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Water Charity

🍂Fall Newsletter

October, 2022

It has been an INCREDIBLE Year... and Looking Forward

As 2022 begins to wind down, we look back on our massive year, that marks an impressive 15 years for Water Charity.  

We could easily rest on our laurels and know that we have already helped over 9 million human beings directly with our projects and programs.  The "ripple effect" from our work is incalculable.  Who can say how many kids that might have died, went on to live productive lives and contribute to their families, villages, nations and the world?  Knowing that waterborne illnesses are the single largest killers of children under 5 worldwide... it is a sobering thought.

We CAN say that WC has spawned dozens of NGOs and partner charities.  We watch with pride as the hundreds of project managers, RPCVs, and friends of WC go on to do big things in development and philanthropy.  (With our direct help, and without.) They are now working for prestigious groups like the Red Cross and the UN.  Many have their own 501(c)(3) organizations and national NGOs.

Things have grown.  Many changes are afoot.  Notably, our esteemed co-founder, and longtime Treasurer, Averill J. Strasser, Esq. and his partner, our ED for many years, Beverly Rouse, have both retired.  Technically, they were both retired when we started this venture.  That they put in so many years of service (without any compensation) is a testament to their amazing spirits.  They will be missed, and it can rightly be said that Water Charity would not exist without the incomparable energy Averill selflessly gave to this.  He continues to be a valuable consultant and friend to the org.  (They can be seen below bookending a team we created in Togo)

Water Charity Staff and Assessors in Togo

Background and Future

Water Charity, a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has implemented about 9,000 projects in 81 countries, providing water to over 9 million people since it was founded.  

Over the last handful of years, we took our effective and efficient model from a village to village approach, and shifted to doing entire regions.  We pioneered the use of GIS Mapping, advanced data collection/mining, and use of geo-located surveys to dramatically increase our ability to demonstrate our effectiveness.  Border to Border efforts under our Water For Everyone banner have racked up a string of impressive accomplishments.  In many cases the surveys we conducted were the only accurate censuses ever taken.  Monumental achievements in visiting every village in a country, recording the state of their water points, and mapping the health trajectories may not make the news in the US, but they are phenomenal achievements. 

The B2B WFE work we did in The Gambia won us a major $500k award from the African Development Bank, which has allowed us to take this effort to the next level there.  We anticipate that we will have brought that nation up to the UN SDG (sustainable development goal) 6 (dealing with water access) in a scant couple more years.  We achieved this goal in January for Liberia as part of a larger team of NGOs.  In The Gambia, we are doing this basically by ourselves.  People who want to support this work can notate it on their donations or contact us to discuss focusing their contributions.

We can proudly say that our per-person cost over 15 years has been an industry low $1.50.  Even with increasing costs, our cost-effectiveness through economies of scale remains in this range, with some projects even costing far less.  The average in our field is around $20, with many even much more than that.  This is because we use local labor, never fly any of our personnel anywhere... and certainly not for photo-ops.  In fact, we spend basically NOTHING on PR and self-promotion.  We rely on our core donors to recognize that we are the most efficient charity in the field.  We can put your entire donations into projects, because we cover our own expenses.  Our admin costs are a paltry 7% currently (down from 8% last year).  This is less than half of the industry standard, and we don't cheat by putting admin as a program cost.

Border-to-Border Approach Proven in Liberia

In Liberia, a country of 5.4 million people, Water Charity joined forces with a dozen other hydro-philanthropic NGOs to coordinate our efforts to bring water to every person in the country by the end of 2021. We officially achieved that goal, and in January 2022, our friends in the effort, The Last Well, closed up shop after having been praised by the country leaders.  Water Charity had adopted 5 regions in Liberia, and contributed greatly to this unprecedented success.

These efforts were celebrated by President George Manneh Weah, back in 2019... pictured below with Beverly (who stepped down this year) in the foreground.

Achieving of UN SDG 6 does not mean that the work is done, or that there is no more need nationwide.  It simply states that no one in the country has to walk more than 15 minutes to an improved water source.  Clearly, Liberia has goals beyond that.  But to put this effort into context, they were among the least compliant countries in the world to the SDG standard when efforts began there.  In a little over 5 years, they are in full compliance.

Water Charity Executive Director Beverly Rouse at event with President of Liberia

Water for Everyone... Everywhere

The success of the Liberia effort encouraged Water Charity to step up and become the lead organization in similar programs all over the world.  From national programs in The Gambia, The Marshall Islands, and Togo... to regional efforts and programs for tribes and sovereign kingdoms.  We completed work with the Yurok Tribe, and are expanding the program to reach all the tribes of the far northern California region. (please help us with this) We are reaching the finish line in the Marshalls as well.  By next summer the entire country will have been given access to water filtration, and we plan on being there to celebrate with our partners in that effort KIO and Give Clean Water.

Currently we are bringing our B2B efforts to rural Madagascar, and will be joining with our colleagues to do Vanuatu soon.  Stay tuned for more info.  We will be updating the website and plan to discuss these things with our donors in future newsletters.

Water for Everyone Initiative

While our webpage has an incredible 7k pages full of projects, chock full of pictures and video... we can never seem to update it quick enough.  As we collect enough updates and field reports, we do our best to post them in near-real-time.  This transparency is important to us, and sets us apart from other organizations... it also gives our hosting and server maintenance teams fits.  LOL.  

Just keeping such a mega site up and running in the face of increasingly intense hacking attempts and vandalism is quite an accomplishment.  We know of no other site in the field that is as comprehensive and large.  Use the search and find a project features to poke around.  Adopt projects.  These are not proposals, but actual efforts that are underway, or even completed, by the time we get around to asking donors to support them.  Not fantasies... but tangible efforts that we pre-fund out of pocket.  (Yet another thing that separates us from other orgs in the field.)

Assessment of The Gambia
Join Us

We need your help to achieve our ambitious goals. We are uniquely positioned to have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of people around the world. Please visit the Water Charity website. Donate.  It makes a huge difference.

Water Charity

Water Charity

404 S. Main St. #118

Yreka, CA 96097-3023


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