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Archive for : Charity water

6 Water Organizations Making a Splash (And a Difference)

When summer really heats up, one thing is on everyone’s mind: water. From swimming in pools or the ocean, to sweating (lots), and drinking tons of extra H20, there is no other season where water’s importance feels so obvious.

For those of us who think of water as something that comes cleanly and safely out of the tap, it can be all too easy to take it for granted. Unfortunately today, 1 out 10 people in the world live without access to sanitary drinking water. But there are lots of organizations out there working to change that! Like these great non-profits below. Each of them understands the primal and primary importance water plays in all of our lives, and work to ensure that all people have access to it. Find out more and support their great work!

Charity: Water One of the best known water orgs, the good folks at Charity: Water work to bring clean drinking water to people in developing nations. So far, it has funded more than 6,000 projects in 20 countries worldwide. In 1990, an organization called WaterPartners International began its efforts to bring sanitary, safe water to communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America. In 2009, they merged with H20 Africa (founded by Matt Damon), and continue to work with local partners to make the biggest impact possible.

Miya Water: Founded by Shari Aronson, an Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist, Miya helps ensure the “abundance of fresh water through efficient management of our cities’ existing fresh water resources.” They partner with utility companies to design technological solutions to help up water efficiency.

WaterAid America: This internationally-focused non profit works to improve access to safe water, hygiene, and toilets in the world’s poorest communities. Their current #girlstrong campaign is helping to unlock the potential of 5,000 girls to make a difference.

Water is Life: This organization focuses on providing both clean drinking water and hygiene education programs to schools and villages in need. They also created the Water is Life straw, an ingeniously small and portable drinking straw with a built in filtration system that renders any water it is immersed in clean.

Water Without Borders: This organization was “created from the understanding that lack of safe drinking water is the leading cause of disease, civil strife, hunger, and birth defects in the world.” To date, they have worked with communities in South Dakota, Africa, Haiti, and Honduras to enable the creation of sustainable sources of safe drinking water.

Do you know of another great water organization? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Quench Your Thirst for Service on World Water Day

Americans’ relationship to water is fairly simple. We turn on a faucet, or head to the grocery store, and find clean, cool, drinkable water at our fingertips. But while water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, less than 1 percent of that is freshwater. And of that available drinking water, much of it is contaminated with pollutants, agricultural runoff and bacteria, especially in developing countries. So for millions of people across the world, access to water is anything but straightforward. In fact, 900 million people do not have access to fresh water on a daily basis.

The world’s ongoing water dilemma was the inspiration behind World Water Day – an annual day hosted by the UN, and meant to focus attention on the importance of freshwater, and advocate for its protection and equal distribution amongst the world’s 7 billion people.

This year’s focus is, interestingly, food. As it turns out, everything we eat from hamburgers to cereal takes water to produce – and lots of it. And severe droughts, which seem to have become increasingly common in recent years, are the most common cause of severe food shortages in developing nations. (Remember: no water, no plants, no food.)
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Repair Interview: Sarah Cohen of charity: water

Water: it cleans, nourishes and sustains us. But only if we have access. Today, nearly 1 billion (yes, seriously 1 BILLION) of our world’s residents live without access to clean drinking water, particularly those in developing countries throughout Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.

That statistic, and others like it, convinced Sarah Cohen to leave her life in the glamorous world of fashion PR, and to bring her talents to charity: water – a nonprofit working to bring safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Sarah took a few minutes to tell us about why she’s so passionate about charity: water’s work, how water shortages are connected to countless other issues, and how you can make a difference.

Have you always been passionate about human rights work?
My parents were both very socially active. When I was growing up in Delaware my mom was always involved in the local human rights movement. She’d put up posters in our house windows about promoting issues. My dad is the same way. He’s on tons of different boards and was connected to the synagogue, so I was brought up in that environment.

My career path didn’t reflect that immediately, though. I went to college at NYU and studied communications and fashion. After college I worked in public relations for fashion brands. I really fell in love with the work and got hooked on the glamor of it all.

How did you end up working for charity: water?
After about 6 1/2 years I decided to make a huge shift. I caught the travel bug when I was 13 and used my Bat Mitzvah money to go to Australia as a student ambassador, and since then I’ve always loved travel. When I left my job, I ended up traveling for an extended period. I went to South East Asia, Northern Africa, southern India, and Europe. It was a once-in-a-lifetime dream.

In the meantime, I had been connected with charity: water because my PR agency did pro-bono marketing and communications work for them. Every time we met with the founder, Scott Harrison, he’d share a story about a new campaign or the latest trip and it was so inspiring. It hit me that instead of pitching magazines about makeup or fall fashion trends, I wanted to use my skills in PR and communications to share how important the water crisis is.
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