04/03/2008 04:46 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Play Pumps

My family and a couple of other families took a trip to Africa three years ago. We visited a shanty town in Cape Town, which is like a ghetto, but far worse. They live in tin shacks on dirt floors, and they have nothing. I met a boy name Larenzo. He told me that he wanted to become a doctor and he would do anything to accomplish that goal. I felt sad that he would probably not be able to attain his goal because of how he was living. I wished that I could have taken him home with me so that he could have a better life. His happy face and his funny personality showed me that you don't need money and fame to be happy.

Meeting Larenzo has inspired me to help kids in Africa that live in such poverty. For my mitzvah project, I am going to build a Play Pump in a village in Africa. A Play Pump is a merry-go-round in the school yard that kids play on and it pumps clean water into a tank. That tank provides enough water for the whole village. It also means that girls can go to school because without the Play Pump, girls have to spend their whole day hauling water. Sometimes they walk five hours a day carrying 40 pounds of water for their families. With the Play Pump, they can go to school and bring the water home after school. After the Play Pump is built, I want to go to the village and meet the kids.

If you're interested in Play Pump's projects, here"s the link.