Lifewater https://lifewater.org A Non-Profit Christian Water Development Organization Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:21:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://lifewater.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-lifewater-favicon-1-32x32.png Lifewater https://lifewater.org 32 32 Lifewater Raises Awareness on National Sanitation Day in Cambodia https://lifewater.org/blog/lifewater-raises-awareness-national-sanitation-day-cambodia-2/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:43:36 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9318 Every November, Cambodia celebrates National Sanitation Day to promote improved sanitation for all people. Lifewater in Cambodia joined in the celebrations with more than 200 people, gathered at Rohal Primary…

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Every November, Cambodia celebrates National Sanitation Day to promote improved sanitation for all people. Lifewater in Cambodia joined in the celebrations with more than 200 people, gathered at Rohal Primary School in Lifewater’s project area in Siem Reap Province. Along with thousands of other people marking the day at events nationwide, the village chief, school leaders and students, Lifewater staff, and local officials gathered under a large tent on the school grounds to raise awareness about sanitation. As colorful bunting blew in the breeze, they shared the following key messages about sanitation:

1.     Good sanitation is our responsibility
2.     Human dignity requires a latrine
3.     Invest in sanitation for our next generation
4.     Good sanitation starts with you
5.     Good sanitation promotes health

According to Lifewater’s provincial manager, Mr. Veasna San, the most exciting part of the event wasn’t the handwashing games, the speeches from community leaders, or even the opportunity to watch a video of the Prime Minister encouraging good sanitation practices. It was when the school children had an opportunity to participate in question and answer time, demonstrating they understood the key messages. Many children raised their hands to ask questions and share what they had learned. Each brave participant earned a bar of soap.

Afterward the Svay Leu district chief shared with Lifewater that this was the first time a National Sanitation Day event has ever been held in his district. Lifewater’s baseline survey earlier this year revealed that 83 percent of households in Svay Leu do not use a latrine, and 50 percent of young children have suffered bouts of diarrhea in the past 7 days. The chief is motivated to change these numbers, however. He is already planning to hold another National Sanitation Day event next year to continue spreading the word to residents that “Good sanitation is our responsibility!”

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Community Facilitators https://lifewater.org/blog/community-facilitators/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:00:09 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9239 These local heroes are good neighbors. Sometimes heroes look just like the person next door. Sometimes the hero is the person next door. Community Facilitators (CFs) in Ethiopia are people who have…

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These local heroes are good neighbors.

Sometimes heroes look just like the person next door. Sometimes the hero is the person next door. Community Facilitators (CFs) in Ethiopia are people who have volunteered for a great responsibility: to tell their neighbors about healthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

How they start: Lifewater field staff choose the CF from among the community members because they set a good example in their own household. Once they establish their own Health Home (latrine, drying rack, handwashing, safe water storage, and clean compound), they see the results pretty quickly. Everyone is healthier and strengthened with a new sense of pride and personal accomplishment; they did this themselves. Often we find that gratitude is a motivator for someone agreeing to be a CF, because when you experience something great you want to share it with others.

Lifewater field staff train the CFs in how to establish healthy homes and how to engage their neighbors. Together they set personal goals for the CF to reach, including how many of their neighbors to reach in a set time, and Lifewater staff meet with them regularly to see how they’re doing and what challenges they face.

 

 

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One Thousand Healthy Homes https://lifewater.org/blog/one-thousand-healthy-homes/ Thu, 15 Dec 2016 18:41:48 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9203 **As part of Lifewater’s Vision of a Health Village strategy for sustainable change, field staff work with families to certify Healthy Homes in remote villages that formerly lacked access to…

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**As part of Lifewater’s Vision of a Health Village strategy for sustainable change, field staff work with families to certify Healthy Homes in remote villages that formerly lacked access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

Each certified Healthy Home means a family that enjoys safe water, good sanitation, and hygiene tools and practices that keep them healthy.

