Friendly Water to the World is Foundation Beyond Belief's Q3 2016 Challenge the Gap beneficiary. They work with very poor communities around the globe on ways to ensure their own safe drinking water supply by relying on knowledge-sharing and training, providing the knowledge and resources necessary for communities to take charge of their own water needs. The following post shows how their work affects not just the health of an area, but also enables some measure of self-sufficiency. 

While beneficiaries in four of our five categories are strictly secular, Challenge the Gap gives those members so inclined the option to support a non-proselytizing, progressive religious charity working for the common good.To become a FBB Humanist Giving member, visit our website.

Last summer, Friendly Water for the World provided BioSand Water Filters to all 26 orphanages in Goma, a war-torn city in the midst of a cholera epidemic. When Friendly Water for the World arrived, there had already been 2,000 deaths and there were 100,000 active cases of cholera in the city. Within five weeks, under the direction of Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao, the orphanages went from 67 deaths and more than 700 cases to not a single case. Asked about the health of the children in his charge about a month ago, one orphanage director reported, “Well, two of them have colds.”

But the orphanages are still desperately poor. So, with cholera (and other waterborne diseases) still raging throughout the region, Friendly Water equipped each of them with two additional BioSand Filters, 20-liter water containers, and protocols for cleaning the containers. People in the communities around the orphanages purchase the water ($1.10 for 20 liters) and are given a sealed container. When they bring the container back, they can purchase more water, and the container is then cleaned, and water prepared for the next customer.

People love the clean water. In just the first three weeks of the program, the orphanages have earned $2,322 (the total program cost to Friendly Water in Goma was $3,458). Besides providing clean water for the entire community, the goal is that the orphanages will come much closer to becoming self-sufficient, less reliant on outside donations. Funds from water sales have enabled the orphanages to buy food, cover school fees, purchase medicine, and provide specialty care for infants.  And, if successful, we believe that more members of the community will decide to purchase Filters of their own.