We establish long-term partnerships with local, non-governmental agencies and we fund them consistently. Stable funding to our partners enables them to retain qualified staff who develop trusting relationships with local communities and leaders to engage in strategic planning. This approach also allows us to efficiently saturate a region with water and sanitation projects. Our local colleagues are key to our success.
We fund comprehensive, cost-effective projects which include piped water systems, sanitary toilets, and hygiene education. Every project serves a whole community; water is piped directly to individual homes, schools, health clinics, and community centers. Our partners train communities to operate and maintain their systems in perpetuity. Often this requires investing in projects that have higher up-front capital costs but that have proven more efficient and cost effective to operate over time. It also means that our partners don’t opt for new gadgets that haven’t been proven in the field and/or do not have supply chains for service or replacement parts.
We follow up. We routinely visit our projects to evaluate our work, to hold our partners accountable, and to exchange knowledge. We make sure each project is providing the intended benefits and generating the best possible outcomes. You can be confident that your donation is spent wisely and is making a real difference in the lives of the people we serve.
There is also a philosophical value that we hold up — we start from a place of respect for the people we assist. We believe people are their own best resource in escaping poverty and we support solutions based on their priorities. We listen, involve community members in every step of the process, and fund solutions that are most effective in the long run. Every vulnerable community is rich in human intellect and strength of spirit. We are successful because we invest in these resources and provide the poorest people in the world a path out of poverty.
On the fundraising side, we made a conscious decision to focus on grassroots funding. We remain committed to the solutions that best serve vulnerable communities rather than focusing on the priorities of donors. The stable funding provided by individual donors and foundations has proven to maximize the effectiveness of our international work. We believe the global water and sanitation crisis can be solved by building a community of concerned people who take simple and effective actions together.