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Lifewater International

Foolanthropy 2003
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Every eight seconds, a child dies of a water-related disease. We're used to hearing about hunger in the world, but the fact that almost one-fourth of humanity lives without proper access to water and sanitation usually escapes us. According to the World Health Organization, roughly half of all people in developing countries are suffering from one or more of the six main diseases associated with an unclean water supply and poor sanitation (diarrhea, ascaris, dracunculiasis, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and trachoma). Every year, more than 5 million people die from illnesses linked to unsafe water. Unsafe water has an impact on another population as well since 70%-80% of AIDS patients die from diarrheal diseases associated with unsafe water.

Enter Lifewater. Lifewater International works with people in developing countries to access and maintain safe water so they can break the cycle of disease and poverty. Lifewater is a volunteer-based organization with over 200 currently active volunteers. Many of the people serving with Lifewater are well drillers, hydro geologists, engineers, community development workers, water-health specialists, teachers, environmental scientists, and people in business.

LifewaterLifewater's volunteers travel to developing countries to train nationals in ways to access, improve, and maintain local drinking water supplies by utilizing appropriate technology and specializing in well-drilling, pump repair, and basic hygiene and sanitation. National crews are able to continue working and training others after volunteers return home because Lifewater donates the necessary equipment and continues to supply technical and financial support while working toward their self-sufficiency. Founded in 1979, Lifewater has completed, or is now working on, water projects in more than 50 countries on five continents. Lifewater volunteers and national crews have installed or repaired thousands of village water wells.

Most impressive of all, Lifewater can provide a person with a lifetime supply of clean water for about the cost of one lunch.

This inspiring organization came to us via an outstanding nomination on our discussion board. Jeff Bjorck, the author, pointed out that, among other things, Lifewater is a Christian organization that serves all people, regardless of creed. He added, "Indeed, the vast majority of those who have benefited from Lifewater services have been people of faiths other than Christianity."

Lifewater has been around for some 20 years, but it remains a small (yet incredibly effective) organization. Lifewater has more projects than it's currently able to fund, so every gift we provide, large or small, will help save lives, prevent disease and bring hope to those in need.

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Lifewater International