Each Healthy Home is evidence of a family that has come together to work for a better future. It is parents that want their children to have the education and opportunities they didn’t. It is children who are a valuable part of a team committed to each other’s health. It is women who are demonstrating their ability to lead and sustain positive changes in their home and community. It is the end of preventable, water-borne diseases and indignity.

Every single one is a reason to celebrate, but today we’re celebrating one thousand!

One thousand certified Healthy Homes in Ethiopia,  Uganda, and Cambodia.

One thousand households that have done the work.

One thousand families that have found health and hope.

A Healthy Home starts when a member of Lifewater’s staff begins to engage the community around the home. Community influencers who are early to adapt healthy WASH practices are trained to become WASH facilitators. These facilitators work alongside Lifewater staff to teach each household about the value of WASH and the tools and practices that will help them get healthy. Families learn:

 

 

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Students Helping Students Get Safe Water https://lifewater.org/blog/students-helping-students-get-safe-water/ Sat, 10 Dec 2016 16:00:11 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8992 H2O For Life and Lifewater connect schools around the world. For nearly five years Lifewater has worked with H2O For Life to connect students in North America with students in…

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H2O For Life and Lifewater connect schools around the world.

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For nearly five years Lifewater has worked with H2O For Life to connect students in North America with students in Africa and Asia. Through year-long education and fundraising efforts in North American classrooms and schools, children have helped to bring safe water, sanitation, and hygiene to children in need in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

H2O For Life is an organization that recruits and equips classrooms and schools in North America to help other students around the world get safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education.  Groups of students commit to learning about the global water and sanitation crisis and raise enough money over the course of the year to help another class or school get safe water. So far, children have donated $75,000 to schools in Africa through Lifewater.

“Our program is designed to educate, engage and inspire youth in the US to become Global Citizens,” says Steve Hall, H2O For Life’s Director of School Programs. “Through our partnerships with organizations like Lifewater, we are able to provide the ‘action’ piece that is so important to show our US youth that they can make a difference in the world.”

In Least Developed Countries (LDCs), only half of schools have access to safe water or sanitation. That means students have to walk long distances to get water, and often must wander into the bush to relieve themselves. Access to WASH in primary and secondary schools increases school enrollment because it decreases the burden of labor and disease on children. Furthermore, it decreases inequalities in enrollment by providing for the dignity and safety of all children at school, especially girls and children with disabilities. Lifewater implements a WASH in Schools program which provides access to safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to students and teachers.

Beginning in 2012, students raised money for two schools in Ethiopia to receive a new safe water source, blocks of latrines, and hygiene education (WASH in Schools). Students in these schools also started WASH clubs, which use peer education to encourage healthy behaviors. Their peers in North America continued fundraising for several more schools since 2012 in Ethiopia and DRC, including 2 more schools in Ethiopia in 2016. This coming year, students working with H2O For Life will be raising money for a schools in Ethiopia and Cambodia.

“H2O For Life provides an opportunity to connect children here in the U.S. with children across the globe,” says Christine Zurbach, Lifewater’s Vice President of Philanthropy. “Children are great empathizers. When they see and hear about the water and sanitation conditions that kids just like them have to deal with at school and home,  they want to help. We’re honored to be a part of kids helping kids.”

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Celebrating the life of our Founder, William A. Ashe https://lifewater.org/blog/celebrating-life-founder-william-ashe/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:04:38 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9168 William A. Ashe 1931-2016 Service, Sacrifice, and Safe Water “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to…

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William A. Ashe
1931-2016
Service, Sacrifice, and Safe Water

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

A Memorial Service for Bill will be held on January 7, 2017
at Bethany Church of Sierra Madre
Click here to RSVP

Friends of Lifewater,

It is with a mix of deep sadness and great joy that we announce the passing of Lifewater International’s Founder William A. Ashe (“Bill”), yesterday, 06 December 2016. For those who knew and interacted with him, you will remember Bill for his sharp mind, creative spirit, and deep compassion.

