A 10-year-old Regina-area boy has raised $17,000 for water projects in Ethiopia.
Connor Kindred got deeply involved after his parents told him that donating a surplus Xbox video console to Ethiopian school children wasn't a very practical idea.
While his family is in the process of adopting a child from the African country, Connor learned a Canadian-based charity called WaterCan was helping schools in that country with very basic necessities such as water and clean toilets.
"It kind of started when my Xbox 360 broke and we sent it away to get fixed," said the young Emerald Park, Sask., resident. "But it was taking too long. So we got new one. Then after a while we had two Xboxes, so I said why not give one to Ethiopia?
"My parents said that would be nice but they don't have power and clean water and sanitation, they don't have clean toilets and washing stations. Here we are with fancy contraptions, we don't have to build fires to cook our food. We just throw it in the oven or microwave.
"But over there they have to at least boil water and make a fire."
'My cousin gave me her piggy bank.'—Connor Kindred, 10
Connor started the fund by saving half his allowance money — and that got him to $440. Then he saved his Christmas money from grandparents and got people to give him donations instead of birthday presents.
"My cousin gave me her piggy bank," he said.
The boy also spoke about his fundraising project to a number of invited parents at a local Imax theatre, and a financial adviser matched the funds for a total of $1,400.
Connor's goal of raising $15,000 was reached last week, so the next target is $20,000. One project his donations will fund is a new water well for a school south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
'They have 976 kids with one tap.'—Connor Kindred
"It has 1,165 kids in nine classrooms, no toilets or washing stations," said Connor. "And I'm doing another primary school in Addis Ababa.
"They have 976 kids with one tap, the toilets are not working and there are no washing stations. The money raised will provide 3,000-litre water tanks with lots of taps, repair the toilets and provide washing stations."
The youngster said he can take donations from Canadians at the website: Connor's Well Wish.
Tom Kindred, Connor's father, is very proud of his son.
"It's something that's extra special this time of year," the father said. "And all the people who have been generously donating to his fund — it's very touching."