Lifewater https://lifewater.org A Non-Profit Christian Water Development Organization Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:00:46 +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 Victory Life Church Helps Ethiopians Get Safe Water Well https://lifewater.org/blog/victory-life-church-helps-ethiopians-get-safe-water-well/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:00:46 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8090 Church-based running team helps raise money for African community.   Runners from Victory Life Church in Battle Creek, Michigan helped provide safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education for a…

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Church-based running team helps raise money for African community.

 

Runners from Victory Life Church in Battle Creek, Michigan helped provide safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education for a community in Ethiopia this year through their fundraising efforts. Members of Team Victory Road Runners competed in the Kalamazoo Borgess Run marathon, half-marathon, 10k, and 5k on Mother’s Day weekend and raised $6,869.

The Team Victory Road Runners trained together for months and set an ambitious goal: to raise enough money to provide an entire community with a sustainable source of safe water and sanitation. “We are a passionate group of believers in Christ from Victory Life Church who love to run,” said Pastor Jon Major. “We are training our bodies to reach new levels and we are excited for the journey that God has for us.” The team exceeded their goal of raising $6,000.

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Victory Life Church got involved with Activewater, the athletic division of Lifewater, through a connection with Daren Wendell, who last year ran across the United States in 100 days – averaging nearly 30 miles per day. Wendell’s long-distance run also raised money to benefit communities in Ethiopia, and he traveled to see the impact and need for safe water and sanitation first-hand.

“Water and sanitation in these villages in Ethiopia is a game-changer,” reported Wendell. “Women walk several miles each day to collect the water they can carry, and the lack of clean water and sanitation means their families are constantly sick. When there is a nearby source of safe water, kids can go to school and parents have more time for productive labor.”

Nearly two in three rural Ethiopians do not have safe water, and 72% do not have access to improved sanitation. This leads to chronic water-borne diseases, which keep children out of school and adults out of work, keeping them in a cycle of poverty and poor health. With safe water and latrines, school enrollment increases, especially for girls, and people are able to participate more in community development, especially women. The funds raised by Team Victory on Mother’s Day weekend will help hundreds of Ethiopian mothers care for their children.

“We finished with 35 runners competing. Every runner gave it their all, and celebrated as they crossed the finish line,” said Pastor Major. “It’s amazing what a group can do when your church is supporting you.” Team Victory and Victory Life Church continues to raise awareness and support for the effort to ensure all families have access to safe water, improved health, and the knowledge that God loves them and cares for them.

 

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 all people, 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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Healthy Homes Reported in Uganda https://lifewater.org/blog/healthy-homes-reported-uganda/ Thu, 18 Aug 2016 18:04:54 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8067 Households in underserved, rural Ugandan area reach a WASH milestone.   This month in the Kaliro District of eastern Uganda, Lifewater field staff certified the first “Healthy Homes”, bringing a…

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Households in underserved, rural Ugandan area reach a WASH milestone.

 

This month in the Kaliro District of eastern Uganda, Lifewater field staff certified the first “Healthy Homes”, bringing a new stage of improved health and dignity to hundreds of rural Ugandans. Healthy Homes are the building blocks of thriving communities, where vulnerable children and families work to realize the benefits of WASH access.

A “Healthy Home” indicates a household that successfully implements all of the requirements of safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene. A household receives this designation when it demonstrates that it:

  1. Drinks safe water (Water either from a safe source or treating water from an unsafe source)
  2. Stores water properly (using a narrow-mouthed, clean container)
  3. Uses an improved latrine with dignity (In Uganda this means walls, roof, door, slab, and pit cover)
  4. Uses a proper handwashing device (which does not re-use water)
  5. Uses a drying rack for dishes (raised off the ground)
  6. Maintains a clean compound (clean of rubbish and trash)

Healthy Homes receive an official certificate and community recognition. With these behaviors in places, families can prevent the water-borne diseases that keep them trapped in poverty.

