Can you Walk on Water?

We can’t help but smile when we see these amazing women from Delta Sigma Theta! Over 100 people participated at the Harford County Alumnae Chapter’s (DST-HCAC) annual Walk On Water 5K this past July, and the pictures tell the story. They know how to have fun while raising money for clean water!

Delta Sigma Theta is “A Sisterhood Called to Serve”. Four core principles of the sorority are Courage, Hope, Wisdom, and Strength. To-date, over ten Delta Sigma Theta chapters have donated to the clean water projects we do, raising over $15,000 when combined. For the Harford County Alumnae chapter, by hosting this community-based event, the 100 participants in Maryland are unlocking the potential of over 350 people in a community 4500 miles away in Sierra Leone.

But one event wouldn’t do for DST-HCAC. They already have their 2013 event scheduled for June 22nd, and are beginning the planning. Are you in the Maryland area? Mark your calendar and join the team as they walk, run, and laugh to the finish-line of this fabulous 5K. Can’t join them? Support their efforts by giving to their 2013 fundraising page, here. Together we are better; and serving together we are a force.

It’s World Water Day!

Today is all about community…

World Water Day is a chance for us to cheer about our community (you!) and most importantly the communities we serve in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and most recently Burkina Faso.

Water is something we all share. It’s a community resource. Making sure we all have access to the 1% of the earth’s water we can actually drink will always require that we work together.

So, this World Water Day, we want to take a moment to celebrate how community makes that happen.


Thank you. Your Voice Matters.

Over the past few years, thousands of you rallied your own local community to help provide clean, safe water to villages in Africa.

From car washes (like this one at Cashmere High in New Zealand), to bake sales, water walks, talent shows, and even teeter-tottering, you helped build a first step – access to clean, safe water.

And right now, tens of thousands of people are building on that foundation. Developing communities are using their new resource everyday – not just to survive, but to thrive and work toward an even better tomorrow – just like you do.

Without your voice, in your community, this wouldn’t be possible.  So to better celebrate World Water Day, why not take a moment to invite someone new to the story?

Head over to Facebook or Twitter and post an update about what we’re doing together.  Encourage your friends to “Like” or “Follow Us“.

Together we can make an even bigger impact.  (For fun, for every 100 new likes we get we’ll give away a water bottle to a random follower.)


People Change Everything.

We know that the greatest accomplishments and the most exciting new ideas made possible by our work won’t simply pour out from the tap of a new well. They’ll come from the hands and minds of the people who use it.

People change everything. Clean, safe water helps make that possible.

That’s why today is most importantly a chance to celebrate the amazing communities we are privileged to partner with in countries like Kenya.

One of the most recent success stories is unfolding in Mtito Andei, a small town on the road between Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya

Here, TWP’s partner, The Africa Sand Dam Foundation, is working with the Kakai Self Help Group. The people of Kakai have organized themselves into a team comprised of 22 men and 18 women.  This leadership team plays an integral role in mobilizing the rest of the community as they work to construct a sand dam and shallow well.

Sand dams are an amazing type of water project.  And it’s why we’re really excited about our new partnership with ASDF.

A sand dam traps seasonal rain behind a small dam.  Over time it fills with sediment (sand) which traps water.  That water can be collected for drinking, but it also raises the surrounding water table making agriculture much more sustainable.

These projects help provide what is called “food security” – an assurance that what you plant you’ll be reasonably certain you can harvest.   Access to water and food security can go hand and hand, and the U.N. just happens to be focused on it this World Water Day.

Sand dam full of water, just after it was completed

What we love most about these projects though, is that it’s the communities who build them.  From gathering stone, to mixing concrete, building forms and putting it all together – there’s work for everyone.  Your support helps pay for supplies, engineers, well pumps and training.  But it’s the community that makes it happen.  In the end, the size of the dam and the incredible amount of water it stores is only eclipsed by the pride of ownership the community will have.

We hope you’ll watch as we work to fund another ten of these large scale sand dam projects this year.

Maybe you’ll even want to join in too.  Happy World Water Day!

Time to Celebrate?

Today, the World Health Organization and Unicef Joint Monitoring Program released a report that the world has met the drinking water target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

There’s no question that the latest report from the folks tracking progress of this MDG contains a lot of good news.  Millions of people throughout the world have received “improved” (not necessarily clean or safe) access to water over the last decade.

Many good people have been working hard during that time to focus the world’s attention on what we know to be a foundational building block in improving people’s lives – access to clean, safe water.  We’re keenly aware that without goals like these and the attention they generate, the progress we see today would likely have been far less.

So, first let’s celebrate that.  A rising tide indeed floats a lot of boats.

At the same time though, let’s not get carried away in claiming “success” in meeting any goal just yet. There is far too much work left to do.


Boy, Do We Have a Great Date for You!

Been thinking about doing something for the first time, or even a second or third time, to help bring clean water to those in need?  Boy, do we have a great date for you!  Grab a pen, your iPhone, your family calendar, or your church bulletin; and mark down Thursday, March 22nd.  This day is set aside each year as World Water Day (WWD), where people all over the world talk about water, and its vital importance.

WWD is no small thing!  The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.  Each year since 1993 people have been getting out there and making a splash in their world for clean water.

This year’s focus is Water and Food Security.  Did you know that 70% of the water used in the world is used for agriculture?  Growing food takes tons of water, literally!  In fact, it takes about 3963 gallons of water to produce just 2 pounds of beef!  So without adequate water, people can’t grow adequate food.  Having access to clean, reliable water sources is important not just for drinking, bathing, and other hygiene practices, but for growing food.

Join us this year, and do something to commemorate WWD this March 22nd.  Host a fundraising event like a walk for water, take the Water Challenge, run in a road-race and get sponsors, and give the gift of clean water to those who do not have it.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and re-post the news and project updates we post.  Check out our Get Involved page for more ideas about how you can make this year’s World Water day a wave of success!

And invite a friend!  May as well ‘make it a date’!