Fueled with a clear biblical mandate to ‘love his neighbor as himself,’ Bill began organizing trips in the 1960’s and 70’s to provide safe water to vulnerable children and families in Mexico and the Navajo Nation. He did so with great love and enjoyed the opportunity to share the reason for the hope that he had in Jesus Christ.

Never did Bill imagine that these humble efforts would grow into Lifewater International, a Christian non-profit organization that would serve more than 2.5 million people across 40 countries and 40 years with safe water and improved hygiene/sanitation.

Three weeks ago, my family joined Bill’s at a reunion in Los Angeles. He was weak but in good spirits. His mind was still quick and active. During dinner we talked about drill rigs, community strategies, volunteers, and all things Lifewater. He told me stories of crazy ways that they would get water out of the ground all those years ago! That would be the last time we would talk ‘shop’ on this side of heaven. I’m going to miss those conversations. Even more, I will miss Bill.

Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years (Lorraine), his four children (Anna, Gene, Don and Kevin), and his 14 grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren.

On behalf of the entire family at Lifewater International, Bill, we love and will miss you. Thank you for modeling what it means to love Christ and to serve him among the most vulnerable. We will celebrate your life and legacy in our daily work to provide safe and sustainable water to every child – for the glory of God and the good of all people.

Respectfully,

Justin Narducci
President/Chief Executive Officer
Lifewater International

 

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Don’t just say Blessed today. Do it. https://lifewater.org/blog/dont-just-say-blessed-today/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:54 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9156 Can we be honest for a minute? “Blessed” is a word that we hear or might even say. It’s often a word people use to describe themselves and sometimes it…

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Can we be honest for a minute? “Blessed” is a word that we hear or might even say. It’s often a word people use to describe themselves and sometimes it means gratitude. This season, though, we’re making some changes for a very specific purpose. “Blessed” isn’t something we’re saying; it’s something we’re doing.

“Blessed” is something you can do today. It’s giving water to a kid who is thirsty. It’s giving dignity to a girl who needs a safe place to go to the bathroom. It’s showing a community the creative leadership of women. It’s helping parents engage in productive labor. It’s breaking the cycle of poverty and disease. It’s a wake-up-your-family-and-celebrate-life kind of action.

But how can I do that?

Simple. From now until the end of the year, invest in these kids, families, and communities by powering Lifewater’s work to bring safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to remote and underserved communities.

Start at lifewater.org/blessed to choose the kind of difference you want to make.

What can I invest in?

It’s a season when we give and receive gifts, but part of the joy is choosing the right gift. Blessed gives you choices of how to make your investment. You can:

For many of these gifts, you can even choose where you’d like them to go: Ethiopia, Cambodia, Uganda, or another area in need.

Want to your Blessed action to be part of your holiday gift-giving with family, friends, or co-workers? You can give a gift on their behalf and we’ll let them know. Thinking of something special that you don’t see at lifewater.org/blessed? Call us at 805-541-6634. We’re a helpful bunch with plenty of coffee.

How do I know I made a difference?

Also simple. We’ll report to you exactly how your investment was used and what it meant. Blessed isn’t just a fuzzy feeling – it bears fruit.

You aren’t alone, either. Join the community that is choosing Blessed and make it stand for lives changed.

Don’t just say Blessed today. Do it.

 

 

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Lifewater Adopts Child Protection Policy https://lifewater.org/blog/lifewater-adopts-child-protection-policy/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:00:03 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8617 Official policy makes vulnerable children safer.   This month Lifewater adopted an official Child Protection Policy that aims to keep vulnerable children safe. The policy, which applies to Lifewater staff…

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Official policy makes vulnerable children safer.

 

This month Lifewater adopted an official Child Protection Policy that aims to keep vulnerable children safe. The policy, which applies to Lifewater staff and volunteers all over the world, outlines safeguards and reporting procedures to ensure all children are treated with respect and dignity.

“The Policy is a proactive measure we are taking to protect children and families who are already vulnerable to abuse and exploitation because of their social or economic status,” says Lindsay Lange, Lifewater’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. “We are using strong safeguards and clear reporting procedures, similar to those adopted by peer organizations, to keep children safe.”

