At the age of 6, Ryan Hreljac was inspired to raise money for digging wells and providing clean water in developing countries. His first-grade teacher presented a list of needed supplies in Africa, encouraging Hreljac to earn the money by performing household chores and raising funds in his community. In January 1999, his first well was built near a primary school in northern Uganda.
Hreljac continued his fundraising and, in 2001, with the support of his family established the Ryan’s Well Foundation. Since then, Ryan’s Well has raised over $1 million for 878 water projects and 1,120 latrines in 16 countries. Wells have been constructed in many African countries, including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. Ryan’s Well Foundation has given over 150,000 adults and children access to clean water. Ryan plans to pursue a career in water engineering, thus continuing to provide clean water to people around the world.
In May 2014, Ryan returned to Uganda for the 15th anniversary celebration of his very first well at Angolo Primary School. Below are video highlights of that memorable journey. To learn more, please visit www.Ryanswell.ca.
“I found out where my puzzle piece fits in the world and that is with water. I just hope everyone else finds out where their puzzle piece fits too.” – Ryan Hreljac, founder of the Ryan’s Well Foundation
Since First Being Honored…
Since Ryan was first honored by World of Children in 2003, he has helped motivate youth to become more engaged in the world water crisis through public speaking events in more than 40 countries. He has helped to educate students around the world about the importance of clean water and encouraged students to become active, responsible citizens of the planet. Ryan’s Wells Foundation recently completed their 1000th well and has helped over 300,000 children live healthier lives since 2003.