Bring Safe Water to Mothers

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“It is hard to fetch water as it is far from our home. We don’t even have enough water for drinking.” - Seourn

Svay Leu region, Cambodia

GPS: 13.553, 104.245
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Your gift provides a safe water source, health training, and hope to women like Seourn living in Svay Leu.

Life for Seourn

August 2022

In Svay Leu, 71 percent of the population believes that water scarcity is one of the community’s greatest problems. 

Seourn lives in the Svay Leu region of Cambodia. She is a 74-year-old mother of six children. Many of her children are married and living on their own, but one daughter still lives with Seourn and her husband, Phan. Because Seourn and her husband are elderly, all house chores, earning income, and fetching water falls on their daughter who cares for them.

Their only water source is a hand-dug pit, about two meters deep. However, this pit only contains water for about six months out of the year during the rainy season. During the other six months, the family has to travel even farther distances for water.

The water that they fetch is often dirty and unsafe, and it makes them sick.

The family struggles to make a living because they cannot successfully grow crops or raise animals due to the lack of water that they face.

Another problem that the family faces is the lack of a proper bathroom. When they have to use the bathroom, they go outside in the bushes, as they do not have a latrine at home. This causes sickness and spreads diseases. 

Seourn and her family do not have enough water to live on, and it makes their lives unnecessarily difficult.

“I have little to hope for. We live day by day only due to the support from our daughter and children,” Seourn said. 

When you give to Svay Leu, you give safe water to families just like Seourn’s. You give families a reason to hope for the future, and you remind them that God loves them and has not forgotten them.

 

About the Region

Svay Leu, Cambodia

In the northern low, flat plains of Cambodia sits the region of Svay Leu. Svay Leu is home to an estimated 46,000 people. 

71 percent of the population Lifewater serves believes that water scarcity is one of the region’s greatest problems.

A large portion of the population in Svay Leu lives in wood houses, built on large stilts to help protect the homes during the monsoon season. 96 percent of the population relies on agriculture and crop cultivation for their main source of income. Nearly three quarters of the population has less than a primary school education. 

Concerningly, 56 percent of children under five years old had diarrhea during the seven days prior to the most recent 2021 survey. Diarrhea is a global leading cause of death in children under the age of five years old, and it’s primarily caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children and families in Svay Leu need your help. Give to Svay Leu today.

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Svay Leu region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in Svay Leu. Lifewater is just beginning a “church first” approach, and we’ll update you as milestones and stories of transformation arrive.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 45 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving.

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 45 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

Charity Navigator (four stars)
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
Guidestar (Platinum)
Great Nonprofits (five star)
Excellence in Giving
Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water.

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches.

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor.

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices.

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Story

Your gift provides a safe water source, health training, and hope to women like Seourn living in Svay Leu.

Life for Seourn

August 2022

In Svay Leu, 71 percent of the population believes that water scarcity is one of the community’s greatest problems. 

Seourn lives in the Svay Leu region of Cambodia. She is a 74-year-old mother of six children. Many of her children are married and living on their own, but one daughter still lives with Seourn and her husband, Phan. Because Seourn and her husband are elderly, all house chores, earning income, and fetching water falls on their daughter who cares for them.

Their only water source is a hand-dug pit, about two meters deep. However, this pit only contains water for about six months out of the year during the rainy season. During the other six months, the family has to travel even farther distances for water.

The water that they fetch is often dirty and unsafe, and it makes them sick.

The family struggles to make a living because they cannot successfully grow crops or raise animals due to the lack of water that they face.

Another problem that the family faces is the lack of a proper bathroom. When they have to use the bathroom, they go outside in the bushes, as they do not have a latrine at home. This causes sickness and spreads diseases. 

Seourn and her family do not have enough water to live on, and it makes their lives unnecessarily difficult.

“I have little to hope for. We live day by day only due to the support from our daughter and children,” Seourn said. 

When you give to Svay Leu, you give safe water to families just like Seourn’s. You give families a reason to hope for the future, and you remind them that God loves them and has not forgotten them.

Svay Leu, Cambodia

 

About the Region

Svay Leu, Cambodia

In the northern low, flat plains of Cambodia sits the region of Svay Leu. Svay Leu is home to an estimated 46,000 people. 

71 percent of the population Lifewater serves believes that water scarcity is one of the region’s greatest problems.

A large portion of the population in Svay Leu lives in wood houses, built on large stilts to help protect the homes during the monsoon season. 96 percent of the population relies on agriculture and crop cultivation for their main source of income. Nearly three quarters of the population has less than a primary school education. 

Concerningly, 56 percent of children under five years old had diarrhea during the seven days prior to the most recent 2021 survey. Diarrhea is a global leading cause of death in children under the age of five years old, and it’s primarily caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children and families in Svay Leu need your help. Give to Svay Leu today.

FAQ's

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Svay Leu region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in Svay Leu. Lifewater is just beginning a “church first” approach, and we’ll update you as milestones and stories of transformation arrive.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 45 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving.

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 45 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

Charity Navigator (four stars)
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
Guidestar (Platinum)
Great Nonprofits (five star)
Excellence in Giving
Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water.

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches.

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor.

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices.

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Your gift reflects your trust in Lifewater International. We commit to honor your generosity by using your gift to help further the mission and vision of Lifewater International. Your donation is used by Lifewater International according to the project objectives to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene within the specified program area. Lifewater International is a charitable organization as described in 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, registered in the United States. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Donations are non-refundable. Lifewater International will honor a donor’s request for any pre-approved program or project whenever possible. In rare occasions where this is not possible, gifts will be used where needed, in accordance with the organization’s charitable purpose. In accordance with this policy, donor’s explicitly release Lifewater International from further restriction on such funds.