July 15, 2017
My WaterSeer Story
“Fostering the will to persevere against the face of adversity”
My name is Nicholas Seferian and I am co-founder of the non-profit organization, SOCOBA. My wife Sego and I founded the Society for Children Orphaned by AIDS (SOCOBA) several years ago in response to the AIDS crisis in Botswana. Our organization aims at providing supplemental education, basic life skills, youth empowerment programs, and health services to vulnerable children and those orphaned or infected by HIV/AIDS. Our intention is not to cure the world or Botswana of AIDS, but rather to make a difference in one corner of the world. Lack of water, disease, and poverty are enormous issues we no longer ignore because we know we can help people solve these issues themselves by providing sustainable resources.
In the mid to late 90’s, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mabule, Botswana and not only met my wife, but also taught at a community secondary school during my time there. I believe what makes SOCOBA unique is the strong personal connection we have with Mabule. Through the passing of Sego’s younger brother due to complications from the AIDS virus, as well as countless other friends who allowed us into their lives and died from AIDS, leaving behind many orphans and vulnerable children, we could help others avoid the same fate as they did.
Recently, I was researching for ways to help fund our 2017 water initiative aimed at installing a borehole in Mabule when I came across WaterSeer. The main water supply in Mabule has been contaminated and had left our people with having to rely on the nearest village 16 kilometers away for water. After noticing WaterSeer was associated with the National Peace Corps Association, I reached out. Timing and like minds have brought us together and we are now very excited to pilot WaterSeers in the village of Mabule.
As part of our collaboration, WaterSeer’s buy-one, give-one program has provided the opportunity for two groups to come together. Edgemere Elementary 5th graders of Baltimore, Maryland raised enough funds to donate WaterSeers to a community in need. The students will be meeting the children of Mabule and learn more about their community and SOCOBA’s water initiative.
This project will have a tremendous impact on the village of Mabule and its youth, especially girls who may be held home from school to fetch water. Not only do they have a greater disadvantage educationally, but the number of health issues they must confront due to water shortages at home, further places them in extremely adverse situations.
WaterSeer has the potential to become a unique and ingenious solution to the problem of a lack of water for multitudes of people, and SOCOBA will ensure it is delivered and launched the way it needs to be.
Being able to partner with similar minded organizations such as WaterSeer, produces a sense of hope and global community for SOCOBA’s beneficiaries and stakeholders that need bolstering. Too often I hear people fixate on the size and enormity of a problem or issue, rather address what kind of difference they can make. Together with WaterSeer, we have the potential to profoundly help better the lives of people who need it most.