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Water Charity is proud to have completed projects in 70 nations and has recently finished our 3,000th project! Here you can find a selection of our featured programs, noteworthy projects, disaster relief efforts and the like. If you would like to find specific projects, we encourage you to use our "Find-A-Project" page where you can sort through our work a number of ways. To see every project, article and conclusion page we have, go to our "Announcements" section.
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Michael Buckler.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The well was an unmitigated success, and Water Charity is happy to report that our collaboration with Michael's Village X NGO went extremely smoothly.
Using funds from Water Charity and Friends of Village X, Eazy Borehole Drillers drilled a borehole at Mlenga Village, Malawi, starting on Monday, February 2, 2015, and finishing on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The borehole was drilled to a depth of 48 meters, a static water level of 3 meters, and a dynamic water level 25 meters.
The water was tested and declared clean for drinking purposes. Eazy Borehole installed a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, a cement spillway to direct water into a nearby vegetable garden.
On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, after letting the cement around the borehole dry and harden, the community and Village X Country Representative, Myson Jambo, gathered to open the well. The well is in use by the community (see pictures below). After the rainy season, the community will use its own funds to protect the borehole by building a grass fence around the area and constructing a small building around the borehole itself. The borehole has a one-year guarantee against equipment malfunctions and other failures to harness clean water from the underlying acquirer.
Simple story, big impact. We asked, you gave, and now Mlenga Village in Malawi is on the verge of drinking clean water. It begs the question: why isn't all philanthropy this simple?
We couldn't agree more.
The results are in! Mlenga Village is markedly healthier. Lambulira Health Clinic reports that waterborne illness in Mlenga dropped from 84 cases in February to 47 cases in March, a 45% reduction. One month of clean water and an immediate, sizable reduction! We'll continue tracking this trend.
Water Charity would like to thank Michael & Village X once again for executing such a fine project.
WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS, together with The SEXTO SOL Center for Community Action, announce the implementation of the SIERRA MADRE WATER PROGRAM - MEXICO & GUATEMALA.
The program is designed to provide safe water, effective sanitation, and public health services for 300 villages in the Sierra Madre Region of Chiapas, Mexico, through an unprecedented collaboration of the three organizations.
With a target budget of $2,100,000, the program will be implemented in 15 phases, each addressing the needs of 20 villages. Phase 1 is budgeted for $140,000 in improvements. Phase 1 is already well underway!
The program focuses on supplying drinking water using the appropriate technology for each village, with the objective of also providing water for sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. Benefits will be sought in reducing morbidity and mortality, improving quality of life, improving food security, and providing economic opportunities for direct participants and the community at large.
The projects to be implemented will be those requested by the individual villages to address their specific needs. A complete needs survey for the entire program is well underway, while specific project planning for Phase 1 villages is nearing completion, and preliminary planning continues for each successive village.
The design of each project will incorporate measures to maintain the improvements after completion, thus ensuring sustainability far into the future.
Sexto Sol will provide on-the-ground management of the program and the individual projects. The National Peace Corps Association and Water Charity will raise money for and publicize the program, and recruit Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to assist with project implementation. Water Charity will participate in the planning, execution, and evaluation of the program, train the RPCVs to perform their tasks, and provide for their deployment.
Valued Support and Endorsement
We are honored to receive the recognition, support, and endorsement for this program from Edward James Olmos, renowned director and actor of stage and screen.
Mr. Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film Stand and Deliver, the only Hispanic-American to be nominated in that category. His career encompasses another 22 wins and 24 nominations. Among his great achievements, he is also recognized for his roles in Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice, Selena, El Pachuco, and both the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit.
Mr. Olmos is known for his social activism, especially involving the U.S. Hispanic community. He narrated a portion of the movie Zapatista, showing the plight of the campesinos in Chiapas in the mid-90s.
I am pleased to endorse the work being done by the Sexto Sol Center in partnership with Water Charity to bring potable water and sanitation to impoverished communities in Chiapas. I have stood behind the Sexto Sol Center since they began their service in Chiapas 17 years ago. I know what they are capable of doing. Water Charity is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of bringing clean water and sanitation to under-served communities in 63 countries worldwide. This is the ideal team to efficiently make these much needed improvements in the quality of life for people in the remote mountain villages. I encourage you to support this effort by Water Charity and the Sexto Sol Center. Your support will help them improve the lives of thousands of people. The world will be better for it.
Edward James Olmos
This program is being implemented in the Municipalities of Motozintla, Siltepec, El Porvenir, La Grandeza, and other locations in Chiapas, Mexico as well as culturally and linguistically contiguous communities across the border in Guatemala.
