The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Charity: Water – Delivering safe drinking water to everyone in the world

Photo courtesy of Silicon Prairie News |

Founded in 2004 by Scott Harisson, charity: water is a non-profit whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to developing countries. ”It’s hard to imagine what 800 million people looks like really, but one in nine might be easier. One in nine people in our world doesn’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without” writes on their about page. Charity: water’s goal is to provide clean water to 100 million people by 2022 through various water initiatives.

Similar to Watsi which we’ve covered earlier, charity:water is completely transparent in terms of their financials. In 2012, they raised $33 million dollars and provided 700,000 people with clean water. $18 million was spent on water projects in 14 countries, of which 37% was allocated to Ethiopia and 10% to Rwanda. They fund different water-related initiatives such as drilled wells, rainwater catchments, hang dug wells, spring protections, biosand filters, piped systems, and latrines. In December, they announced that they’re launching a $5 million pilot project with Google to develop remote sensors so that they can track water flow through their various water points.

Some may recall the story of the young girl, Rachel Beckwith, who started a campaign on charity: water to raise $300 but passed away in a tragic car accident shortly after her birthday in July 2011. Her campaign ended up raising more than $1.2 million after her story went viral. Her parents visited Ethiopia a year after her death in July 2012 which was covered in the video below:

Check out charity: water’s website here for more detail about their work and how you can get involved. And, if you enjoyed this post, subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the week’s most important stories. 

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