Grants Pass man plans to build schools in Africa

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– In 2012, Grants Pass resident Levi Whitney made his first trip to Uganda in central Africa as part of a church service group.

“I went on a mission trip with my church. They were going to do a two week trip, and I just felt like I needed to do three months,” said Whitney.

There, Whitney met his wife Rovence.

“As soon as I saw her I knew I needed to stay away from her because she was going to be a distraction, and I guess I got distracted.”

In 2017, the two helped install a well for the village of Nabizzi, where Rovence was born and raised.

This brought the people of Nabizzi quick access to fresh water for the first time.

At first, the project was all about getting clean water for the villagers.

But Whitney’s focus soon expanded.

“We dug a well, and in the process I got to meet the mayor of the village and different government officials. And they said the biggest issue is there’s no school.”

Whitney had hoped to also build a health clinic.

They purchased 2 acres of land, created renditions for their plan. But covid-19 changed things in ways he never expected.

“Its just been a struggle trying to get anything from there,” he said.

Whitney owns a carpentry business, and keeping it alive is taking all his time.

He hopes to return soon to central Africa to finish what he started, as soon as he can.

“You need to be there. Like when we dug the well, it would take 6 months if the locals were left to it. And we did it in 2 weeks.”

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