“We are happy to see the first Healthy Homes in Kaliro,” says Dr. Pamela Crane-Hoover, Lifewater’s VP of Global Programs. “Our field staff are effectively training community leaders to implement helpful WASH tools and behaviors and serve as examples in their communities. Now that these leaders have made the changes in their own homes, they can teach their neighbors how to do the same.”

As of July 28, 2016, the first nineteen Healthy Homes to demonstrate these six behaviors to Lifewater staff are located in the Nawaikoke and Bumanya Sub-counties. In June, Lifewater trained and deployed 105 WASH facilitators from 21 villages in their own communities. These households are the first of 3,500 expected in Kaliro over the next few years. Lifewater continues a multi-year project in the area that aims to serve 30,000 people in with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.

 

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Lifewater Launches New Website https://lifewater.org/blog/lifewater-launches-new-website/ Sat, 13 Aug 2016 00:17:41 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=8026 Redesigned site allows visitors to track progress in real time.   Lifewater unveiled a new website the first week of August. The website allows visitors to directly engage with Lifewater’s…

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Redesigned site allows visitors to track progress in real time.

 

Lifewater unveiled a new website the first week of August. The website allows visitors to directly engage with Lifewater’s work in communities as well as see results from the field in real time.

“The new website better recognizes the role and accomplishments of the people we serve,” said Justin Narducci, Lifewater’s President/CEO. “We want people to see the big picture of our WASH development work but also celebrate with each family that gets safe water, sanitation, and improved hygiene for the first time.”

The website features design that reflects Lifewater’s professionalism alongside passion for each vulnerable child and family whose lives are transformed by better health, dignity, and opportunities to flourish. Visitors can explore detailed reports from past programs as well as descriptions of current programs and an interactive map detailing the Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV) strategy that is changing communities in Africa and Asia. With extensive resources detailing the challenges of the global water and sanitation crisis, visitors will use the website as a starting point for information.

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One of the highlights of the new website is real-time reporting of certified Healthy Homes. A Healthy Home is trained and certified by Lifewater staff who visit regularly to help families adopt the inexpensive, behavior-based practices that can significantly improve health and prevent water-borne disease. Behaviors include storing water safely, using a latrine and handwashing station, and using a dish drying rack. Visitors can see the numbers of Healthy Homes reported for each region updated in real time.

In addition to seeing results from the field, visitors to the new website can easily find ways to engage in the work to bring safe water and sanitation to communities all over the world. Through Lifewater’s real-time data monitoring system, donors are able to fund an entire water project and receive photos of the water source they helped provide as well as photos of the previous water source the community was using.

“This website brings together the moving parts of a global movement to end water poverty in our generation, and we are working to do that with excellence and transparency,” continues Narducci. “The people we serve, and those helping them, deserve to be supported and celebrated like family.”

Lifewater released the new version August, with additional resources added over the coming weeks. Privacy, security, and accuracy continue to be paramount concerns, and current personalized fundraising pages for athletes and supporters will remain unaffected.

 

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 all people, 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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Lifewater Summer 2016 Newsletter https://lifewater.org/blog/lifewater-summer-2016-newsletter/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:43:31 +0000 http://lifewater.org/?p=7007 Find out how your gifts create healthy homes. What you’ll find in this Issue: Five habits that can transform the future of a family. Program launches to serve 28,100 people.…

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Find out how your gifts create healthy homes.

What you’ll find in this Issue:

  • Five habits that can transform the future of a family.
  • Program launches to serve 28,100 people.
  • Cycling teams bring water, health, and hope to thousands.
  • We want to meet you! Find an event in your area.

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New Lifewater Field Office Opens in Cambodia https://lifewater.org/blog/new-lifewater-field-office-opens-cambodia/ Fri, 15 Jul 2016 21:39:52 +0000 http://lifewater.org/?p=7004 Svay Leu Office launches program to reach thousands in remote, rural province. Lifewater International opened a new field office in Svay Leu, Cambodia, this month. The Cambodian field staff will…

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Svay Leu Office launches program to reach thousands in remote, rural province.

