Charity Tuesday: Waves 4 Water

Waves 4 Water surfing water charity logoWaves 4 Water was founded in 2009 by pro surfer, Jon Rose. On his way to Bali to deliver 10 water filters for what would have been the charity’s first mission, he felt a shake. When he came to shore, he realized that a 7.6 magnitude earthquake had hit the city of Sumatra, and he made his way through the crumbled buildings to get water filters into the hands of rescue workers to help the country’s wounded victims. It was this experience that solidified the need for Waves 4 Water, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to impoverished people around the world.

Waves 4 Water teamed up with Hurley International to develop a program called Clean Water Couriers. The concept is both simple and innovative: surfers, in search of waves in third-world countries carry filters with them in their luggage and either connect with local nonprofits in the area or travel to villages to personally set them up. There are two types of filtration systems – a $50 community filter, which will filter up to 200 gallons of water a day for an entire village, and a $25 family use filter system that filters 14 gallons per day. Materials include a plastic bucket (which may be found locally), a ceramic filter, a spigot, and a knife to cut a hole in the bucket.  The ceramic filters will remove a variety of contaminants including bacteria, viruses, cysts and microorganisms that cause waterborne illness.

Anyone can get involved, either by making a direct donation through the Waves 4 Water website, or by buying water filters and traveling with them through the Clean Water Couriers program. Though the program was conceived in the surf community, the opportunity to get involved, by donating or by traveling, is open to all.

Help us spread the word, this #charitytuesday, about Waves 4 Water, by retweeting and/or sharing this post!

Charity Tuesday: Water for People

Water for People logoThis #charitytuesday, we are calling attention to the work of Water for People, a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative, sustainable clean water solutions in 11 different countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Water for People is not just another water charity. The core value that makes this organization unique is sustainability – a drive to create solutions that last.

One of their most innovative solutions lies in a partnership with PlayPumps International and the Case Foundation. PlayPumps are small merry-go-rounds that pump water from underground into a water tank as children spin around on them. The water can then be drawn from a tap directly on the tank.

Water for People also works through local partnerships with government and private organizations, calling on communities to finance their own clean water efforts, and training them to build their own clean water and sanitation systems, so that the projects last beyond those that are normally funded by a one-time monetary grant. This is part of what makes their solutions  sustainable. What’s more, they recently launched an online platform called FLOW (Field Level Operations Watch) that uses mobile phones and GPS to monitor how well water systems in the developing world are functioning. This monitoring system ensures that broken pumps and wells in need of repair are not left untouched – once again ensuring that the projects last well beyond the first drop of clean water that’s produced.

Individuals and organizations can get involved with Water for People by spreading the word through online media, sponsoring fundraising events, shopping the online store or making a donation online.

Charity Tuesday: Water Missions International

Water Missions International Bangladesh girl drinking waterWater Missions International was founded by George and Molly Greene, formerly owners of an environmental engineering company when Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras in 1998. Heartbroken by the devastation, they felt the need to assist in some way. After receiving a request for six water treatment systems, and frustrated in their search to find existing systems that would work, they decided to build their own. Upon arrival in the first village receiving assistance, they were greeted by the “River of Death” – a filthy, disease-laden river, the color of chocolate milk. George and Molly treated the river water, using their newly-engineered system, and placed their lips to it to drink, in order to show the villagers that it was safe. Out of this moment came Water Missions International. George and Molly responded to an inner calling, sold their engineering company, and have never looked back. To date, WMI has distributed mini-water treatment systems, which use a combination of chemical disinfection and filtration, to communities in nine different countries. Every mission involves both the spread of clean water, and the spread of the “living water” message of Christianity.

We are drawing attention to WMI this #charitytuesday, because they were recently in the news for attempting to bring relief, in the form of clean water, to Japan earthquake victims. Unfortunately, the country’s permitting process has forced them to put their efforts on standby at this time – which is both heartbreaking and ironic, considering all of the bottled water that’s been distributed since the devastation – but we are hoping that it won’t be for long. Their efforts elsewhere are still going, full force, and in the meantime, you can donate to Water Missions International directly, through their website.