Saran Kaba Jones, who founded FACE Africa to improve water access and sanitation for communities across sub-Saharan Africa, is coming to Santa Barbara on October 6 to discuss such issues in her home country of Liberia. She’ll be speaking to the Global Neighborhood Fund, a Santa Barbara‒based organization that’s donated about $35,000 to FACE Africa since 2011.
Jones founded her organization in 2008 after a visit to Liberia revealed a country destroyed by civil war, shaky infrastructure, and displaced communities. She initially focused on education — FACE stands for Fund a Child’s Education — but quickly realized access to clean water and the time it took to find it was more problematic. Today, FACE Africa aims to provide 100 percent water coverage for each community it targets, with the current focus on providing 250 water-access points for the 60,000 residents of Liberia’s Rivercess County.
In the United States, Jones — who’s also presented at Harvard and the Department of State — is hoping to raise awareness on this and other global issues within the younger generation. She recently started a college ambassador club that is finding students to act as educators and promoters to raise awareness for the issues plaguing Liberia.
“Our hope is that we can eventually invite these college ambassadors to come to Liberia, spend some time there, and really see firsthand, one, the issues on the ground and, two, the impact that FACE Africa is having,” Jones said. The program is currently working with 12 colleges in the Boston area, and Jones is hoping these programs will launch in November around Thanksgiving. “By next year,” Jones hopes, “we will have targeted about 50 college campuses around the country.” She finds social media as the “best way to reach out to the young generation.”
To support FACE Africa and the Global Neighborhood Fund, see faceafrica.org, or to attend the talk, email firstname.lastname@example.org.