Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Nick Jordan of Wells of Life Is Helping To Change Our World

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Although the work we do is indeed difficult the results created are inspiring, immediate, and long-lasting. I have a picture hanging in my office of a little girl’s hands joined in prayer with the obvious title of A Child’s Prayer. This child represents the millions who live daily without access to clean water. Answering a child’s prayer becomes the daily heartbeat at Wells of Life and one that inspires all of us to continue with this work.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Jordan.

Nick Jordan was born and raised on a farm with his family in County Wexford, Ireland. Upon attending high school at FCJ Order of Nuns in Bunclody, he received his diploma and went on to study English and Education at the University College of Dublin. Later, Nick went on to become a fourth-grade teacher for four years where he developed a passion for shaping young minds and creating positive impact. In 1986, he left home and immigrated to the United States. Nick wanted to pursue the American dream of owning his own business while serving the needs of the public.

For the next decade, he worked tirelessly to become a real estate broker and build his own company. While doing so, Nick was able to raise funding to build four schools in East Africa. In his visit to three African countries, though, he quickly realized the devastation due to the lack of clean running water. By 2008, Nick Jordan established the nonprofit organization called Wells of Life: dedicated to providing rural Ugandans access to safe, clean water through the installation or restoration of sustainable borehole water wells. He also instituted WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) educational programs in order to teach each village about the power of sustainability and sanitation.

After installing a well in the Mityana district of Uganda, a little girl, younger than 9, approached Nick and thanked him personally for the water with happiness and an overwhelming sense of gratitude. This experience is what influenced Nick to set a goal to fund and help over 1 million people and build 1000 wells. Today, in 2021, Nick and his organization are working to do just that. Wells of Life has joined forces with a team in both Ireland and Uganda to drill and restore over 700 wells in East Africa. It is with courage, tenacity, and a close relationship with God that Nick has continued to follow the path to serve others. Today, the global water crisis affects785million people who lack basic access to clean and safe water. Nick is a firm believer that every drop matters and every second counts. And with one donation from each school, church, and business, we can work to end this crisis as we know it.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path and point in your life?

I arrived in the United States in 1986 as an Irish immigrant looking to find opportunity. I entered the field of real estate and over two decades founded and ran my own company in Laguna Beach called Jordan Property Group. From 2005–2008 my company was able to host an annual fundraiser that raised money for schools in rural Uganda. In 2008 I traveled to Uganda to visit the schools and lay the foundation stone for the fourth school. My 3-week stay in Uganda changed my life and moved me in the direction of finding a solution to the chronic lack of water across rural Uganda. To my horror, I discovered that a child dies every 21 seconds from having to drink contaminated water and 50% of hospital beds in Africa are filled with patients suffering from diseases related to drinking contaminated water. After returning to Laguna Beach, I founded Wells of Life with a commitment to bring water to 1 million people. I could not stand by and do nothing after what I had witnessed.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

One of our top donors found a flyer with information about Wells of Life and placed it into his Bible where it stayed for two years. He then made an anonymous donation for the next two years. He finally contacted Wells of Life and disclosed that his name was Dan Carney, one of the co-founders of the Pizza Hut empire, and was interested in supporting Wells of Life. Dan Carney has placed his 60 years of business knowledge at the disposal of Wells of Life, is one of our top donors, and allows us to use his name to encourage other donors to give. For me, this is a story of patience, and I believe that what we do everyday matters, and some of the seeds we sow take longer than others to bear fruit.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of the funniest mistakes came because Siri does not fully understand an Irish accent when I give her clear direction. I sent a very inspiring communication to some of our major donors requesting that they make a year-end donation to support Wells of Life. Unfortunately, Siri managed to request that they make the gift of their urine (year-end) instead of a donation to Wells Of Life. I have a simple agreement with Siri these days that I check everything she thinks I said before it’s distributed.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

The greatest social issue threatening the life of 1 billion people today is the lack of access to clean drinking water. A very common social issue in the United States today is finding meaning and purpose and a cure to isolation and often mental health issues. The American family (the building block of our country) has never been more divided. Through our annual Run 4 Water, we invite families, schools, businesses, and churches to stand for a world where it is “socially unacceptable” not to provide water to all people. Wells of Life is empowering younger generations to find purpose and meaning in solving the greatest issue facing so many and finding purpose, meaning and gratitude in serving those who need water. We see the social benefits of uniting a divided world under one banner which is “to provide water to all” is a very empowering initiative. In my opinion it turns one of the greatest challenges facing the world into one of the most impactful opportunities.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

In his own words, Thomas was skeptical and made it very clear that he had been worked over one too many times by a well-meaning fundraiser. While committing to funding a well, his offer was delivered with the wag of a finger that said: “if [he] traveled to inspect [his] well and it was not where it was supposed to be then [he] would return to the United States and see to it that I spend some time in prison and shut down Wells of Life.”

