The ASEA Advancing Life Foundation is excited to announce its latest partnership, a collaboration with DigDeep. A human rights project, DigDeep focuses on helping indigenous people of the Navajo Nation access clean water.
Roughly one-third of the Navajo Nation lacks clean water or basic plumbing at home. In these areas, 36% of the adult population aged 25 or older have the educational equivalent of a high school diploma. An additional 27% have even less education than that, meaning 63% of adults have no education beyond high school. This lack of education and employable skills contributes to an average annual per capita income of $9,800.
Nearly 40% of Native Americans live below the poverty line and 55% are unemployed. Our collaboration with DigDeep is an effort to help provide a sustainable water solution, as well as an employment solution.
We are excited to announce plans to build a wet lab at the Navajo Technical University in Kirtland, New Mexico. Constructed with ASEA Advancing Life funds, this vocational education program will equip students with practical experience and technical skills in a sector currently experiencing worker shortages both nationally and on the reservation. The program will introduce competencies in worksheet safety, drainage systems, water supply systems, plumbing fixtures, blueprint reading, gas piping, and pipe joining.
The first class of this one-year program will start with fifteen students. At the completion of the program, graduates will be eligible for work as a plumbing apprentice. The hope is that they will desire to be an active part of the solution in their communities to solve water insecurity.