300 villages have been chosen for consideration at this time. As the program winds through its various phases, a specific list of target communities will be compiled. To see a complete list of the municipalities in Chiapas, CLICK HERE.
The Sierra Madre mountain range rises from the coastal plain, reaching over 10,000 feet in elevation. This important watershed has 98 rivers that flow to the mangrove forests on the Pacific Coast and feed the Grijalva River on the inland side. The land is very rugged with steep slopes and countless sharp ridges that fall away on all sides into canyons.
The watershed was severely clear cut about 20 years ago with no reforestation implemented. This left the region extremely vulnerable to natural disasters that have causeed great hardship for the people living there. Most notabe were the disasters of 1998 and Hurricane Stan in 2005, both of which devastated the region with material losses that are still felt to this day.
Seasonal flooding causes damage regularly to deforested slopes resulting in major landslides that have become a "normal" occurrence. An active fault and volcanic rumbling create a lot of seismic activity which in July, 2014, resulted in damage to thousands of adobe homes in the poorest areas.
The region is dotted communities of people engaged in agriculture (campesinos). They depend on raising subsistence crops and small scale farming of potatoes, wheat, or coffee to sell. It is considered to be the most impoverished region in Mexico. When then-President Fox visited the region he made the sad announcement that El Porviner town was the poorest town in the country.
In the 1960s a government program attempted to force acculturation on the population through a form of institutionalized racism that prohibited the people from speaking their language. Elders still speak Mam, but the middle aged population for the most part does not. Children and youth, therefore, have some confusion about their identity. This history has caused great pain and it leads people to not admit to being indigenous. Very few people wear the traditional clothing.
Malnutrition is the norm and is most evident in the children who do not reach normal height and often have trouble paying attention in school. Drought, loss of cultivated land to landslides, and the failure of the coffee crop all have contributed to the furthering of poverty for households in recent years.
When a family member falls ill, the expense can be devastating, sometimes forcing a family to have to sell their land. People die from curable diseases and illnesses that have been eradicated in most of the world are still a problem.
Adult illiteracy is common, with many people over 40 years of age having only attended 2 years of formal schooling. This has improved for children now with better access to rural schools, but typically the teachers are students who have not completed their teacher training.
The Sierra Madre is a mineral-rich region with foreign mining companies eager to strip mine a variety of minerals on the lands inhabited by the people. The tension caused by this looming future is worrisome for the people.
The Sierra Madre region has not received development assistance from the government or from international organizations. The Sexto Sol Center is the only international NGO with a long-term presence in the Sierra Madre.
This program is working toward ensuring water for all household uses, including for drinking, cooking, sanitation, and hygiene in 300 communities. It also provides for irrigation of the family and community gardens.
Typically, a community has an old water system that was built years ago, but many households do not receive water, and the system does not meet the needs of the population. The appropriate technology is to capture the water at the source and build a holding tank, and then install a water line over rough terrain to the village.
Typical projects include wells, pumps, rainwater catchment systems, aqueducts, water storage systems, water purification solutions, erosion control, reforestation, flooding prevention, and irrigation systems.
An effort will be made to encompass all of the water, sanitation, and public health needs of each village in a village-designated project. Within the project, there may be several stand-alone sub-projects, say, for example, at a school and at a clinic.
Hygiene and sanitation are inextricably tied to the goal of achieving a safe water source. Handwashing stations are crucial to allow for effective hygienic practices, especially in the schools clinics, and community centers. Bathrooms, erosion prevention, and flooding prevention and remediation are necessary to protect the water sources.
Projects Underway & Completed
The program was begun with overall planning ascertaining village project needs and moving forward with project-by-project implementation. The first project was implemented in December, 2014, and we have already completed 8 village wide projects!.
This list will be updated with links to the project pages as new projects begin, and there is another list at the end of this posting:
The program is being be managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, which serves impoverished communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico, near the border with Guatemala.
Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in 2010 in partnership with Water Charity.
The Incorporation of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The program introduces the groundbreaking concept of utilizing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in the direct implementation of the projects in each of the communities. RPCVs are people who have returned home after having completed 3 months of training plus 2 years of service in a developing country. They have considerable experience in the community development process and the management of water and sanitation projects.
Water Charity has previously worked with dozens of RPCVs in the implementation of projects. These are dedicated people who have decided to remain in the country after their PC service, people who went to work for local NGOs, which they bring into the process, or people who return to the country after they have been home for a while. We have also collaborated with RPCVs who have gone on to serve in the Peace Corps Response Program, a short-duration commitment to a specific project assigned by the Peace Corps.
