Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Aldo in Afghanistan

Limits on my column space for March 8, didn't permit me to expand enough on the amazing odyssey of Aldo Magazzeni.

Aldo in Afghanistan

Limits on my column space for March 8, didn't permit me to expand enough on the amazing odyssey of Aldo Magazzeni.

Aldo, 57, who is a owner and CEO of Champion Fasteners in Lumberton, N.J., has another life building water systems in Afghan villages where villagers may have to hike miles for fresh water. His wife Anna, who runs a farm and garden center in Pughtown, and shares their 79-acre organic farm in Perkiomenville, Montgomery County, has to make do without him for months at a time.

To raise money for these water systems, which involve pumping water from springs or rivers into a central tank or cistern, Aldo is trying to connect Afghan villages with communities in the Philadelphia area. In cooperation with local teachers, he has already put together a lesson plan for several area high schools that will connect students with Afghan villagers, and teach local kids how water systems are built. As part of school projects, the local students will raise money to build water systems in particular villages. He's also hoping to work with UPenn engineering professors on a program which will involve students in designing Afghan water projects.

He has 30 water systems designed for student partnerships in cooperation with Soraya Pakzad, head of the Voice of Women Organization in Herat, Afghanistan, and hopes to find a total of 30 high schools to join the project.  He has already helped build ten water systems in Afghanistan.

You can see more pictures of his, and Suraya's work  at:  http://go.philly.com/afghanphotos . Or you can visit his website at www.travelingmercies.org.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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