From the Ryan’s Well Foundation website:
Formed in 2001, The Ryan’s Well Foundation was begun by Canadian Ryan Hreljac, who, as a young boy in Grade One, learned about the need for clean and safe water in developing countries. Ryan started fundraising, and with the help of many, raised enough money to build a clean-water well in Uganda. He was just seven when the well was built. That first well at Angolo Primary School in northern Uganda continues to operate today, serving its community.
Since then, The Ryan’s Well Foundation has helped build over 700 wells and 839 latrines, bringing safe water and improved sanitation to 736,569 people.
A Canadian registered charity, The Ryan’s Well Foundation is now enjoying its tenth anniversary. In the past five years, an average of 85 cents of every dollar donated directly supports the Foundation’s charitable programs. The RWF has involved over 650 schools in 30 countries in its fundraising activities and shares its message with over 120,000 people a year, mainly youth, through speaking engagements.
Ryan has been recognized with many awards. He is a UNICEF Global Youth Leader; a Global Citizen with the United Nations Association of Canada; a Patron, Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program; an Official Ambassador, Global Kidz Program; and an Honorary Member of the Engineering Institute of Canada. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Ryan’s Well Foundation as a model for its Healthy Environments for Children Alliance (HECA) Project. In 2008, Ryan was given the OneXOne Difference Award, and in 2010, he was given the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Medal Award.
“You are really living proof that one person, and it really doesn’t matter how old you are, can really make a difference.”
– Oprah Winfrey on Ryan (Oprah Winfrey Show, 2001)
For more information on The Ryan’s Well Foundation, please read more at http://www.ryanswell.ca/.