This program is completely unique in scope: It will be the first time that a significant number of RPCVs are being deployed on a large-scale program as volunteers, funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, to serve under the direction of a local nonprofit.
The RPCVs will be recruited by the NPCA, trained by WC, and deployed to Motozintla for a set, but renewable, term.
The recruitment process will utilize the structure of 139 NPCA Member Groups, which are determined by country of service and hometown.
It is anticipated that several RPCVs will come from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles (RPCVLA), one of the Member Groups with close ties to Water Charity.
The RPCVs will be fluent in Spanish and have substantial knowledge of and experience in community development. They will “hit the ground running”.
The RPCVs will train the villagers and work side-by-side with them in the detailed planning, implementation, and evaluation of the projects.
The RPCVs will volunteer their time. WC will provide funds for their travel. Sexto Sol will provide management, lodging and in-country transportation.
Phase 1 of 15
Number of Villages
Number of Projects
Cost/Person (3 projects)
This program will benefit about 70,000 people in 300 communities by providing each of them with a reliable supply of safe water and access to effective sanitation, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of all who reside in the region. Phase 1 will help 20 of those communities, and will serve as a proven model for the rest of the program, developing a skilled labor pool and a reliable and economical supply chain for materials and equipment.
Donors may contribute to the whole Phase1 effort, to be allocated where needed for projects by clicking on the DONATE button below, or by donating on the individual project pages, as new projects are started under the program.
Corporate and foundation donations are welcome and encouraged, and amounts and attribution rights will be negotiated.
Individual donations of any amount are encouraged. Every donation of $100 or more toward the overall program will be recognized on this page.
If you wish to donate “in honor of” or “in recognition of” or “in appreciation of”, please include the wording on your donation form or in an email directed to mail (at) watercharity.org If you wish for your donation to be anonymous, just let us know.
$140,000 for Phase 1 ($2,100,000 for the 15-phase program)
You can make a difference by helping us improve the lives of thousands of families in the Sierra Madre with your tax-deductible contribution.
Water Charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 2008 and headquartered in California, that does water, sanitation, and public health projects around the world. Since that time, 1,800 projects in 65 countries have been implemented.
National Peace Corps Association
The National Peace Corps Association was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a mission to championing lifelong commitment to Peace Corps values. The goals of NPCA are to help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be and help returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and RPCV groups thrive.
The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action
The Sexto Sol Center serves impoverished communities in Chiapas and Guatemala, where a change of vision and specific technical assistance can help people create a better life. Since 1997 Sexto Sol has assisted people to create success with cooperative businesses, grow health-giving food, improve neglected schools for their children, regain cultural pride, protect the watershed, create eco-villages and heal from the trauma of disaster and conflict.
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.
After the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal, Water Charity immediately began to try and find ways to help. Potable water is always a valuable and important commodity after a disaster, so we decided to jump in and send high quality, effective water filters to aid in the relief effort. Using Sawyer filters, which comprise the backbone of our Filters For Life Program, we joined together with a few of our friends to send 1,000 filters to be installed in refugee camps, hospitals, community centers and schools around the hardest hit areas.
Working together with our friends, fellow non-profit Wine2Water, installation of these filters began immediately in the days after the first earthquake, and will provide clean drinking water for as many as a hundred thousand people. We hope that with all the problems the Nepalese refugees have to deal with, that safe, clean drinking water will cease to be one of them.
The earthquake that hit on the 25th of April, and a second major tremor on May 12th, killed more than 8,600 people and brought down buildings in Kathmandu and the country's central districts. More than 8,000 people died in the disaster and many remain homeless. This disaster is said to affect over 8 million people in the region of Kathmandu.
This project falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide, in which we are trying to make sure these high quality Sawyer filters make their way into as many hands as humanly possible. While not as flashy as drilling wells, water filters are probably the single most effective way to prevent death and unnecessary suffereing due to unpotable drinking water (the leading cause of preventable death worldwide).
In disaster situations, having access to clean, potable drinking water is generally the first priority. Long before the food runs out, thirsty people are forced to scavenge for a source of water, which will generally prove unealthy and waterborne illnesses are known to run rampant in refugee camps where proper filtration, or at least some little bit of bleach, is not being used to clean the water.
Water Charity, in concert with the NPCA, paid for this project out of pocket, and is asking donors to contribute to this effort by helping us recoup the funds we have already spent, enabling us to expand the relief effort. All money raised in excess of the current cost of the project will go to further relief efforts in Nepal.
