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Joseph J. Prischak, founder of The Plastek Group, has always believed in giving back to the community in which he works. He has served on the boards of many colleges, universities, hospitals and churches, was influential in developing the Plastics Technology program at Penn State Behrend, and has supported many other institutions.

But Prischak’s belief in sharing the blessings of his success with others is not confined to the Erie area. In 2007 he formed a charitable organization called Africa 6000 International. The name was derived from the approximately 6,000 African children who die every day from water-borne disease because they don’t have clean water to drink and bathe in. The mission of Africa 6000 is to provide safe, clean water to great-to-desperate need regions throughout the third-world continent of Africa.

“I will always remember my sixth and most recent trip to Africa in December of 2006,” says Prischak. “I literally cried ­seeing all of the children foraging food from garbage cans and drinking dirty water from contaminated ditches. I didn’t see how this could still be happening in the twenty-first century. I knew I had to do something to help those children.”

In May of 2007 Africa 6000 International was born and began the task of providing fresh, clean water well projects to desperately thirsty communities and villages throughout Africa.

Since beginning in 2007, Africa 6000 has raised and distributed more than $1,500,000 towards water well drilling and distribution, drilled more than 50 new wells and helped bring clean water to more than one million people. As part of its legacy, Africa 6000 also helped build five large community water projects in the Somali refugee camp areas of Kenya, where tens of thousands of displaced women and children have been able to flee to escape war and drought.

The Africa 6000 International water well projects ease the burden of villagers who must walk long distances every day to find water. Most importantly, it provides safe, clean drinking water so that more children have a chance at survival.

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