Lifewater International opened a new field office in Svay Leu, Cambodia, this month. The Cambodian field staff will operate from this office to engage several remote, rural communities in Siem Reap Province where vulnerable children and families lack access to safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH).

“The communities the new Svay Leu office will serve are among the most remote and underserved in the country,” says Carol Nowlin, Lifewater’s Southeast Asia Regional Director. “Our staff members are eager to continue the relationships they’ve formed visiting these communities, and they have found hardworking, welcoming families that are eager for change.”

In the northwest region of Cambodia, Svay Leu District is home to thousands of farming families. Many villages are remote and WASH coverage is very low. Seasonal rains are not enough to sustain the population, and changing climate patterns have brought drought. Unexploded landmines continue to pose a threat. While most children attend primary school, few continue to secondary school, and many girls drop out when they reach the age of menstruation because there are inadequate WASH facilities in schools.

Over the next few years, Lifewater will reach more than 28,000 vulnerable children and families with 26 village water projects and 6 school water projects. This new field office is responsible for implementing Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV) strategy, which includes actions and goals for each household, community, and school that will improve sustainable WASH access and health. “I am excited to see how the VHV strategy enables breakthroughs in each household,” continues Nowlin. “We are introducing low-cost changes that everyone can implement. It’s not just a breakthrough for health; it’s a breakthrough in bringing hope where there is a lot of discouragement.”

The eight local employees currently working from the field office also coordinate with local government, which supports the work and participates in certifying healthy communities and schools. Lifewater’s program aligns with the Cambodian government’s national action plan to extend WASH access to all rural Cambodians. The Cambodian staff also works closely with local churches to strengthen their witness in communities, caring for their neighbors in tangible ways.

While the Svay Leu office serves people in Siem Reap Province, Lifewater is also investigating more opportunities to serve in neighboring regions. “The Southeast Asia region is strategically important for Lifewater to expand its reach,” remarks Lifewater’s President/CEO, Justin Narducci. “In the coming months and years, we will launch additional field teams in remote regions of Southeast Asia to serve the most vulnerable children and families. This field office in Svay Leu is just the beginning of what is to come.”

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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StreamKey Serves Communities Worldwide with Water https://lifewater.org/blog/streamkey-serves-communities-worldwide-water/ https://lifewater.org/blog/streamkey-serves-communities-worldwide-water/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 22:38:41 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=6278 Ohio-based water and wastewater systems specialists bring water and sanitation to communities in Africa. StreamKey, an integrated solutions provider for residential and commercial water and wastewater systems in the Midwest,…

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Ohio-based water and wastewater systems specialists bring water and sanitation to communities in Africa.

StreamKey, an integrated solutions provider for residential and commercial water and wastewater systems in the Midwest, is committed to helping vulnerable children and families in Africa get access to safe water and improved sanitation. After funding a safe water well in Uganda, the company continues to dedicate a portion of its profits to helping more communities.

StreamKey prides itself not only on its excellent technical and marketing support in the field of water and wastewater systems, but also on its service to the community. In 2014, StreamKey President Mike Felton and engineer Ron McAdams helped StreamKey donate a portion of its profits to water and sanitation projects in poor communities. That year, StreamKey funded a clean water well for a village in Uganda. After seeing the results, the company committed to helping another community in the next year.

“This company is really serving people well all around the world,” says Lifewater General Manager Shaun Russell. “They offer world-class service and expertise to their clients here in the US, but they also have a rare understanding of how deeply water and sanitation affects every part of life, so they know how profound their impact can be on people who have never had it.”

Worldwide, 663 million people do not have access to safe water and 2.4 billion do not have improved sanitation. Without access to water and sanitation, people suffer from preventable, water-borne diseases, which keep them out of school and work. They also spend hours each day gathering water or finding a safe place to go to the bathroom, which further marginalizes them from education and productive labor. In rural Uganda, where StreamKey provided its first well, one in ten people must collect water from contaminated streams and ponds, which they share with animals and often go dry for several months each year. Three in four people have no toilet or latrine.