Worldwide, children remain vulnerable to abuse, violence, and exploitation. Nearly 70 million girls ages 15 to 19 (one in four) have been the victim of abuse since her 15th birthday. UNICEF studies show that children in families of lower socio-economic standing and children of parents with little or no formal education are the most vulnerable. This problem persists in areas where a lack of legislation or law enforcement tools leave children unprotected. Many of these most vulnerable children live in areas of Africa and Asia where Lifewater serves.

Lifewater’s Child Protection Policy formalizes and clarifies specific guidelines for appropriate behavior with children, appropriate capture and use of visual and personal communications, and reporting procedures that place the child’s well-being as the top priority. As Lifewater’s field offices expand and staff members spend more time in direct contact with families, the guidelines provide essential standards that apply across different cultures. It includes mandatory background checks for employees that have the potential to be in contact with children. All staff and anyone representing Lifewater as a volunteer or trip participant are required to abide by the policy as well.

Lifewater Legal Counsel Sada Andrews adds, “Lifewater’s policy is consistent with international standards for upholding the rights, dignity, and safety of children, but it also helps our organization and employees avoid situations where there is risk of exploitation or abuse. We reinforce the message of dignity and value for all people through how we treat children.”

The policy is effective immediately at headquarters and all field offices.

 

Lifewater International is a non-profit Christian water development organization dedicated to effectively serving vulnerable children and families by partnering with underserved communities to overcome water poverty. With experience in more than 40 countries since 1977, Lifewater serves people of all faiths, focusing on contextually appropriate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development. For more information, contact Christine Zurbach (czurbach@lifewater.org) or visit www.lifewater.org. Lifewater International is based in San Luis Obispo, CA

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What Does Chewing Gum Have To Do With Safe Water? https://lifewater.org/blog/project-7-partners-with-lifewater/ Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:00:38 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8960 Project7 and Lifewater team up to help small choices make a big difference. US-based specialty gum company Project7 is putting its profits toward good work around the world. By supporting…

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Project7 and Lifewater team up to help small choices make a big difference.

project7-logo

US-based specialty gum company Project7 is putting its profits toward good work around the world. By supporting Lifewater’s work in Africa and Asia, Project7 and its customers are helping children and families get safe water.

Project7 aims to be “Great Tasting and World Changing.” The specialty gum and mint brand brings great flavor into your day while giving back to seven areas of need, including providing clean drinking water to the thirsty. By partnering with non-profits like Lifewater, Project7 turns consumers’ decisions about the small things into improving others’ lives. Little purchases when added up, can pull many people together and make life changing impacts every day of the week. Project7 has given the equivalent of 1.2 million months of clean water to those in need.

“We are excited to partner with Lifewater and their mission to provide clean drinking water for those in need in countries and communities that do not have the same access that we do,” says Tyler Merrick, Project7’s founder. “As a father, I can’t imagine my children not being able to have access to get clean drinking water and it’s something I take for granted every day.”

Globally, nearly 663 million people do not have safe water, and most of them live in rural areas. Many collect water from ponds and streams contaminated with harmful germs, parasites, and chemicals. With safe water, communities are able to stop the spread of disease, improve health, attend school, and be more productive. Women and children see the most benefit from a source of safe water close to home. Last year alone, Lifewater helped over 34,000 people get a sustainable source of safe water.

“We are honored to partner with Project7,” says Justin Narducci, Lifewater’s President/CEO. “They make great products in a way the benefits everyone involved, and they channel everyday decisions into something that, cumulatively, changes the world for the better. They’re not just working to satisfy customers; they’re saving lives.”

Project7’s products include gourmet gum, gummies, mints, and clusters, with flavors like “Front Porch Lemonade,” “Birthday Cake,” “Coconut Lime,” and “Peppermint Vanilla.” They can be found in national retailers like Target, Starbucks, and World Market, as well as regional grocers and on Project7’s website. All Project7 products are made in America.

