Lifewater https://lifewater.org A Non-Profit Christian Water Development Organization Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:40:07 +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 Winter Newsletter 2017 https://lifewater.org/blog/lifewater-winter-newsletter-2017/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:08:54 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9429 In this issue of Lifewater Newsletter "The Source," see how one boy turned WASH principles into a small business, remember Lifewater founder Bill Ashe, plus take a look back at 2016.

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Loving Across Borders and Cultures

What you’ll find in this issue:

  • How one boy turned WASH principles into a small business
  • Remembering Lifewater founder Bill Ashe
  • A look back at 2016

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How Community Hygiene Opened New Doors for Business https://lifewater.org/blog/community-hygiene-opens-new-doors/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 23:08:27 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9365 As people began to work toward Healthy Homes and better community hygiene, Robert saw an opportunity to use his skills to both provide for his family and help his community move toward better health together.

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Meet Robert the Door Maker

You can tell from his hands that Robert is a carpenter: they are strong, well-worn, and have bandages from days of hard work with hand tools.

Robert is from the parish of Kayunga in Uganda, where Lifewater recently introduced WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) concepts to the community. To help create healthy villages, Lifewater walks alongside families as they start to make small health changes–changes that lead to big health improvements. Each household has a goal of using safe water and storing it safely, using a latrine, washing hands, drying dishes safely, and keeping a clean compound. When a family demonstrates that it does all these things, it earns a “Healthy Home” certificate.

As people began to work toward Healthy Homes and better community hygiene, Robert saw an opportunity to use his skills to both provide for his family and help his community move toward better health together.

One of the main elements of a healthy home is a “pit latrine,” outhouses that use little to no water. In order for a latrine to be healthy, it needs a pit cover, a roof and a door. The roof is not only for privacy, but also for when it rains; that way the pit does not fill up with excess water and begin to overflow. The pit cover reduces odor and helps improve community hygiene by keeping flies from spreading disease throughout the village. The door is the final piece of the puzzle, and where Robert saw his opportunity, as carpentry skills were required to make a durable, functional door.

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Safe Water and Sanitation for 900 in Cambodia https://lifewater.org/blog/safe-water-sanitation-900-cambodia/ Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:26:12 +0000 https://lifewater.org/?p=9431 Our new program in in the Svay Leu district of Cambodia launched last summer; safe water and sanitation is now coming to the villages where we serve.

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Program Update: Cambodia

180 Healthy Homes and Counting

With the help of donors like you, access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene will be provided for nearly 30,000 children and families.

Our new program in in the Svay Leu district of Cambodia launched last summer and we’re beginning to see success in the villages where we serve.

The first Healthy Homes were certified in November and to date, more than 180 households have received a Healthy Homes certification. A family is certified when they’ve successfully accomplished the goals of using safe water and storing it safely, using a latrine, washing hands, drying dishes safely and keeping a clean compound.

With an average household of five, that means together we’ve impacted nearly 1,000 people in desperate need of clean water.

Cambodia staff near new safe water pond construction

Plentiful Water Doesn’t Mean Safe Water

Throughout most of Cambodia, water is plentiful, but it’s not always clean–particularly in remote regions. In Svay Leu, locals collect fresh water with rain jars during the rainy season. During the dry season, they get their water from man-made ponds and unprotected springs–water that needs to be filtered before use. As part of our efforts to provide a reliable source of water, our teams have constructed three new ponds where villagers can collect water for washing, latrines and drinking, once filtered with their household ceramic filter.

Please pray for our in-country field staff as we continue to build the infrastructure that will help us reach the people of rural Cambodia with water, sanitation and the good news of God’s love.

See live progress of the Svay Leu program at lifewater.org/cambodia

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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.

H2O_Logo_Blue_11

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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