Imagine if you drink water out of a fecal-tainted mud hole.  But imagine how you would feel if you could contribute $25.00 toward the construction of a $1,000 well which would provide clean drinking water and impact an entire village community? (See links: Zambia Water Well Program and Sierra Leone Water Well Program )

Contemplate the raw truth that your child cannot attend school because you don't have the money to buy an $8.00 school uniform.  But imagine if you knew that $8.00 would buy a school uniform for a Sierra Leonean child so she could attend school for an entire year? (See links: Zambia School Sponsorship Program - Primary Grades and Sierra Leone School Sponsorship Program - Primary Grades).

To alleviate starvation by securing a sustainable water source; to promote sustainable agriculture and nutrition, and to promote empowerment through income-generating activities.
Project Vision

To leave an imprint on African civilization whereby the Africans touched by this project will know they were respected, considered, and loved by the global whole.

Project Summary
Imagine living in a remote Zambian village. It is your whole world. You’ve never ventured beyond the edge of trees surrounding your village. Suddenly, a diminutive wisp of a girl/woman, blonde and green-eyed with a child in tow, emerges out of the trees and walks toward you. She asks you in your own language, CiTonga, where you get your water? You summon the courage to reach out and touch her fair skin, her hair, her daughter’s hair. A human connection has been made.

This scenario happens repeatedly in remote areas of Zambia and Sierra Leone. It is also beginning to happen in remote areas of Ethiopia.

This adventurous woman is Heather Cumming, the Project Director and Founder of Simwatachela Sustainable Agricultural and Arts Program, or “SSAAP.”

Heather began her life in Africa as a Peace Corps-Zambia volunteer, 2004-2006. Leaving Zambia in 2006, she vowed to herself--along with partners in the project, Marles Kanyawinyawi and Gibson Sinangombe—that her work in Africa was far from being finished.

In April 2008, the community headmen of 3 adjacent villages in Simwatachela granted her project 140 hectares of virgin land, specifically for the purpose of starting a sustainable agricultural program with potable water to feed both the people and their cattle. Her Zambian headquarters is located in the Southern Province of Africa.
Life expectancy in Zambia is 37 years. Food security is fragile, dependent upon rainfall and traditional hand-planted cultivation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic ravaged the country: 1 in every 4 people is HIV positive. Malnutrition is present in communities country-wide.

In 2007, Sierra Leone, the other African country where SSAAP works, was rated the most unlivable country in the world. The 11 year Civil War (1990-2001), followed by the Ebola Epidemic (2014-2015) devastated the country’s economy. Every 4th child dies here before reaching the age of 5. Life expectancy in Sierra Leone is 33 years.
Core Values

Diversity: Embracing the differences and similarities among all peoples of the world in regards to universal understanding, friendship, and respect.

Relevance: Nurturing the daily impact of how helping others less fortunate than ourselves impacts our lives, and the essence of how helping others ultimately leads to helping ourselves. Everyone benefits from philanthropy. 

Transformation: By donating a sheep or a goat to a village, sponsoring a child to go to school, or supporting an artist, one has helped to transform an individual’s life. By donating services, in cash or in kind, toward clean drinking water in a rural area, one has helped to transform an entire community of people’s lives. 

Sustainability: With sustainability, all efforts of SSAAP are effective to their fullest potential. By studying the culture, we have a better understanding of how to best serve the people.  Likewise, Africans gain knowledge about food storage, hygiene, health, maintenance of water resources and other topics, which help to ensure sustainability. 

Transparency and Accountability: Accuracy in documentation, clarity in reports, and honesty in interactions concerning finances are examples of accountability.Transparency is clarity in how money is spent so that funds are not squandered.   This is especially important in relation to SSAAP’s credibility with donors, with other sources of funding and with the IRS.

Heather C. Cumming, Founder and Executive Director of Simwatachela Sustainable Agricultural and Arts Program


SSAAP is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, ID #: 27-2033029.

All donations are tax-exempt through SSAAP.

Member of Bronze Level Guidestar Exchange

SSAAP is a proud GuideStar Bronze participant. SSAAP’s status on the GuideStar website was recently updated. Please feel free to learn more about SSAAP through GuideStar:

Other Ways to Donate


Next time you shop on Amazon, support SSAAP by starting your search with Amazon Smile.  A portion of the proceeds of Smile-eligible purchases will be donated to our organization.  Begin at


If you wish to donate to SSAAP, we welcome any contributions via either PayPal or Zelle.  However, please know that if you donate through PayPal, the company takes a portion of your donations for itself, while Zelle is a completely free money-moving service and 100% of your donation will be received by SSAAP.

Neither you nor SSAAP pays a fee.


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