The VIE Beach House Gift Provides Clean Water through The Sonder Project

July 22, 2021

When we live in a community abounding with beautiful beaches and gorgeous luxury homes, it is imperative to remind ourselves that this is not the reality for most of our world. At VIE, we feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to support important causes through partnerships with real-world heroes. As some of you may already know, our VIE Beach House Show Home, seen in our April 2021 Issue, was built to give back not only to our community but to others around the globe who need it the most. With the help of the home’s developers Jim and Suzy Accola, we partnered with The Sonder Project and Food For Thought Outreach to donate a portion of the proceeds from the home’s sale. The fruits of this partnership are even more significant than what we could’ve imagined.

The Sonder Project is a non-profit organization headquartered in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Its mission is to empower impoverished communities through high-impact, sustainable development in sub-Saharan African countries. The ability to make a difference in many lives in these regions is massive thanks to the low cost of providing basic needs. A portion of the proceeds from the show home went to this mission. Back in April, Sonder Project CEO Chad Zibelman expressed his plans to use the funds to drill a well in the community of Thomas, located in the central region of Malawi. It is our privilege to announce that the well has been built and stuck water! The results of the achievement will provide clean drinking water to over 300 people.

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Drill Rig in the Thomas Community

A year ago, the Sonder Project drilled a well in Thomas’ neighboring community of Chakondwa. Before this well, the people of Thomas had to walk half a mile back and forth to the well in Chakondwa to acquire drinking water. A mile is simply too far of a walk to carry large containers of water every day. This grueling walk caused the people of the Thomas community to rely on hand-dug holes, as seen in the photos below. The Sonder Project vowed to the people of Thomas they would be back to build a well for them, and thanks to the proceeds from the show home, this has happened. The people of Thomas no longer have to worry about walking far for clean water or the uncertainty of the cleanliness of water from their hand-dug holes.

The Sonder Project is still working with the community to complete the platform and install the manual pump. Once completed, the community will have access to clean drinking water and the empowerment of having their basic needs met. But that is not all, Zibelman notes, “We are currently in the process of drilling two additional wells in the areas around Thomas.” We cant wait to stay tuned to hear about the impact of these additional projects!

The Sonder Project, The Legacy Show Home, Benefits, Malawi, Africa, Clean Drinking Water, Wells, Thomas Community, Impact, Heart and Soul, Give Back
Thomas community reaction when the water was struck

The video in the link below shows the Thomas community members in a moment of celebration for this achievement and the life-changing water it will provide them. It is a beautiful story of how something that seems so simple to those of us in a developed country can change these people’s lives in places that are mostly undeveloped. We feel so fortunate that we can experience this lesson through our partnership with The Sonder Project and thank the people of the Thomas community for their unbound appreciation and The Sonder Project for their steadfast determination to make a difference.

Thomas community reaction to striking water

To learn more about The Sonder Project and its upcoming projects, or to make a donation, visit

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