Women for water, a clean water and women’s empowerment action platform, and Waterboys a Chris Long’s premier athlete-led initiative announced today that they would partner on the water4Her campaign to empower 100,000 East African women and girls through clean water access.
Water4Her will bring together a community of athletes, influencers and donors to raise awareness and funding for impact partners, World Vision, Global Grassroots, WorldServe International and Mama Maji, to deliver critically needed WASH access for women in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
In Africa, women and girls bear the burden of water collection and spend their days walking miles, waiting in long lines and experiencing harassment for water that is often unsafe to drink. Evidence shows that access to clean water is linked to improving reproductive health, increased income, decreased gender-based violence, and reduced risk of water-borne illness.
“Lack of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene access, compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, is plunging women back into poverty,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of campaign co-founding partner Global Water Challenge (GWC), whose coalition efforts have delivered clean water to over 2 million people across Africa, India, the US and Latin America. “This issue is urgent, and when you invest in empowering a woman through clean water, you invest in her ability to live, learn, earn, lead and thrive.”
“This is a time, like no other, where we must come together to ensure that women and girls in need have WASH access,” said Megan Long, campaign chair, former collegiate lacrosse player and co-founder of The Chris Long Foundation. “Water4Her is a unique platform for people, athletes, influencers and sponsors to lend their voices and invest in critical resources to accomplish that.”
Water4Her campaign funding will be deployed towards high-impact program collaborations including:
- Uganda- With World Vision USA, the largest non-government provider of clean water in the developing world, water4Her will support new water systems to supply water to 9 villages, reaching 25,000 people and 4,500 households – including 12,750 women and girls and support 4,000 women and girls to become strong, empowered household decision-makers.
- Kenya- With Mama Maji, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women launch businesses and innovate with water, including deploying their Shule Maji Mamas (Swahili for “school water mothers”) water4Her will maintain water infrastructure at 30 schools as a business, vending water and WASH products to ensure that the schools maintain their infrastructure and women have income, resulting in up to 30,000 people with clean water access.
- Tanzania- With WorldServe International, a leading provider of clean water systems in East Africa, water4Her will increase water access in rural communities for up to 48,000 people with a focus on improved sanitation and hygiene facilities in households, schools and at health care facilities while helping women’s groups to engage in income-generating activities.
- Rwanda- With Global Grassroots, a community-based nonprofit organization that operates a social venture incubator for vulnerable women in post-conflict countries, water4Her will support the ongoing Women’s Water Leadership Initiative by launching 6-8 additional women-led water ventures to reach up to 25,000 people with safe, water access.
The year-long campaign is a commitment by the partners to deploy their assets and networks to help empower 100,000 women through the water – with a focus on social-digital outreach to mobilize 100,000 people to take the water4Her pledge at water4Her.org – committing to five key actions:
- Understand the significance of how the lack of clean water access is a key barrier to women’s empowerment and share the urgency of the water4Hermission with others;
- Rally family, friends, colleagues, and networks to start a water4Her Giving Team;
- Contribute at least $25 to help provide a woman and her family with access to clean water;
- Participate in the Hike4Her event on Saturday, March 20, 2021, to raise awareness around World Water Day about the millions of women who struggle with the daily burden of collecting water; and,
- Take one additional action from the water4HerInvolvement Hub on org/hub