This project has been completed. To see the results, CLICK HERE.
While the work in Nepal has moved from disaster relief to development, there is still a tremendous need for clean water. We would like to continue this successful project, and ramp up filter installations in the affected regions of Nepal. Please consider donating to this effort to allow us to implement a Phase 2 and help even more people.
Water Charity is proud to be among the first groups to get tangible help on the ground in emergencies like this one, and the typhoon Haiyan earlier where we engaged in a similar series of projects to help survivors.
NPCA & WC Partnership!
Last month, the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION and WATER CHARITY entered into an historic partnership. Pictured above are our COO Averill Strasser and NPCA chief Glen Blumhorst signing the partnership agreement in Washington D.C. during the week of Peace Corps activism which took place there. Together our two organizations will work to increase the number of water and sanitation projects being done by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) around the world, making the Peace Corps stronger.
The NPCA made their announcement here: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2015/04/national-peace-corps-association-and-water-charity-announce-new-partnership/
Water Charity hit the ground running, and has already implemented a few dozen worthy projects around the world under the partnership! All of these projects represent low-cost, efficient "fixes" to problems that come from the community, and are done with local labor. PCVs and RPCVs help these communities to help themselves and solve their water and sanitation issues with sustainable solutions using appropriate technology.
RPCVs are helping serving PCVs by providing training and technical support, resulting in a steady flow of projects that are then funded under the partnership.
Here is a link to a good NPCA blog post about the partnership: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2015/04/more-clean-water-with-water-charity-peace-corps-community/#comment-242330
A complete and updated list of projects attributed to the partnership can be found here:
National Peace Corps Association Partnership Projects
We are pleased to announce the implementation of the Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia.
In partnership with WHOLE WORLD Water, the program will be carried out by Water Charity, in coordination with the United States Peace Corps, to provide running water for people in rural areas of Cambodia.
The program is a concentrated effort to build new water projects in areas of great need. In its initial phase, 6 new projects will be implemented in various locations in Cambodia, and will directly benefit at least 1,800 people.
The program will focus on all aspects of supplying drinking water, with the allied objective of also providing water for sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. Benefits will be sought in reducing morbidity and mortality, improving quality of life, improving food security, and providing economic benefits for direct participants and the community at large.
Typical projects will be wells, pumps, rainwater catchment systems, aqueducts, water storage systems, and irrigation systems.
Each project will utilize the appropriate technology to achieve the maximum reduction in illness and death caused by lack of water and/or the consumption of contaminated water. The design of each project will incorporate measures to maintain the improvements after completion.
All of the projects will be implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) living and working in the locations where the projects are implemented, with the assistance of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who bring a wealth of background and experience to bear.
The overall program is being implemented under the direction of Stewart Mills and Christin Spoolstra, with the technical assistance of Bruce Kelsey. Stewart, an RPCV who served in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013, will spearhead the program.
Christin is a PCV currently serving her third year in Cambodia. She will coordinate the work of PCVs who are developing and implementing projects. She previously completed the Kandieng Reay Health Center Bathroom Project - Cambodia and the Hun Sen Prosaut High School Water Project - Cambodia.
Bruce is an RPCV who served in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013. During his service, he completed 10 projects in partnership with Water Charity. He developed several new technologies that will be incorporated into the new projects being started under this program. He also was extremely successful in raising funds for Water Charity projects, and will continue to assist us in soliciting outside funds to augment the work started by WWW under this program.
The program has been fully completed, and as an example of how succesful it has been, we added a 7th project, and were able to complete all 7 on the budget of the original 6.
Links to the individual projects:
This list links to the individual project pages for all 7, now finished, projects. Conclusion reports for each project can be reached through their project pages or by following meta links at the bottom of each page in the program.
You may donate to this program by clicking on the DONATE button below. All contributions will be used to continue to implement similar projects in Cambodia.
Whole World Water
Whole World Water (WWW) is a program whereby participating members in the hospitality industry worldwide work to eliminate the environmental problems caused by bottled water by filtering and bottling drinking water on site and selling the water to their patrons.
Funds from the sale of WHOLE WORLD Water from hotel, resort, spa and restaurant members are contributed to the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund, a registered UK charity. 100% of these funds are invested in approved clean and safe water projects around the world.
Water Charity is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does water and sanitation projects around the world. In the past 6 years, it has implemented 1,600 projects in 60 countries.
Water Charity has helped Peace Corps Volunteers in Cambodia to implement 61 projects to date.