“I have always been impressed with the approach that Lifewater takes to get local organizations involved in the whole WASH methodology,” said Ron McAdams of StreamKey. “There is community pride and ownership involved in the process of providing and maintaining the wells (versus simply installing a well and leaving the community) – as well as providing the education on sanitation and ways to prevent the spread of water-borne disease. Our company is looking for ways to ‘give back’ to the local and international community, so supporting Lifewater was a natural choice since we are in the water business as well!”

StreamKey plans to provide another village water source by raising $5,000 through a portion of its sales. You can help them by donating here.

 

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 all people 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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Climb for Clean Water Summits https://lifewater.org/blog/climb-clean-water-reaches-summit/ https://lifewater.org/blog/climb-clean-water-reaches-summit/#respond Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:52:03 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=6254 Sixteen climbers summit Mt. Kilimanjaro today to raise awareness and funds for 2,500 people without safe water and sanitation. Last week, sixteen Climb for Clean Water 2016 team members from…

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Sixteen climbers summit Mt. Kilimanjaro today to raise awareness and funds for 2,500 people without safe water and sanitation.

Last week, sixteen Climb for Clean Water 2016 team members from around the country began their journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Team members spent the year training for the physical and mental challenges of mountaineering as well as bringing hundreds of others into their quest to raise awareness of the global water and sanitation crisis. Together the team reached their goal of raising enough money to bring over 2,500 people water and sanitation for life.

Climb for Clean Water team members include individuals who have committed to raising $6,000, enough to bring water, sanitation, and hygiene to a community. “What’s really cool about this is that $6,000 is the amount of money it costs to install a drinking water well, so we know this money has a specific purpose and that it will save lives,” says team member Jeff Crider, who is climbing with his son, Max.

In 2015 an estimated 663 million people globally did not have access to safe water. Nearly half of them live in Africa, and four out of five live in rural areas. There are also nearly 700 million people in Africa that do not have a toilet or latrine. Without safe water and improved sanitation, vulnerable children and families suffer from preventable diseases, missing out on education and productive labor. Households spend hours each day collecting safe water or finding a safe place to go to the bathroom, and families spend a large portion of their income on medical care for the sick. [Citation, pp 4-15]

Team members will face many challenges in their quest. At 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimajaro, in Tanzania, is the tallest mountain in Africa and only 1,000 feet shorter than Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. The seven-day return trek to the summit covers various terrains, from rainforest to arctic zones, to “the rooftop of Africa.”

After the climb, Team Leader Daren Wendell along with the Crider’s and others, including fellow team member Doug Headrick, who is currently serving as President on Lifewater’s Board of Directors, will visit communities in the remote region of Ethiopia where Climb for Clean Water 2016’s impact will serve thousands.

Wendell, an endurance athlete and Lifewater’s Community & Outreach Manager, says, “It’s truly incredible to see the impact that 16 people can have in serving vulnerable kids and families through Lifewater. To date the team has raised over $100,000, serving 2,500 people with safe water and I couldn’t be more excited.”

To donate to the team or any member, click here.

If you are interested in joining the 2017 Climb for Clean Water team, get details and sign up here.

 

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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A Father’s Gift https://lifewater.org/blog/a-fathers-gift/ https://lifewater.org/blog/a-fathers-gift/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:23:08 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=6249 This dad in Ethiopia built a life-saving gift for his kids. Find out what he built for his kids that could save their lives!

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This dad in Ethiopia built a life-saving gift for his kids. Find out what he built for his kids that could save their lives!

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Kaliro Baseline Results https://lifewater.org/blog/kaliro-baseline-results/ https://lifewater.org/blog/kaliro-baseline-results/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 23:28:35 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=6243  A clearer view of the challenges ahead in two Ugandan sub-counties. Earlier this year Lifewater began a multi-year program to help 30,000 people in the Kaliro district of eastern Uganda.…

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 A clearer view of the challenges ahead in two Ugandan sub-counties.

