Water Charity Spotlight: Water For People

by wfnblog on December 14, 2011

As another expression of our core commitment to Improve Water and the World, WaterFilters.NET is lifting up the work of major water charities. We will be featuring them in our blog and elsewhere. Here is one of ten non-profits to which we recently contributed.

Water For People is working toward a vision “to build a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and where no one suffers or dies from a water-related or sanitation-related disease.” In the early 1980s, a team including leaders from the American Water Works Association came together with this vision of clean water, adequate sanitation, and basic health services for all who need it around the world. Their vision caught the attention of other leaders in AWWA. They got organized to transform their vision into concrete action, emphasizing social responsibility throughout the water industry. AWWA members provided the unprecedented excellence of engineering consultants, manufacturing companies and water utilities from across North America.

Water For People works with partners to develop innovative and long-lasting solutions to the water, sanitation, and hygiene problems in the developing world. They focus on continual improvement: to experiment with promising new ideas and to leverage resources to increase their impact.

Water For People currently works in eleven countries around the world. They perform a special data collection and analysis survey of any new areas that they are considering. This process ensures that a comprehensive list of factors are considered before establishing work projects in a new country. The first factor is a clear need for improved water supply and/or sanitation. Other factors include: costs, community motivation, local government support, availability of a trustworthy partner (NGO), and a safe environment. To ensure the long-term sustainability of a system, Water For People requires a commitment from the community benefiting from the project. Water For People’s country coordinators carefully target specific, county-sized regions within these countries where work will be focused. The goal is to bring 100% coverage in water and sanitation within each region, and then replicate this model in new regions.

Water For People has four guiding principles, all of which address “one human need.”  1) They respect the dignity of all people. 2) They “keep it local” because experience has shown that water, sanitation, and hygiene problems are most effectively solved using local resources. 3) They seek out trusted partners who share their vision, working together to build long-term relationships. 4) They stress integrity and efficient use of resources, out of their commitment to the communities they serve, as well as to volunteers and donors.

Check out the charity’s website here.

Learn more about our Water Filters for Charity program here.

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