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99 People Bring Water to Thousands

Attendees at Lifewater’s Blue Tie Gala to help 36 communities in Ethiopia get safe water.

Lifewater held its first Blue Tie Gala on March 12, 2016 bringing together individuals and families from all over the country to help communities in Ethiopia receive life-saving gifts of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. Ninety-nine attendees gave over $218,000 to help 36 communities and tens of thousands of people in the central West Arsi region.

“The Blue Tie Gala brings together people who are committed to seeing the end of the world’s water and sanitation crisis in our lifetime,” explained Justin Narducci, Lifewater’s President/CEO. “They are personally investing their time, talents, and treasure in helping vulnerable children and families all over the world.”

Generous gifts from this year’s Gala benefit communities in several districts of the West Arsi region, where less than 1% of the population has access to a dignified latrine and almost half of children aged 5-12 are not in school. Women in this region spend hours each day traveling and waiting in line for safe water. Lifewater recently opened a field office in the region to better serve the communities. Ethiopian field staff members work with each household to ensure they have the knowledge and tools to build their own latrines and implement life-saving hygienic behaviors.

Attendees at the Blue Tie Gala, held at the scenic Greengate Ranch in San Luis Obispo, enjoyed acclaimed central coast food, music, and wine while engaging with Lifewater’s heart for serving and strategies for reaching remote, unreached, and underserved communities. Sculpterra Winery and Tablas Creek Vineyard generously provided award-winning wines while Water For Good donated spring water. Guests also enjoyed live music from The G2 Project and pianist/composer Dr. Jeff Bjorck.

At the event, Lifewater demonstrated its Vision of a Healthy Village through interactive stations showing the components of a Healthy Home, such as latrines, handwashing stations, and drying racks. Attendees saw how a community-managed water source, such as a well or capped spring, operates. The Vision of a Healthy Village strategy aims to involve the entire village – households, schools, churches, local government, and local leaders – in developing a sustainable source of safe water and teaching behaviors that stop water-borne disease.