Smile Savvy has been inspired to partner with World Vision’s WASH Program (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) to make a difference and help bring clean, safe water to more children and families.
Providing clean water access to everyone on earth is an achievable goal.
“Every morning I am up before the sun,” said Violet. She made the daily journey while dreaming of going to school, and of a better life. Still, after hours of walking to collect water, Violet and her family were not out of harm’s way. With every sip, shower, and usage of the water, they risked serious illness from contamination.
Today, with World Vision’s help, Violet no longer treks to get water. World Vision established a clean-running well right in Violet’s village. Since she’s free from the burden of finding water every day and without the horrible consequences of unclean water, Violet can now plan for a future in school, and begin to live her childhood more peacefully.
World Vision has known for a long time that children can be powerful agents of positive change in communities, and because of this, a critical part of their WASH Programs in the developing world includes outreach to schools. In fact, they reach an amazing four new schools every day with clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Gifts to World Vision continue to benefit communities long after they are initially given. The UNC Water Institute conducted an independent study of water sources in Ghana and found nearly 80 percent of World Vision wells continue to function at a high level after 20 years, thanks largely to emphasis on community engagement.
Each dollar donated to World Vision for clean water is matched through generous donors, David and Dana Dornsife’s five-year, 40 million grant to World Vision’s WASH programs. Their gift ranked 5th in Forbe’s list of the top philanthropic “Big Bets for Social Change.”
Safe drinking water, improved sanitation, good hygiene, and good water resource management can lead to a reduction in child mortality, cut transmission of malaria, improve public health, and reduce extreme poverty. Providing hygiene education and sanitation facilities, like latrines and hand washing stations, dramatically multiplies the health benefits of safe water by helping to reduce disease transmission through fecal contamination and unwashed hands. Combining water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions can cut preventable child deaths by up to 57 percent, reduce chronic malnutrition by 40 percent, reduce school absenteeism among girls by 50 percent, and obtain an 8:1 economic return in target communities. So intertwined are the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene that they have been combined into one sector known in the global aid community as “WASH”.
World Vision develops the most appropriate safe water source for each community they work in. Some of the technologies they use include drilling deep wells to reach aquifers far below ground, and hand-drilling wells when the water table is closer to the surface.
In larger communities, wells with a high water yield can be mechanized with solar pumps to reach more people. When fresh spring water is available, World Vision can protect and cap the spring to provide water to nearby communities. World Vision often uses rainwater-harvesting systems to provide clean water at schools.
World Vision’s model contributes to community ownership and training in maintenance of water points so that water continues to flow long after our work concludes. Because World Vision invests an average of 15 years in a community, local people take ownership of the water points and learn how to repair them when they break down.
World Vision establishes water management committees to maintain and operate water points. These committees collect small fees to pay for repairs as needed — an approach that helps ensure communities have the knowledge and financial resources to keep their water points working smoothly.
World Vision doesn’t stop at only providing clean water. Once wells are established, they also go into these same communities and provide sustainability and economic empowerment by teaching a trade to women who no longer spend a significant portion of their day collecting water for their families. Additionally, children are now free to go to school full-time.
World Vision sanitation and hygiene interventions focus on promoting lasting behavior change. Instead of simply building latrines themselves, World Vision uses a participatory, community-driven approach that motivates households to build, maintain, and regularly use their own latrines. Hygiene education encourages community members to modify their hygiene habits by washing their hands and dishes with soap or ash, and practicing safe water handling and storage.
Smile Savvy is committed to the ongoing support of World Vision. With each website Smile Savvy sells, we donate 3 years of clean water for a family of 4.
Purchase a website through Smile Savvy and a family of 4 will receive clean water for 3 years. And remember, every dollar donated to the WASH program will be matched by the Dornsife Grant.