A 21-year-old Granby man is out to change the world – one drop at a time. Drew Obston, a University of New Hampshire senior, is spending this summer in The Gambia, Africa for a non-profit group called Agua, Inc. The nonprofit brings drinkable water to areas where there is none.
Obston, who hopes to make his career in micro-financing projects that improve people’s lives, is doing a seven-week, unpaid internship at Aqua, Inc.’s Gambian campus in West Africa. Part of his commitment to the project was to finance his own living expenses through the crowd sourcing website GFundMe. Twenty-eight friends and family donated enough small contributions to fund his seven weeks on the project.
Obston is half-way through the experience and will be returning home on August 23. He’s done everything from contributing to a presentation at the U.S. Embassy for a Gambian incubation program to installing Agua’s all-natural, low-energy water purification systems.
Agua is an international water treatment technology company based in Boulder, Colorado, with offices and agents in Africa, Europe, and South America. Agua uses plant-based biotechnology and innovative system design that provide effective, sustainable and affordable treatment. Globally, Agua is working to revolutionize waste water treatment and drinking water purification by overcoming conventional water treatment limitations, while raising the standards for sustainability. Agua’s system are noteworthy because they require little to no energy, are chemical free, and are more affordable and simple to maintain than many alternatives in developing countries.
Obston wrote his mother, Andrea, about the experience, “Things here are amazing. I absolutely love it and we’re really starting to make an impact. Yesterday, I worked until 5 a.m.!”
Obston graduated from Granby Memorial High School in 2010. He expects to graduate in December from the University of New Hampshire with a double major in economics and English and a double minor in journalism and political science.
“We’re very proud of Drew,” says his mother, Andrea Obston. “His father, Ron and I have always emphasized that each of us has an obligation to make the planet a better place than we found it. We are delighted Drew’s chosen to do some pretty tough duty for this worthy cause. And it’s particularly sweet that so many of our friends, family and business associates are helping him along the way.”