The Waterbearers was founded a few years ago by two women, Spryte Loriano and Jane Brinton who both share a deep passion for seeing everyone on the planet have access to clean water. I sat down with Ophelia, one of their impassioned volunteers, to learn more about the organization.
What is the mission of The Waterbearers?
Our mission statement is: Inspiring women who have access to clean water – to get it to those who do not.
For many of us, clean water is as easy as walking to our sink and turning the faucet. This is so not the case with millions of people around the world. According to 2013 figures by the United Nations, 85% of the world’s population live in the driest half of the planet. That means that 783 million people do not have access to clean, drinkable water. And those numbers are from 2013 so it’s undoubtedly even greater now.
How do you go about accomplishing your goals?
Our goal is to bring clean water to as many people as possible. Currently we are in a campaign to get clean water to 1 million people by March 22, 2017 which is World Water Day. We accomplish this by raising funds to purchase water filters. Each filter costs $50 and will provide clean water for 100 people for up to 10 years!
The Sawyer filters are certified for ABSOLUTE microns making it impossible for harmful bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E. coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella typhi (which causes Cholera and Typhoid) to pass through. No pumping, no chemicals, no waiting, no worries! Incredible fast-flow rate, simple to use, and each filter can be backwashed to extend its life.
Each filter provides clean water for up to 100 people. Just $50 provides the distribution of one Micron Absolute Filter, Bucket Adapter, Bucket Hole Cutter, Filter Cleaner, Adapter Hose and Filter Hanger.
What is your biggest success story?
We are so fortunate to have many success stories. On our website you can see that in the short time since Spryte and Jane founded the organization, we have been able to take filters to Indians in the Amazon in Ecuador, Mayans in Mexico, two elementary schools, one in Tulum, Mexico and another in Reshikesh, India. The Waterbearers were on the ground very soon after the earthquake in Ecuador. And in 2017, we will be going to Liberia, Africa in February, and later in the year to the Galapagos and Nicaragua.
|Mayan woman drinking clean, filtered water.|
|The Waterbearers in Tulum.|
Every person to whom we can bring clean water is a success story!
What have been the most significant obstacles?
Well, as any non-profit knows, fundraising is ongoing. We have Waterbearers around the world and we have people who are ready to travel to deliver filters, but we need funds to purchase those filters. One hundred percent of all donated funds are used towards filters. We are largely a volunteer organization so fundraising is something we are always involved in.
What do you hope for the future of the organization?
We plan to get access to clean water to as many people as possible!
How can others get involved?
Go to our website and there you will find a Donate button. It’s that easy to help get clean water to those who do not have it! We have Waterbearers around the world and four of us happen to live here in Boise! Here is our fundraising page.