2018 Goals for IAGI's Give Back Program

Good Day to all Members of IAGI and Geosynthetic professionals:  

As the Director of the IAGI Give Back Program I am coming to you this Holiday Season to ask that you get involved in the program we started in the fall of 2015. We have received some well needed donations from a small group of IAGI members who chose to participate in the IAGI Give Back Program.   We are now asking the IAGI membership and the geosynthetic industry as a whole to find it in your hearts and pocketbooks to make a donation to the effort we are already in full swing on. The next project is to build KEGO a fully functioning aquaponics system. More information on the aquaponics system can be found at the end of this letter.

We have also raised over $60,000.00 from private donors over the past 2 years. We can help provide you a direct path to help the world’s needy children with a sustainable option for creating and owning their own future through education and hard work.

Here are some of the goals we have set for the KEGO Orphanage in 2018 and we fully expect to make this happen with your support and assistance.   This will take all of us to make it happen.

Build out our Aquaponics training center and begin production of tilapia and fresh vegetables to train the children on the system. The educational value items are noted below:

  • Construction – How to build a functioning aquaponics system from the ground up.
  • Measuring basics – elevations and proper foundations – water flows.
  • Water biology and fish rearing the inter-related systems of nature.
  • Photosynthesis and vegetable production – Watch the magic and learn.
  • Economics of the system as it relates to their existing economy.   How do we find market pricing for boutique lettuce and tomatoes grown in our system (sell higher quality produce to Hotels and markets), understand the local market pricing and variances in the local Lake Victoria economy?

We have partnered with Colorado Aquaponics and will be working hand in hand to develop the Bill of Materials and will work on establishing the best plan forward for getting the hoop building built (to protect and house the aquaponics systems) and installing a fully operational aquaponics training and production facility with controlled entry and health and safety measures included.  

We have the well and tank in place and now need to get the funds together for the build out phase of the system.  Sustainability in the long term is the key condition of making this work. We need 100% buy in from the administrators and children that we are committed to building a system that can be managed by KEGO to function as a small business and utilize the local supply chain economics of hotels and markets to fund the costs associated with fish feed and power.  These are the two drivers that will need to be investigated, documented and understood to make this work long term.

We are asking all IAGI Members and all Companies involved in geosynthetics to find a place in your heart for KEGO.   By helping Rippling Waters with this keystone project we can help these beautiful children find their own path to sustainable living. The outline of the program is to make this a system that can be built anywhere in the world using local materials as much as possible while creating an opportunity for the children to learn from the ground up how to sustain themselves and their families. 

We would ask that you donate a percentage of your profits from the strong year in geosynthetics in 2017 to the Rippling Waters Charity at and be a part of the 2018 push to continue the work we have already started and watch the children build their own future. We have a PayPal account for your credit cards and can take checks at the address listed. If you need more information please contact John Heap at [email protected].

Current completed works in the first 2 years of the IAGI GIVE BACK PROGRAM AT KEGO:

  • Established a budget of $3,000.00 US per month for food, salaries and support at KEGO
  • Re-built the cafeteria with new sheet metal and poured concrete on floor
  • Purchased, cleared and fenced a 2 acre property for the Aquaponics
  • Received a $30,000.00 donation from the Wayside Nazarene Church to drill the well
  • Received donations to fund the tanks and piping systems for storing and delivering water
  • Developed a longer term vision working with the Local Board of Directors and Local Chiefs to align behind the aquaponics program and sustainable economic development.

Thank you for taking the time to review this and we truly appreciate your support of sustainable education and economics for the children who need it most. Remembers, even the smallest donation will create a ripple that can change the world!

All the best,

John and Suzi Heap

[email protected]

+1 (303) 841-2022


Children of KEGO Orphanage – Gathering to check out the future home of the well, tanks and aquaponics facility.  Secured and fenced 2 acre plot of land ¼ mile from the school.


Aquaponics Overview:

What is Aquaponics:  Aquaponics is a relatively simple system designed to grow fish in tanks and utilize the fertilized water to create a nutrient rich water supply for plants grown in trays and media beds.  The concept was first used by the Aztecs to grow vegetable in rafts in lakes utilizing the water as the growing medium.    Aquaponics is gaining traction around the world as a safe and easy way to supply pesticide free organic greens and clean fish while using a fraction of the water a normal soil growth and separate aqua-culture system would use.

The plan at KEGO is to train the children how to raise their own protein and greens while using the system as a real-world lab for science, biology and physics. When we get this system in place at KEGO and prove the concept we will then branch out to assist other orphanages and communities with the development of a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of feeding themselves. Through your donations and support we fully expect to make this a reality for KEGO in 2018.