In 1999, Ryan Hreljac (hurl-jack) and Jimmy Akana became pen pals1（笔友）. They lived on two continents, thousands of miles apart. Their lives could not have been more different. Ryan lived with his family in Kemptville, Canada, while Jimmy, an orphan2, lived in Agweo, Uganda. Jimmy's life was in constant danger because rebel（反叛者） troops would raid（袭击，突然搜捕） his village. Fate, and Ryan's determination to help others, brought the pals together.
When Ryan was 6, he learned that millions of people in Africa did not have access to clean water. He decided3 to change that. To raise money, Ryan did chores（家务，琐事） for four months. He earned $70, but that was not enough to build even one well. "I realized that I couldn't raise $ 2,000 by doing chores," he told TFK. "So I started doing public speaking." To date, the Ryan's Well Foundation has built 238 wells in 11 countries. "We've helped almost 400,000 people and raised $ 1.5 million," Ryan says.
The foundation's first well was built in Agweo, where Jimmy lived. For the first time in his life, Jimmy was able to get clean drinking water without having to walk for miles. The boys met in 2000, when Ryan traveled to Uganda. "We had a connection from the beginning," says Jimmy of that meeting.
Four years ago, the Hreljac family adopted（收养） Jimmy and brought him to live in their home. Ryan, 15, and Jimmy, 17, speak to communities and schools all over the world about the importance of having clean drinking water. They tell the story of the well that brought them together in Ryan and Jimmy, a new book written by Herb Shoveller.
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