Making A Difference.
From cleaning the dishes, to taking a shower, or just having a cool glass with lunch, water is something that is part of our everyday lives. For many, the process of receiving clean water is as simple as turning on the faucet. It is not anything that we think twice about. But for families in Fiji, there is a daily battle with if, and where, they will access clean water for their daily needs.
Fiji is a place known for its breathtaking beaches, world-class surfing and high-end bottled water. But it is also a country where half the population, nearly 450,000 people, does not have access to clean, bacteria-free water. One organization is working to change that.
Give Clean Water began in October 2008 when a small group of volunteers went to Fiji and installed new, filters for more than 300 families. Since that time, not only have thousands of lives been improved, but Give Clean Water has developed partnerships with the Fijian Ministry of Health, the Fijian Ministry of Education and the Fijian Scouting Association.
“Our goal is to provide a sustainable clean water solution to eliminate waterborne disease, allow children to attend school more and allow workers to reduce their sick days. By providing a solution, we are able to keep a family healthy and in turn improve their overall life,” Alon Banks, executive director of Give Clean Water shared with Giving Back Magazine.
Give Clean Water is committed to seeing lasting change in families, so they go back and visit each house two times over 8 weeks to verify that the filters are being used and working properly. “When we go into people’s homes, we emphasize basic hygiene and how water becomes contaminated. An important part of our process is that we teach them how to assemble, use and clean the water filter. With proper use, these filters are meant to last a lifetime,” added Alon. “The follow-up visits are what we do that separates us from other organizations. It’s the hard work of going back to villages and making sure everything is going 100 percent well.” During these visits Give Clean Water also collects basic health and financial data from each family to document health change and help coordinate follow-ups.
Since Give Clean Water began working in 2008, they have seen a 98% decrease in waterborne illnesses within the villages they have been supporting. Not only has health improved, but on average families save $32.96 each month by not spending money on health-related issues – a world of change!
$48 provides a sustainable clean drinking water solution for a family in rural Fiji.