This same man returned from Uganda a changed man. He retired from his 50-person law firm and took the position of chairman of the board of Wells of Life. He is our longest serving board president, one of our biggest donors, and a most tireless advocate for the work of Wells of Life. His story has won over many a skeptic and helped generate millions of dollars of giving.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Until it becomes socially unacceptable to live in a world where people (through no fault of their own) are denied the most basic human right of water then we can never rest.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think this might help people?

We are working on three major initiatives that all have far reaching ability. We are working alongside one of the largest influencers in the world today, Mr. Beast. Together with Beast Philanthropy, we have already begun drilling and delivering a well highlighting the immediate effect of providing just won well to a community.

We are in the development stage of creating a Wells of Life campus just outside Kampala in Uganda. This 15,000 sq. foot campus will provide a conference center where the major humanitarian organisms from across the world can focus their attention on solving the water crisis with a scalable plan. Wells of Life is close to completing a scalable model that can work across the continent of Africa.

This campus will also provide training opportunities for us to share our best practices knowledge with students from Uganda. Finally, it will allow us to create an accommodation facility that will encourage many people from the United States to go on month-long trips and share their knowledge and skills with our students.

We are working on delivering a scalable model that will become the handbook of how water access, hygiene, and sanitation are delivered with sustainable results across rural African countries.

What you are doing is not easy. What inspires you to keep moving forward?

Although the work we do is indeed difficult the results created are inspiring, immediate, and long-lasting. I have a picture hanging in my office of a little girl’s hands joined in prayer with the obvious title of A Child’s Prayer. This child represents the millions who live daily without access to clean water. Answering a child’s prayer becomes the daily heartbeat at Wells of Life and one that inspires all of us to continue with this work.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

I think most of these five revolve around how challenging it is to begin a new nonprofit and how long it would take to develop some traction. I might need to turn the question a different way and say some things that I’m fortunate weren’t told to me that might have deterred us from building what has become a global organization. I’m glad that nobody told us to stop asking after receiving four ‘no’s. I’m glad that nobody told us that this goal was too big and couldn’t be reached, or that I needed to start with an army at my side instead of just with a passion in my heart. On the positive, I do wish I would have heard even more success stories, especially through the failures and trials in the beginning.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Let me stay first that we have always considered the work we do at Wells of Life to be building a movement for change. There are so many examples of an item or an issue becoming socially unacceptable to a point where looking back we could never imagine how it happened in the first place — when I moved to America from Ireland you could smoke on an airplane. The movement we all work toward creating at Wells of Life is one where we’d be enjoying our families, schools, churches, and businesses under the common belief that no child should die for lack of clean water. We believe that with this movement and move towards action to provide water access to 1 billion people the world could be changed in as little as one decade.

My job as the founder and CEO of Wells of Life is to offer convincing evidence that this will eventually happen. Therefore, this is our reason for building a scalable model to show the value of providing one Water well to a community.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lesson quote is: “When you find what you were born to do you live a life of meaning and purpose.” This quote has always been relevant in my life and pursuing it allowed me to find that one thing I believe I was born to do. I found out a very long time ago that I enjoy communicating and inspiring those around me. I also learned that I could cast a very big vision yet break it down to a simple series of steps to get there. Wells Of Life began with just one well and we have now exceeded the early goal of delivering 1000 wells, bringing water, hope, and a new opportunity to 1 million people.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I believe Bono has done more to open our eyes to the needs on the continent of Africa than anyone else. He has already demonstrated his unwillingness to give up until the goal is achieved in the United States forgiving $100 billion worth of African debt. He also single-handedly became the conscience of many in making sure that antiviral drugs were funded and provided across the continent most in need which was Africa. The reason why I would like to have breakfast or lunch (or a couple of pints of Guinness) would be that I believe we will craft a single vision that with laser precision would inspire hundreds of millions of people to solve the world water crisis in one decade. I believe the world is patiently waiting for the mechanics of the Movement for social change that brings water

and life to every person on earth.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

We can be contacted using our website which is, or on our Instagram @thewellsoflife.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Nick Jordan of Wells of Life Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.