“It’s incredible to see the impact”: Olsson volunteers bring clean water to communities in need

Celena Shepherd, Communications

July 18, 2023

Every day, Olsson engineers Nolan Groff and Noelle Atieno Mware work to keep clean water running for their communities. It’s part of their job.  

But recently, their passion for water led the Kansas City-based engineers far from home – all the way to East Africa.   

This summer, Nolan and Noelle embarked on a weeklong journey to visit thirteen remote communities throughout Tanzania and Kenya. They represented Agua Viva International (AVI), a nonprofit organization that helps provide purified drinking water to underserved communities in Africa and South America.

“There is such a need and necessity for clean water around the world,” said Nolan, who’s been on four AVI volunteer trips. “It’s incredible to see the impact one water system has by providing clean water for 3,000 people.”  

AVI volunteers install water purification systems and work to equip community members with the knowledge to maintain and operate the systems for the long term. As AVI volunteers, Nolan and Noelle updated existing water purification systems, scouted locations where new systems were needed, and trained locals to operate and maintain the technology.  

Noelle, who was raised in western Kenya, enjoyed building relationships with community members and seeing the positive effect that access to clean water can have. In one community, school attendance increased fifty percent after the water system was installed.  

“Providing people with clean water allows them to dream about their future and the possibilities,” she said. “These water systems are truly changing lives and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a solution.” 

To learn more about Agua Viva and how to help, visit https://aguavivainternational.org.   

Olsson engineers Nolan Groff (left) and Noelle Atieno Mware test water samples on their recent volunteer trip to Africa.