What Inspires Us

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Washing hands

Working anywhere, you’ll find coworkers with unique hobbies, backgrounds, and reasons for working where they do. But in no other workplace have I found such a wide spectrum of where people started and why they ended up here at The Water Project (TWP). This is why it’s particularly fascinating to hear everyone’s favorite parts about working here at our U.S. office. 

These tidbits represent not only why everyone here signed on initially, but why they’ve stayed. Sometimes, our work can be difficult (but not as difficult as the lives of the people we’re striving to help). Hopefully, you can pick up the passion written into the below statements as we all remember why our work is important, and why you, dear reader, are also an integral part of bringing reliable water to people who need it most.

My favorite part is providing support to our partner teams as we work together to increase access to water in every place we work. The different approaches in differing contexts is exciting and reflective of a commitment to solutions that begin at the community level. 

– Tom Murphy, Program Officer


My favorite part is getting to share stories that connect us all. Stories of the amazing people we serve, the inspiring work of my colleagues, and the donors who make our work possible. 

– Courtney Feild, Director of Marketing


My favorite days, my most humbling of days, the most powerful days are when people (who live in different places, speak different languages, experience the world in very, very different ways) make a powerful choice to consistently come together to create a world where everyone has clean water to drink.

I’m constantly humbled through the absolute generosity and selflessness I see, everyday:

  • Donor partners searching for ways to create impact in the world that will outlive all of us.
  • Our staff, front-line teams, and partners who give all of themselves to their neighbors in need of water—and are always seeking to do better, more, faster, for more people.
  • Community members who consistently advocate for their neighbors who don’t have water, even as the same might be true for themselves.

My favorite part of all of this—there’s something new created when we choose to come together like this. None of us can do this on our own. 

– Stan Patyrak, Executive Vice President


When I started at The Water Project, I only had a vague notion of what getting people water access meant. It was a notion I could get behind, but I barely understood. Learning the mission has given me such a more comprehensive understanding of the world we live in—an understanding that we’re always inviting more people along for. I love learning more about my fellow humans just an ocean away and getting to share their stories through their own voices. 

– Jamie Heminway, Program Reporting Services Officer


My favorite part of working at The Water Project is knowing that we are a part of the solution to the water crisis in Africa in a sustainable way that is empowering communities. 

– Andrea Pavkov, Program Reporting Services Officer


My favorite part of working for The Water Project is being able to witness the outpouring of love through the generosity and the direct impact it has on every individual it touches. It’s powerful to see and connect the hearts on both ends of the gift of clean water! 

– Alex Taliaferro, Philanthropy Officer


My favorite part about working at TWP and supporting the mission is working with people who are passionate about making a difference in water access for those who are needlessly suffering. On a daily basis, I am energized and inspired by conversations with leaders who are constantly thinking about how to improve water reliability and quality for those who have not had access to safe, clean water. This is a job where meaning is abundant. The “why” of our work is evident in the calls, in the problem-solving, and in the coordination with leaders of the teams in Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. 

People provide views of both reality and possibility, and we work with a wide network of people—from children who are accessing water in rural primary schools to government officials working to meet county and district development goals. At TWP, we all want trust and verifiable impact to define our relationships in this work of improving health and life through reliable water, sanitation, and hygiene. I love that I get to be a part of the work with people wholly committed to expanding access to water and to keeping the water flowing.

– Spencer Bogle, Director of Programs


The part I like about my work is reaching unreached communities with a precious resource—clean and safe water. Through water provision, we are restoring community health, creating economic opportunities for families, contributing to improve students’ learning capacity, and preventing the spread of disease. With our work, we have restored dignity to people and communities. These are my favorite elements of our work. Our work accompanies government efforts in health, education, environment, and community/infrastructure development. 

– Sam Ngidiwe, Program Officer


The most rewarding part of working at The Water Project is playing my small part in the outcomes resulting from WASH programs—particularly for the women and children who often bear the burden of responsibility for water collection. In addition to increased personal safety for women and girls, the reduction in time spent on this chore and overcoming illnesses that accompany unsanitary conditions yields invaluable free time that can be devoted to education. 

– Amy Shellenberger, Operations 

What becomes clear from these messages is that when you help others, you also help yourself. Sharing our abilities with the world in order to improve the lives of others brings us purpose as well as passion. Each day, we get opportunities to amplify unheard voices and reach the unreached (as Sam said!), and we’re so thankful to be on this journey with you. 

Because if you’re reading this, then you, too, are working with The Water Project in your own capacity, whether it’s adding traffic to our website or parting with your funds (in a time of economic strife, no less!). As our founder, Peter, always says, every one of us has a seat at The Water Project table, and we’re so grateful you decided to pull up a chair.

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Jamie Heminway

Jamie is a storyteller by nature. In joining the Water Project, she’s finally found a workplace where that pesky bleeding heart of hers can be put to use (and, less importantly, that BA in English Language & Literature from New England College).