The Peace Corps is a United States international service organization that sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change in the communities in which they live and serve.
The Peace Corps program in Cambodia began in 2007, and there are now 300 PCVs who have served. At present, there are 100 PCVs living and working in Cambodia available to implement projects under this program.
With the implementation of our 5th water tank project in Uganda (our 13th project overall in Uganda), we introduce our latest large-scale Water Charity program. Water Tank Program – Uganda will be a concentrated effort to raise funds for and implement an ongoing series of water storage tanks in the country.
The need for water storage capability in rural Uganda is huge, with only 55% of the population of the country having access to safe water. Often there is no public water source.
Water tanks represent an important tool in the arsenal to make safe water available to all. As part of a rainwater harvesting system, it allows water to be collected when available and stored for use as needed.
There are many different technologies than can be used to construct water tanks, and many factors to be considered in the choice in every situation. Cost, local materials available, skilled labor, and local preferences are but a few. The majority of these projects are being done with a very impressive ISSB (soil bricks) lo-technology you can read about here: Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks Water Tank Program – Uganda
Water Charity has implemented many water tank projects in different countries of the world. In Uganda, with the start of our newest project, here are our accomplishments:
- Sya Bright Future Primary School Water Tank Project - Uganda
- Kanoni Water Tank Project - Uganda
- Kayunga District Youth Center Rainwater Catchment Project – Uganda
- Teso Honey Refinery Rainwater Catchment Project - Uganda
- Rwenkobwa Trading Center Tank Project – Uganda
- Kashongi Trading Center Ferro-Cement Tank Project - Uganda
- Kashongi High School Ferro-cement Rainwater Tank Project - Uganda
- St. Francis School for the Blind Latrine & Water Storage Project - Uganda
You can see how important water tanks are to the health and wellbeing of the population. Because of the high impact of such projects, in addition to the relative ease of implementation, we decided to engage in a focused fundraising campaign to continue to do projects of this type elsewhere in the country.
We will continue to build tanks as quickly as funding will allow. If you agree with our approach please give generously to program by clicking on the Donate button below. Your contributions, as always, are tax-deductible. 100% of all donations are applied directly to projects in the field.
Workers at Central America’s largest landfill, Guatemala City's Garbage Dump live and work in some of the most wretched conditions one could imagine.
They clamber all day long over mountains of teetering trash, fighting with wild dogs and buzzards for scraps to sell. It is dangerous work. Methane fires, medical waste, rusty metal and even worse things must be dealt with on a daily basis. Occasionally they even have deadly explosions.
They live in homes without running water and experience frequent health problems including gastrointestinal infections, parasites, and amoebas.
We at water charity have been working to help these families for many years now by providing them with high quality water filters for their homes, and their community center & school, run by our friends Camino Seguro (aka Safe Passage).
Water Charity partnered with Safe Passage in 2008 in the Project for Garbage Dump Workers of Guatemala. The goal was to improve the health of families participating in Safe Passage’s programs. 46 ceramic water filters from were provided to 42 women enrolled in the Adult Literacy program, as well as one small filter for the Literacy classroom and three large filters, one for the Early Education Center and two for the main Reinforcement Building. Read about the successful conclusion of this project HERE.
In 2010, under the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2, 35 ceramic filters were provided to new families. Safe Passage continued to work with the beneficiaries and provide education and training and to document the health benefits that have accrued from the consistent use of the filters. The conclusion of this project can be found HERE.
In 2012, Water Charity recognized the evolving technology becoming available to purify contaminated water, and started the Filters for Life Program – Worldwide. The program uses the Sawyer filter technology, involving carbon nano-tubes to remove all known pathogens, bacteria, cysts, protozoa, and even the smallest viruses. The filters have been proven to last for 10 years with minimal maintenance. The filters can be set up in a matter of seconds. They have a high flow rate, eliminating the need to store water, reducing the chances of water being contaminated after it is filtered.
It was with this new technology that we enacted the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3. Its successful conclusion can be found HERE.
The "conclusion" reports for all these projects are also linked to in their individual entries, and more of these projects are to follow. As funding comes in we are committed to increasing access to clean water for these most disenfranchised of people. We have also done quite a few filter, well and rainwater catchment programs in Guatemala at large, and will continue to do good work in this beautiful and historic country. You can look through all the great work we have done there by clicking HERE.
Please consider supporting this much needed effort, the success of which can be seen in this PowerPoint presentation, entitled Ecofiltros for Safe Passage Families, and in this short video below.