In our last article we updated you on the progress we’ve been making in our discussions with Engineers Without Borders on our ‘One Brick At a Time’community development program, in Bergnek, South Africa, and we have more good news to share. Please share this update with people and organizations you are connected to. We need all the help we can get.

As you might have known our negotiations and discussions with Engineers without Borders have been going well and we have been recently been informed that the ‘One Brick At a Time’ program will now proceed, with the first visit, taking place in September of this year, which is spring in Bergnek. The Bergnek community and ourselves are certainly excited about what’s taking place and are truly grateful to our partners and supporters at Engineers Without Borders for working through the process with us. This is the next BIG step in helping the Bergnek community to achieve a sustainable water source as well as build out distribution and access, particularly for the children and the elderly in the community.

Unemployment is a huge problem in Bergnek and South Africa as a whole, for that matter.To address unemployment in Bergnek, Bergnek Community Projects and My Arms Wide Open® support the community to establish projects that connect over the immediate, medium and long term. The One Brick at A Time initiative is one that is more long term, and has a number of nearer term objectives included in it, such as the collaboration with Engineers Without Borders. Each project within the program will not only transfer additional skills into the community it will also provide additional employment in Bergnek, and help to generate the resources to address other priorities within the community including health-care and housing needs.

The program starts by addressing water access and distribution. The community needs a reliable power source and a larger water capacity. This is being addressed using solar-based pumps that can pump the volume available, which is more than the current pump can handle.The next project in the program addresses sanitation needs, particularly for children and the elderly.From there we extend infrastructure and with the increased water capacity have the ability to begin a brick making business to generate revenue and to enable the community to build much needed housing and a healthcare centre.

As you can tell, this is a BIG idea and the Bergnek community is intent on making it a reality


We are really excited to share our latest project update and report with you. We have lots of activity taking place that supports the Bergnek Communities goals to create employment through the One Brick at a Time project.

As you know the project is not just about establishing a brick-making business in Bergnek. It’s about establishing the brick-making project as an anchor in the community to create a sustainable business that generates revenue to support a whole host of initiatives within the Bergnek Community.

Over the past few months we have been working hard to come to an agreement with Engineers Without Borders, in the United States as we had noted in earlier communications. We are very happy to report that we have completed the project planning paperwork and submissions. Our next step is to break the overall project, which is sizeable, down into three projects that will each be implemented in 2014 and 2015.The chapter supporting the project is getting everything ready to present to Engineers Without Borders, USA for approval.

Together, we can do this and support a highly disadvantaged community to sustain itself in the long term. Thank you for your ongoing support

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