars for Wishing Well. OC senior Loren O'Laughlin also helped the organization by putting an art fundraiser gallery together. 

"It takes the talents of the entire campus to bring this together," O'Laughlin said. "One of the things that is so cool about Wishing Well is that it's not exclusive. Everyone is important." 

Through these efforts, plus special musical performances and other ways of getting the word out and raising money, Wishing Well has made a difference. 

But Groves hopes the initiative can make an even bigger impact through a planned documentary. Later this year, he and eight others plan to go to Rwanda for a video shoot.

"We picked Rwanda because it has one of the lowest water accessibility rates," Groves said. 

The documentary is designed to raise awareness about the Wishing Well group and to help Africa. The footage also will be used to develop a curriculum for churches to use in youth groups. 

"The documentary will focus not just on the death toll and the heartbreak, it will try to bring to light the humanity of it," Groves said. "I'm trying to make these people real, human and not just a statistic." 

By Sarah Gogarty (09)