Earlier this year Lifewater began a multi-year program to help 30,000 people in the Kaliro district of eastern Uganda. In April, Lifewater staff in Uganda completed a baseline survey of hundreds of households, which gives a detailed account of what challenges communities face in accessing safe water, improved sanitation, and effective hygiene practices.

Lifewater will serve about 5,500 households in Nawaikoke and Bumanya sub-counties using its Vision of a Healthy Village strategy. Communities, homes, and primary schools will be served with improved WASH access and facilitate behavioral changes that improve health for families. In addition to the people-centered WASH work, Lifewater will complete 50 new or repaired wells, 13 rain tanks, and 26 new or repaired blocks of school latrines.

Baseline survey results are essential to directing efforts toward the behaviors and tools that will make the greatest difference as well as assessing the program’s long-term effectiveness in decreasing preventable, water-borne disease. Those living in Nawaikoke and Bumanya sub-counties will see a lot of changes over the next few years as WASH access improves, and it comes at a critical time, since many families are suffering.

“This baseline report tells us what makes this region unique – both the challenges they face and the assets they already have that we can leverage to serve more people, more effectively,” says Lindsay Lange, Lifewater’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. “Our field staff enter data that allows us to track progress in real time, so we know when we succeed and where more work needs to be done.”

Field staff discovered during the survey that most people in Nawaikoke and Bumanya have access to an improved water source (a well or borehole), but the sources are often far away and the average time to collect water (including the time spent standing in line) during the dry season is 2.5 hours. This increases conflict between neighbors and even within households. Also, staff observed that very few households transported and stored the water safely, meaning the water they used was contaminated.

Fewer than 3% of households have an improved latrine “with dignity” (private, with walls and a roof), and only 12% have a handwashing device with soap and water. Only 1% of caregivers reported washing their hands after handling children’s feces or before feeding their children.

Families in these communities suffer from a lack of formal education. Almost a quarter of adults have no formal education. One quarter of adults finished primary school, including only 20% of women. Children generally have a higher rate of enrollment, but on average, families reported that their children missed more than two days of school in the past two weeks due to illness. Girls often stay home from school during menstruation.

Households in Nawaikoke and Bumanya report that diarrhea is a common illness in children, with more than one third of young children suffering from diarrhea within the past week. Stopping diarrhea is especially urgent in these communities because one in five residents of the area is under age five, a time when diarrhea can be deadly. Over 500,000 children under five die each year from diarrhea around the world.

The baseline survey found that WASH-related illness is not just a problem for the young, however. Adults reported losing nearly four and a half days of work in the past two weeks due to illness, either their own or those in their care. Coupled with the report that the average household spent $17 dollars last month on medical care, the effects of preventable illnesses are widespread. In an area where many households are barely at subsistence level, illness is devastating the potential for productive labor and economic engagement.

“Field staff will visit each household every month, working with them to establish the tools and practices that they can do on their own to make their compound clean and keep their family safe from disease,” says Dr. Pamela Crane-Hoover, Lifewater’s VP of Global Programs. “These require little or no outside investment, they are easily transferred, and they make a significant, immediate impact to improve health.”

 

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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A Birthday Celebration https://lifewater.org/blog/a-birthday-celebration/ https://lifewater.org/blog/a-birthday-celebration/#respond Fri, 03 Jun 2016 19:43:57 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=6185 A special message for our birthday fundraisers. Your birthday provided clean water and a new way of life for children and families living in the rural hills of West Arsi, Ethiopia.…

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A special message for our birthday fundraisers.

Your birthday provided clean water and a new way of life for children and families living in the rural hills of West Arsi, Ethiopia. Thank you!

By donating your birthday, you helped communities like Shasho who, up until now, had to walk long distances to fetch water from a pond filled with unsafe water. The photo below shows  the previous water source that families gathered water from. No one should have to drink from water shared with animals and filled with disease.

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