“This is why we started a business like Project 7,” continues Merrick. “To come alongside non-profit partners already out in the field working hard to make a difference. We are just a conduit to helping show how little purchases like a pack of gum can add up and make an impact to those in need.”

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Your Endeavors Will Not Be Frustrated https://lifewater.org/blog/endeavors-will-not-frustrated/ Thu, 17 Nov 2016 22:21:06 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8953 Leaders and families gather to celebrate WASH in Uganda.   Lifewater staff, families, teachers, government officials, and religious leaders gathered together yesterday to officially launch and celebrate the WASH program…

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Leaders and families gather to celebrate WASH in Uganda.

 

Lifewater staff, families, teachers, government officials, and religious leaders gathered together yesterday to officially launch and celebrate the WASH program in Bwiite, a community in Kaliro, Uganda. The Kaliro program will serve over 30,000 people living in this eastern region of Uganda with access to safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education.

The event gathered essential stakeholders in Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV) strategy, which combines the resources of the entire community to discover and implement WASH solutions. “The launch event went on very well,” said Alex Mbaguta, Lifewater’s Uganda Country Director. “We had a good turn up from our beneficiary community members as well as other stakeholders from Ministries, Kaliro District Local Government, Schools, Religious leaders and the Lifewater team.”

 

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Kaliro, in eastern Uganda, is a semi-arid district with patchwork grasslands and forests, where many families farm or herd animals for subsistence. Very few people have access to safe water, sometimes waiting six hours in line at a well, and nearly half of residents collect surface water from a ditch or pond. Open defecation is commonly practiced.

In Bwiite, a remote and underserved community, Lifewater will help the residents access safe water, build school latrine blocks, and guide WASH in Schools and Healthy Homes programs, which help students and families practice hygiene behaviors that improve health, help kids stay in school, and demonstrate the communities’ ability to enact and sustain WASH solutions.

Officials from the local government, including a representative from the Ministry of Water, a local pastor and sheikh, and primary school officials all expressed their support for the efforts ahead. The pastor shared the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well from John 4. Lifewater WASH facilitators also performed dramas about Healthy Homes to help spread the knowledge of what households can be doing to immediately improve health and stop the spread of disease.

Bwiite Primary School authorities handed over a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the school and community to Lifewater staff for beginning interventions in the school. The certificate reads “We highly believe that once implemented problems like hygiene and sanitation, girls child drop out, and attitudes towards education will greatly improve. Your efforts and endeavors will not be frustrated.”

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Young entrepreneur brings health to school and community https://lifewater.org/blog/young-entrepreneur-brings-health-school-community/ Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:02:03 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8898 Health and Wealth: A boy uses WASH to create both Last year, eleven-year-old Gideon’s family and neighbors in Bukunya struggled with frequent illnesses. He would miss school or his mother…

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Health and Wealth: A boy uses WASH to create both

Last year, eleven-year-old Gideon’s family and neighbors in Bukunya struggled with frequent illnesses. He would miss school or his mother and father would have to give up days of working in the home and their small family farm because they were sick or caring for others. Many of these illnesses were due to Bukunya’s lack of access to safe water, sanitation, and knowledge of healthy hygiene behaviors (WASH). Most days, Gideon was able to attend school in his community in the Kaliro District of eastern Uganda, but many children were not as fortunate.
 

 

Then an investor came along. Lifewater began working in Gideon’s school, Nawaikoke Primary School, last year, helping to establish a WASH Club. The Club is comprised of students who put their talents to work to spread the news peer-to-peer about healthy WASH behaviors.

Gideon learned a lot. He learned about the importance of using a latrine, washing hands with soap, and keeping dishes clean. He brought this knowledge home to his family and quickly persuaded them all to try these new habits. His mother saw immediate improvements and became a WASH Facilitator in their community and began teaching her neighbors about sanitation and hygiene.

Gideon learned how to build a latrine cover, a dish drying rack, and a tippy-tap – a simple, low-cost handwashing device that uses very little water. He built all of these for his family.

 

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