Our mission is simple: We clean water for kids. Safe drinking water is the most essential life-sustaining requirement. There is no substitute - not at any price. In this day and age, in such a plentiful world, clean water should no longer be the privilege of some, but the basic right of every child.
Jul 23, 2012

Field Notes: July in Cambodia

Cambodian Kids & Clean Water
Cambodian Kids & Clean Water

In our last project report, we introduced you to our plans for our pilot hygiene education program at partner sites in Cambodia. We are thrilled to announce that we've selected the five partner sites! This is a huge step toward creating an effective, long-term health & hygiene program that supports clean water for kids in urban areas of Cambodia. As you know, unsafe water is a huge obstacle for children there, limiting their potential. Our work will be made exponentially more effective if kids learn essential hygiene practices and why they're important. We'll also be including their teachers, parents, and local government and health care workers in this program, which is crucial to making real, lasting change.

Here are the five partner sites selected for the pilot program:

Sangkheum Center for Children (orphanage home that also provides clean water for an elementary school across the street)
Wat Chork KG, Primary & Secondary (school)
Por Banteay Chey Primary & Secondary (school)
Samdech Ov High School
Salt Ministries (orphanage home and school)

If you click on one of the links above, it will take you to our online project monitoring tool, ProvingIt.org. As part of our commitment to (radical!) transparency, all of our project sites can be tracked online. You can even create your own login to follow the sites that interest you most. We post photos, results of water quality tests, and site-specific project updates--including successes and failures--for the whole world to see. Why? Because we think being honest makes our work better, and because as our supporter, we want you right alongside us in this journey. (Maybe that sounds cheesy, but it's true.)

Attached are three (amazing) photos from our sites in Cambodia. We're submitting them for GlobalGiving's upcoming photo contest, so stay tuned: voting starts on August 1, and hopefully we'll be one of the finalists! We'll definitely need your help to spread the word.

Many thanks,

Water for Drinking (and Play!)
Water for Drinking (and Play!)
Smiles at the Drinking Station
Smiles at the Drinking Station


Jun 12, 2012

Notes from the Field: June in Cambodia

Here’s the latest about our work in Cambodia!

Two major things are happening right now: wrapping up our needs assessment and preparing to launch our hygiene education program.

Our Country Manager Mony (also the new proud father of a beautiful little girl—congrats!) has conducted in-person assessment interviews with 55 of our 58 sites since March—an amazing feat in and of itself. With all this information, we have been able to start vetting sites and create a more concrete budget for this project. Fifteen sites have agreed to a new water station, which will go a long way toward putting clean water to good use! Eight of the fifteen sites are contributing their own funds to help with construction—a huge commitment for them and an incredible investment in long-term sustainability. We can’t emphasize enough how it is the partnership aspect of our model that determines the success of our projects far more than any water purification technology.

We are also very excited about a potential partnership with Cooperation for Sustainable Cambodian Society (CSCS) for hygiene education. CSCS came highly recommended to us by PLAN international, with whom they have partnered for over five years doing hygiene education at schools. Rather than re-invent the wheel, we have put together a request for proposal (RFP) to work with CSCS and launch hygiene education programs at five sites (three schools, one school/orphanage, and one orphanage) where we already provide clean water.

CSCS is extremely thorough and their hygiene curriculum and trainings involve every level of school government, from education ministry officers to administrators, teachers, and parents—which is critical to the success of the programs (it can’t just be for kids or it will fail!). Regardless of how the proposal works out (and we are highly optimistic it will), they will be a great resource. Our goal is to hire our own in-country Hygiene Coordinator by September who will be supervised by Mony and work in parallel with CSCS. Together, we aim to develop our own hygiene education program once the pilot programs are established. We are waiting to hear back from CSCS on timeline and budget.

Thanks so much for your continuing support of this project. Don’t forget that June 13th is Bonus Day on GlobalGiving—any donation you make on June 13th will be increased by GlobalGiving an additional 40%!!

 Many thanks,

Jun 5, 2012

We started work!

When we first conceived this project, we expected we would begin with five hospital sites in China at a cost of $5,000 per site. Three years later we have raised almost half that amount (thank you!!). In an effort to get the project off the ground, we have decided to launch with three hospital sites instead of five. This is why you will notice that we have reduced the funding goal for this project to $15,000 from the original goal of $25,000. It's because we just can't stand to wait any longer to expand our reach and serve more kids!
To date, our work in China has been focused almost exclusively on orphanages, in addition to receiving a rare invitation to provide clean water for displacement camps following the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Our installation work in orphanages is nearing its end (we expect to be providing clean water to every orphanage in China by 2013), and most of our water systems at displacement camps have been decommissioned as people return to their homes. So it’s thrilling to be branching out into a new area: pediatric hospitals. We work in this arena already in other countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, and so we know the kind of impact clean, safe water can have on the children these hospitals serve.
As always, our model is not to build institutions—instead, we partner with existing ones that are serving children admirably, but doing so without clean water. Step one of that process is always to work with local allies who can help us identify potential partners and sites. Step two is to conduct an assessment of each site, determining need, capacity, and of course willingness to establish a long-lasting partnership.
So we are happy to announce that we have begun Step 1: Over the past few weeks, we have been working closely with the China Association of Social Workers (CNCASW) and the China Charity Federation to identify sites for possible water purification installations. We anticipate having sites selected by the end of June and begin vetting shortly thereafter, so that by the time we do reach the $15,000 mark, the project should be primed to take off! We will continue to raise money with the goal of serving more sites—we are on track to serve at least 1 million children globally by 2020—but having these three up and running will be a huge step toward that larger goal.
We are also pleased to announce that GlobalGiving has selected this project to receive a portion of the donations to their Bricks for Good Fund. Just click here and donate $50, and you will get a free gift: a super cool water-well LEGO set!
Thanks so much for your ongoing patience and support.