In honor of National Water Quality Month, we wanted to share some of our favorite non-profits dedicated to clean water. We tried to pick a wide variety that featured different solutions and techniques. Also, these are in no particular order.
If you’ve ever donated to a charity, you probably had an idea on what cause or project you wanted that money to contribute to exactly. The problem with many good causes around the country is not being transparent enough. It’s important for all non-profits and social enterprises to clearly show how money is being used and the results of said donations. This encourages more people to support the cause when they can see exactly how they helped.
You won’t run into this problem with Splash. They take plenty of notes and pictures as well as update the current status and results of every project it partakes in. They launched a platform four years ago called, Proving It, where you can see an interactive map of all of the places they have brought clean water to. Looking at the map, you can see that the organization’s main focus is China. After clicking on a location you can see pictures of the children drinking water as well as all of the specifics of the project at that location.
Its ultimate goal is to ensure that every orphanage in China is supplied with clean drinking water, and it believes it can reach that goal by 2016. They build relationships with local organizations, governments, and businesses so that they have people on the ground who can maintain water purifiers and toilets. Their model revolves around water, hygiene, and sanitation.
4. Charity: Water
Charity: Water is one of the more well known clean water initiatives in the world. This is most likely due to its involvement on social media. It helps raise money and awareness by challenging people to come up with fun ideas to raise money in the name of clean water. Some of the examples I’ve seen area man asking for donations and offering the highest donor full-range on how he should shave his beard and a couple asked for donations for Charity: Water instead of wedding gifts. Its biggest campaign is the birthday project where people ask for donations instead of gifts on their birthday.
Charity: Water says that the Jerry cans (plastic containers originally used for fuel but are adapted to carry water) are a sign of the water crisis. But the bright yellow ones they use in over 20 countries are a symbol of hope. The organization greatly customizes each project so that each community gets what works for it. Some communities require drilled wells, hand-dug wells, gravity fed systems, or rainwater catchments. Just like Splash, they’re very open about what they do with their donations and promise that 100% of public donations are used to fund clean water projects.
Three Avocados is an interesting company. The name is inspired by the founders’ story the first time they visited a poor village in Uganda on a mission trip. They were sitting with the villagers during worship when the offering basket was passed around. Since the pastors do not receive pay, the only way they eat is from whatever is put into the offering basket. They witnessed a widow put all she had into the basket, which was three avocados. From that day on they were inspired to act with the same selflessness as that woman.
They work mostly in Uganda. They help fund these clean water projects through donations and money raised by selling ethically-sourced coffee from Mt. Elgon in Uganda. 100% of their net proceeds provide clean drinking water and education in Uganda. Their latest project is a partnership with Compassion International focused on bringing filtration units into homes all over Uganda.
Water is Life has had a hand in creating some really cool innovations. Examples of these innovations are filter straws, ceramic bucket filters, a solar powered water treatment system, and the “Drinkable Book.” The Drinkable Book is handed out at many of the villages they work in and contains helpful tips about safe water. Not only does it educate, but each page acts like a coffee filter and can provide clean water to one person for up to four years.
What’s nice about Water is Life is that when you go to donate they lay out how much everything costs from the innovations listed above, to hand-washing stations, you can choose what exactly you want your money to go towards.
Last but not least, Water 4 Kids is a division of Hope 4 Kids International. The organization works directly with villages and helps to come up with the best solution for them. Many of the projects consists of drilling wells so that the villagers don’t have to travel long distances to obtain their water. They raise money for these projects by holding Walks 4 Water, encouraging kids to run lemonade stands for the cause, and other fun challenges.
It just so happens that the 2015 Walk 4 Water – Indiana is this Saturday, the 22nd. All proceeds are going towards the building of a well in Wakiwungu, Uganda. The villages current water source is an open pond shared with animals 4km away. If you’re in the Central Indiana area we would love to see you out there! We’ll be there too!
Not only do all of these organizations bring clean water and sanitation to poor villages, they change lives. Clean, easily accessible water means villagers spend less time traveling to find water. A lot of the time, the kids have to retrieve the water, so if they no longer have to travel they can go to school more. A better education means a more sustainable village, and a more sustainable village means everyone lives a better life.