SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (KABC) -- For Gianna Carlile, her activism journey began when she was 8 years old when she started Wells of Life, a charity that provides rural Ugandans safe and clean water.
Now, as a freshman in high school, Wells of Life has become Carlile's passion, and a big help to Ugandans in need. The charity has provided clean water to more than 1 million Ugandans.
"Most of us we took this morning or we just had a drink of water, and we can just go straight to the tap and there's water right there. And it's perfectly set up for us. But they don't have that in Uganda," said Carlile.
Wells of Life restores non-functional wells in Uganda by taking possession of them to restoring them to working order.
"In Uganda, in particular, about 40% of existing wells are non-functional and organizations that have drilled wells haven't been able to maintain the wells or the materials that they've used haven't been able to be sustained," said Danny Sells of Wells of Life. "And, so we go into these communities and take possession of that well and restore it to full functional order."
The work Carlile has taken on may take up a lot of her time, but she says she balances her work at Wells of Life with her regular schoolwork at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. Her schoolwork, Carlile said, is something many children in Uganda do not get the opportunity to take on because they have to spend their time doing things like walking hours at a time for clean water.
"Most girls have to walk for four to five hours just to get some kind of dirty water for the family to have and that's their water for the day," said Carlile. "And they have to carry like this huge jug on their head and I have to walk for so long that they don't have to go to school. They don't get to go to school."
Carlile has already raised more than $50,000 for Wells of Life. And she says her next goal is to go to Uganda and see the work she is doing firsthand.
"I really want to go to Uganda so I can see the impact that me and the people that have helped me fund the wells have had on the people in Uganda," said Carlile.