I found this today on Reuters:
The first lady announced the first commitment - US$10 million from the US government to kick-start a US$60 million public/private project to build children's merry-go-rounds in Africa, which pump clean drinking water into a storage tank.
Is it just me, or doesn't it seem wrong to support a program that uses children to pump drinking water?
I remember how much fun I had on merry-go-rounds as a kid. Because there was little friction, we really got them spinning. But attaching a pump will add friction and the effort required to get the device spinning will make it a chore rather than a fun activity. If it becomes a chore, rather than a choice, then it's definately wrong.
It would be much wiser to use the available funds for solar photovoltaic systems. Such dedicated water-pumping systems are already in use in many parts of the world. Why anyone would want to use kids instead is beyond me.