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MFF donates $26K to build wells at schools in Africa


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: July 31, 2008

The program will build five wells at schools in northern Uganda and provide sanitation and hygiene training to the students and their teachers.


Category: Press Releases

MacGillivray Freeman Films and its Educational Foundation Donate $26,500 to Build Much-Needed Wells at Schools in Africa
Construction Will Begin Later This Year With An Estimated Completion Date in 2010

LAGUNA BEACH, Ca. (July 31, 2008) -- Calling attention to the need for more fresh water around the world, MacGillivray Freeman Films and its Educational Foundation today donated $26,500 to Ryan's Well Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building wells and sanitation facilities in developing countries. The donation was matched by Ryan's Well Foundation through student fundraising efforts, doubling the donation's impact.

The now $50,000-plus program will build five wells at schools in northern Uganda and provide sanitation and hygiene training to the students and their teachers. Construction of the wells is expected to begin later this year with an estimated completion date in 2010. The wells are estimated to improve the lives of approximately 4,000 people, providing water, helping to prevent disease and increasing school attendance rates.

Global freshwater issues are the theme of MacGillivray Freeman's most recent giant screen film, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D, released to IMAX and IMAX 3D Theatres in March this year. For every ticket sold on World Water Day and Earth Day, MacGillivray Freeman Films pledged $1 towards the Uganda wells program.

"More than one million children die in Africa every year because they lack access to safe drinking water, and the children of northern Uganda are among those hardest hit following decades of devastating conflict in their region," said Chris Palmer, President of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation. "The Foundation wanted to build on the educational message of Grand Canyon Adventure and do something immediate to provide water to those who need it most. It's our mission to create positive change in the world."

Ryan's Well matched donations raised by school children across the U.S. and Canada who are concerned that students in Africa don't have access to clean drinking water. "The gift from the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation has had a profound effect on these school fundraising teams," said Patricia Markovich, Executive Director of Ryan's Well Foundation. "We are hearing reports of renewed enthusiasm and commitment. This donation has reinforced their dedication to making a difference, too."

The inspiration for the Ryan's Well Foundation, which was formed in 2001, came ten years ago when a young Canadian student, Ryan Hreljac, then six years old, decided that everyone in the world deserves clean water. He saved his money doing chores until he had enough to build a well in Uganda, proving that one person, of any age, can be a positive force for change.

Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk calls attention to the world's growing shortage of fresh water with an epic river expedition down America's most iconic river, the Colorado, itself a victim of drought and overuse. Narrated by Robert Redford and featuring songs and music by Dave Matthews Band, the film stars river advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., anthropologist Wade Davis and Native American river guide Shana Watahomigie on an unforgettable whitewater adventure. The film is presented by Teva and supported by Kohler Co.

Grand Canyon Adventure is the sixth of MacGillivray Freeman's 10 pledged films to address water and ocean conservation themes. It was released as part of the company's Great Adventure Film Series, a brand that encompasses original giant screen productions based on real-life adventures in remote locations and that celebrate the discovery of the natural world.

Now in its 20th week of release, Grand Canyon Adventure is playing in 44 giant screen theatres after first opening in 16 theatres in March. The film has grossed more than $6.5 million dollars worldwide.

About Ryan's Well Foundation
Ryan's Well Foundation is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to provide clean water, improved sanitation and related hygiene education to citizens of developing countries impacted by the global water crisis through engagement with local partner organizations. Ryan's Well supports activities to BUILD safe water sources, EDUCATE individuals, schools, corporations and other service organizations to create awareness of water related issues and those with limited access to resources, and MOTIVATE present and future leaders to realize their own global citizenship. To date, Ryan's Well has helped more than half a million people through 394 water projects in 15 countries.

About The MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation
The MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established by Greg MacGillivray to produce and fund educational IMAX Theatre films and companion programming (exhibits, education materials, outreach programs) that promote greater awareness and preservation of our planet's environmental and cultural heritage. The Foundation's mission is to educate and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to explore, discover and appreciate anew their connection to the natural world, to the cultural histories that shape our communities, and to the world society at large. It is the Foundation's goal that its films and educational programs will galvanize people across the globe to become bold and passionate ambassadors for positive change in our world.

See the progress of the Northern Uganda project or donate to it at:

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