Nermine is passionate about creating a permanent solution to the water crisis in Africa. It was her 21-year-old daughter Samantha who opened her eyes in the summer of 2014 when she volunteered at Upendo Orphanagein Moshi, Tanzania. The extended stay showed how even 'city dwellers' in African third world countries often do 'without' and lack basic needs most of us take for granted.
Recently in 2017 on her fourth visit to Tanzania and visiting the families of the Uhuru Watoto students she sponsors in the Archdiocese of Dodoma Region of Tanzania,, Nermine saw firsthand the dire, desperate conditions, and especially the lack of water in remote areas of Africa. She was determined to find a long-term and sustainable solution to quench their thirst, while also provide a means for the villagers to gain financial independence.
Walking in Central Park in NYC in the fall of 2016, she met author Seth Siegel, a friend of Arthur Rubin, her step-son. In early 2017, she received a gift at the Florida Holocaust Museum Gala; the New York Times Best Seller book book “Let There Be Water:Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World”by Seth Siegel. After returning with Samantha from Africa later that year, Nermine was inspired to read the book describing Israel’s advanced and innovative water technologies including Drip Irrigation, a method used for optimal agriculture outcomes.
Further reading led to the discovery of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) innovation: Africa (iA)founded by Sivan Ya’ari in Tel Aviv, Israel. iA implements Israel’s advanced solar energy and water technology in third-world countries in Africa. In the past ten years, iA has brought Israeli solar, agricultural and water technologies to over 170 projects in 8 African nations and each project is tracked in real time, thanks to iA’s remote monitoring technology. Moreover, iA’s proven solution is a means for the villagers to gain financial independence and self-sufficiency by growing their food sources and selling the surplus at market.
Devoting many hours, weeks and months to prayerful discernment while investing time for research, Nermine created Water4Mercyin the Spring of 2018. Nermine and Sivan met and discussed the mutual benefits of a collaborative partnership, each sharing the same vision: "Tikkun Olam," meaning "Repair the World” in Hebrew.
A devout Catholic, Nermine felt compelled to continue driving her nine-year-old car a few more years, rather than spend the saved $50,000 earmarked for her new vehicle.
Instead, she's choosing to fund a water well, that is being installed in a village in Dodoma, Tanzania. Her parents and her parish (St. Michael The Archangel Church, Clearwater, FL) added $11,000 to the project.
Nermine also asked Bishop Gregory Parkes and the Diocese of St. Petersburg to help. A meeting was arranged in April 2018, when Archbishop Beatus Kinyaiya of the Archdiocese of Dodoma, Tanzania was visiting the United States. Bishop Parkes is supportive and is committing funds which will be sent to the Archdiocese of Dodoma, explicitly earmarked for Water4mercy projects. Nermine hopes that Water4mercy will expand and lead to a collaboration of like-minded organizations working together and sharing resources to better our world.
Originally from Africa and born in Port Said, Egypt, Nermine is the youngest of five children. She graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida earning two Master Degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Healthcare Science (MHS) in 1986. She lives in Clearwater, Florida with her Jewish husband, Les Rubin. Together they have two children - Samantha and Nathan (20 yrs) - both students at the University of Florida. Three stepchildren (Les’ children from a previous marriage) Arthur, Eric, and Tracie Mears Rubin reside in New York, Washington DC and Colorado, respectively with their families.
Water 4 Mercy is a 501(c)(3) and relies on your generous gifts to continue reaching people who are dying of thirst and hunger in Africa.
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