Engaging Youth to Solve the Global Water Crisis for Schools Around the World
We engage youth to raise funds to implement WASH projects for global partner schools. Youth are empowered to become leaders of change.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
H2O for Life
Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
White Bear Lake, MN USA
Location(s) of impact
Impact in Schools across the United States (currently 37 states)
Impact in Africa, Central America, India, and the Carribean
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Women and girls bear the economic and educational costs associated with unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. Girls miss hours of school collecting water for their families, and upon reaching puberty miss school if there is not an adequate latrine available. Each year, children lose 443 million school days because of water related illnesses, with 40% of diarrhea transmitted at school. Education is necessary for community development.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
The UN Sustainable Development Goal #6-water and sanitation is a call to action for everyone on our planet to take action that will lead to a more sustainable world. We believe the global water crisis is solvable, and that youth must be part of the solution today! We engage donor schools in the US and worldwide, to partner with schools in developing countries and raise funds to support WASH implementation. Students develop global competency and empathy for others. Students at recipient schools receive life-changing facilities improving access to and effectiveness of education. Facilities encourage girls to stay in school and become better educated. For every 10 percent increase in female literacy, a country’s economy can also grow by 0.3 percent. Education is a human right and cannot be taken for granted. Students learning about one another will open doors to a more peaceful world.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
H2O for Life has raised awareness and inspired more than 500,000 US youth to learn about the global water crisis. These students have donated more than $3.3 million (matched to $6.6 impact) for implementation of water and sanitation. Students learn they can make a global difference through funding, and have learned that protection and conservation of water is essential for the future of our planet. Educating a generation of students who understand that they must be advocates and activists for our natural resources is important. Funding has provided access to clean water and sanitation for over 290,000 students in more than 900 partner schools. Studies at these schools have shown that WASH has increased school attendance, improved health, and girls enrollment has increased and girls attend school for more years. We all live in a global world, and education is key to our future.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
5-earned income 2%
H2O for Life is supported by family foundations, corporate sponsors, individuals, earned income and a State of MN grant focused on curriculum development. We are adding an online store and are developing a more robust monthly sustainable donor program. We hope to increase our individual donations and rely less on grants in the future. A 10% fee from schools will grow as school #s increase.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Engaging youth as leaders of change through global connections will lead to a more peaceful world.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
After traveling to Kenya and creating friendships, I received a request from a friend who told me the children in his community were dying due to lack of access to water. I introduced this problem to my middle school students, and we formulated a plan to raise funds to help. After a successful year of fundraising, I visited the water project and returned with photos of the project for my students. This was the moment that the students realized their donations truly changed a community. It was powerful! H2O for Life's school to school partnerships educate youth about the compelling need for water and inspire youth to connect and take action to help students thousands of miles away. Youth are changing the world.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?