IIL Spotlight: Amal Le Collen
With all the employees we have around the world, we wanted to bring to light who we are here at IIL. Each month we will spotlight an employee from one of our offices. Here, we introduce Amal Le Collen from IIL Europe.
A couple’s 25th wedding anniversary is coming up. What do you think they are going to do for it? Maybe exchange some gifts. Perhaps a family vacation or even a second honeymoon. What about provide clean, accessible water for a village?
When IIL’s Amal Le Collen and her husband were planning their anniversary they initially thought a second honeymoon to an all-inclusive paradise resort; however, once they found out that the price would be 5,000-6,000 for a week, Amal’s husband asked if she would rather do something more substantial with the money. Amal remembered how her mother once wanted to provide a village in Morocco with a water well so they could have water close by, rather than having to travel 2 ½ hours each way to fetch some. Unfortunately, her mother passed away before she could do this.
Like all major projects, Amal needed to do research. It turned out the cost of materials, transportation, and completing the well would be around 5,000 dollars. This would provide the village with water for more than a lifetime. Next it was a matter of finding where to dig for the water.
Amal visited a few farms who had previously dug a well, they all mentioned they used a dowser service, per free dictionary definition: “A person who uses a divining rod to search for underground water or minerals” Initially, Amal was unsure of his methods, but he marked two spots, telling her that in the first spot they would need to dig 90 meters for water and in the second spot they would only need to dig 75 meters and it would fall into 3 rivers.
Before they could dig, Amal needed to buy the materials, find the right company for the construction, and decide on the best time to travel. It turned out the time Amal decided to travel was one of the most important religious holidays in Morocco, called Eid al-Adha. Prices were up and a lot of people were taking time off.
However, Amal was able to find the right company. A Syrian company ended up assisting Amal on her mission. They were very honest with her and ready to help the village. Because she wanted to ensure quality, Amal purchased all the best materials herself. The company brought the machines needed, they found the spot, and they were ready to start. Then an unexpected problem arose. Amal found out that they needed water to dig. In order to provide water, they needed water to begin! Water was obtained after traveling the five hours to the nearest source.
At the start the village came out to pray for Amal. For 72 hours straight the group poured water, dug, and slept. Due to family and job responsibilities, Amal ended up leaving when they reached 36 meters. At 60 meters the group hit the first bit of humidity for water. Then Amal received a phone call being told that at 73 meters, water was found.
As soon as Amal heard the news, she began crying. “Nothing will give you such satisfaction like giving water to people,” Amal shares. After succeeding in her project she says she was “just in the cloud for the longest time.” Amal plans to continue to help those in need once her children are fully grown. She plans to create a blog to tell her story and offer advice to anyone that has interest in bringing the gift of water to a village. Eventually she would like to help educate children in need using games.
If you have any questions or would like to find out what you can do, you can email Amal directly at Amal.LeCollen@iil.com. She is more than happy to assist anyone with information.
Don’t miss next month’s IIL Spotlight to learn more about our team. We are more than just your average company. Together, we are a family.