When Wells Bring Hope began nearly ten years ago, our founder, Barbara Goldberg, decided to focus our efforts on only one country. We chose to drill wells only in Niger because it is the poorest country in the world, but there are people struggling with water security around the world, and today, we’d like to highlight the work of a fellow water warrior. The following was written by Kevin Sofen, founder of Wristponsible and host of podcast, Rethinking H20. Kevin also recently interviewed Barbara on his podcast; you can listen to that here.
by Kevin Sofen
Nepal’s municipal water supply is unreliable and often contaminated. After the tragic earthquake in 2015, access to clean water posed a significant, daily problem for Helping Hands hospital, located in the country’s capital of Katmandu. Serving over 200,000 patients each year, the hospital desperately needed a safe water solution to improve hospital operations.
Fortunately, it does not take copious amounts of money or technology to make a tangible impact for those in need of safe water solutions. After determining the needs of the hospital, H2OpenDoors, a water charity division of the Rotary Club, worked with W.S. Darley & Company to implement a combination of solar powered pumps, water treatment, pipes, and tanks. Using these systems, dirty water is pumped to the roof, treated with the SunSpring water treatment system, and clean water is then gravity-fed to over 100 hospital beds. The hospital is now operational and provides safe drinking water to all of its patients. This video showcases the implementation process from start to finish.
After working professionally in the water space for six years, I realized that getting safe water to those in need was not an easy task. I quickly learned that one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is access to capital. To combat this problem, I set out to raise as much money as possible through hosting charity golf tournaments and finding corporate sponsors. After raising $50,000 from two large charity events that went towards the water projects in Nepal, I set out to find a more sustainable source of funding.
While installing water systems in Nepal, I met a group of artisans that created beautiful hand-crafted jewelry. Their work inspired me. I realized that I could buy their jewelry, import it to the United States, sell it to consumers, and donate ALL profits to water charities around the world. Using this model, I could help those in need of clean water and provide work for skilled artisans. After only six months of this endeavor, the charity I created, Wristsponsible, has sold over 1,000 wristbands and has donated $9,000 to three different water charities. Most recently, Wristsponsible has officially grown from an individual charitable passion to a formal 501c3 charity.
People who purchase a Wristponsible bands receive a handmade artisan band and confidently know that the proceeds are implemented ethically. This fuels a vibrant supply chain for artisans around the world that simultaneously crates capital funds for water projects. Out of $10, $3 of the band goes toward employing the artisan and $7 goes to the water project.
In October, we continued our efforts to bring safe water solutions to remote villages and implemented a social water enterprise in the community to Shinyanga Tanzania. To learn more about the recap of this water adventure, you can watch this video.
If you are interested to collaborate or learn more, please feel free to email Kevin at Wristsponsible@gmail.com