Water Charity Spotlight: WaterAid

by wfnblog on December 9, 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.

WaterAid states that their mission is to transform lives “by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities.” The statistics bear witness to that mission. Since 1981, they have reached almost 16 million people with safe water. Since 2004, they have reached over 11 million people with sanitation. In the past two years alone, they have provided 1.45 million people with safe water and 1.62 million people with sanitation. Their work, however, does not end with those numbers. WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

Together with local organizations, WaterAid uses practical, sustainable solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the poorest people in developing countries. It is this integrated combination of water, sanitation and hygiene education that provides maximum health benefits to individuals and communities. WaterAid works with individuals and their families—giving special attention to the most vulnerable people—to help them set up, operate and maintain their own projects. In addition to involving local community organizations in every stage of development, WaterAid also works with government departments and some private contractors. WaterAid uses its research, experience and good practice to influence decision-makers on water and sanitation issues. They emphasize low-cost technologies suited to local conditions, and diligently seek to minimize water depletion and contamination.

Access to clean water and sanitation close to people’s homes reduces the amount of time people spend fetching water and cuts disease. For example, women spend less time walking to water sources and caring for sick children. The extra time and energy people have available translates into substantial improvements in education and livelihoods, making water and sanitation key factors in overcoming poverty.

The work of WaterAid is shaped by core values.  WaterAid strives to be inclusive in all they do, listening to the voices and attentive to the needs of economically marginalized people who often miss out, such as women, girls, ethnic minorities, those living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly and disabled. WaterAid aims to be inspiring, as a passionate champion of safe water, hygiene and sanitation. They desire to be courageous, setting ambitious goals, raising questions that challenge, and offering responses with humble conviction. Like WaterFilters.NET, WaterAid believes in continuous improvement; learning is central to their work. They continually review, refine and adapt methodology to ensure that their efforts are sustainable, innovative, relevant and effective.  Consequently, they place a high value on being accountable—and as such, responsive and transparent to those they serve and those who support their work.

Finally, WaterAid is collaborative.  They are convinced by their many years of experience that the water and sanitation crisis will only be solved by cooperative action. Thus, they are engaged with other organizations, communities, staff and supporters. It is this collaborative work that underpins the organization’s success.

Check out the charity’s website here.

Learn more about our Water Filters for Charity program here.

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