“For I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink."
The water crisis is big. And because there’s so much to do, sometimes we forget to celebrate what’s already done. In this report we pause to do just that.
At Water4, we didn't have it all figured out before we started. But we wanted to help end the world water crisis, and we thought we had a good idea, and so nine years ago we decided to act. Since then, every ounce of transformation that’s taken place has been thanks to the God-given tenacity of the 350 African entrepreneurs that we’re now privileged to partner with.
In 2016 that transformation went deeper than ever before. Water4 teams carved out more than six full miles of African soil — one seven-inch auger at a time — to bring clean water to 172,854 people. Team members also engrained themselves deeply into the communities they served, discipling, training and leading men and women to end their own crisis.
new water projects providing sustainable clean water
people educated in health and hygiene practices
days of training in sustainability, & personal & spiritual growth
nations being deeply transformed from the inside out
When you think of agents of positive social change, do you imagine philosophers, politicians, maybe even celebrities? What about an accountant? Emmanuel Odong coordinates with our English-speaking grassroots teams spread out across Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. Odong provides desperately needed logistical support which enables our teams to build and repair wells, saving entire communities in the process.
Joseph Fiason is making Water4 irrelevant. And we couldn’t be happier. As managing director of Water Access Malawi (WAM), Joseph is helping transform water access in his home nation by training villages how to establish and repair water wells, and he’s saving tens of thousands of lives in the process.
What if you had to choose between food and an education? David manages two Water4 drill teams in Togo, but getting to where he is was hard-earned as he survived weeks with little to no food after being forced to leave home just to pursue a high school diploma. As essential to the development of a strong community as clean water, education can be just as difficult to obtain.
When well drillers connect through technology — sharing photos and videos from the field, leveraging their combined knowledge-base, and encouraging one another — more lives are saved.
When new business owners understand how to manage their finances and re-invest profits into their business, they experience freedom — to serve more communities and end the cycle of poverty.
In 2016 MMA cage fighter Justin Wren continued work in his home-away-from-home of the Congo. Water4-trained enterprises in DRC expanded their operations and their reach — bringing clean water to more than 22,000 thirsty people, while also employing and empowering 36 men and women to end the water crisis in their nation.
Last year we were blown away by the students, athletes, churches, and individuals who started their own Water4 fundraisers, rallied their friends, and together raised almost $100,000 to bring clean water access to 5,000 people.
One of those heroes was Bethel United Methodist Church. Through the leadership of Director of Christian Education Chris Phillips, this small rural church hosted a Vacation Bible School with water as its central theme. By the time it was over, the entire church had been inspired, a local baseball camp had gotten involved, and the children of Chewsville, Maryland had raised more than $3,500 to end the water crisis for 175 people.
When a cause-minded company intersects with Water4, together we dig deeper to make lasting change. Last year when Pacha Soap committed a portion of their profits to Water4, they created something that didn't exist before: a new water business serving a region we had never been able to reach before, creating jobs and economy, and ending the water crisis for thousands of people.
We firmly believe that social enterprise — not charity — is the answer to the water crisis, and that to do business well, the employed must operate from a vision bigger than themselves.
Everywhere in the world where water is clean, it’s paid for. That's why Water4 is helping African families become “customers” of water drilling businesses, making small payments for the water they use.
At Water4, one of our core missions is to train local people to address local problems so they can carry the torch of deep, lasting transformation — making them the heroes instead of us.