Water Collective: Bringing Water to Cameroon [Video]

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Water Collective, a New York City startup, is working to tackle the worldwide water crisis. Through economic empowerment, the organization’s fall campaign, entitled Together, takes the goal of bringing clean water to 11,000 people in Cameroon. The goal is aimed at raising funds to bring clean drinking water to five Cameroon villages.

According to the organization, “In Cameroon, 50 percent of rural communities do not have access to drinkable water.” By raising approximately $15,000, Water Collective aims to bring sustainable drinking water to the villages and also incorporate a job training initiative. The efforts of Together are expected to bring economic empowerment to around 5,000 people.

While fund raising has been moving quickly for the organization, more help is still needed to reach the goal. Water Collective is inspired by the stories of the people who live in the areas that are without clean drinking water.

The Together campaign features the life of Mwene Pierre, who is a cocoa farmer from Ekanjoh Bajoh, Cameroon. With a wish to bring clean water to the area, Pierre’s ideas spawned an initiative that Water Collective is helping make a reality. Others in his village have tried to bring in clean water, but have not been successful.

In a press statement, Sophia Sunwoo, the co-founder and CEO of Water Collective said that Pierre’s enduring strength helped him find a way to make his wish come true.

“Despite none of his elders or peers believing in him, he was fueled by this endless passion to make life better, taking four hour motor bike rides to write outreach emails at a computer,” she said.

Water Collective plans to use the power of social media to help raise donations and ignite support for the campaign. Funds raised during the campaign will help with constructing a piped water system. In a press statement, Josh Braunstein, co-founder and water projects director, explained how having such a system would make a tremendous impact.

“The water system for this project catches spring water, filters it, and delivers it through piping to taps conveniently located outside people’s homes,” he said. “In order to support future wear and tear of this system, Water Collective attaches an economic model that provides locals with training for relevant, income-boosting skills like organic farming and bee keeping.”

Braunstein also said that while the goal is to bring clean water to the villages, Water Collective also wants to ensure that the water doesn’t get turned off after the new system is installed in the village areas.

“We’re really committed to not only providing access to drinkable water, but also tackling the economic hardships people face to keep their water sources running,” he said, in the statement.

For more information about the organization, or to donate to Water Collective, visit them at www.thewatercollective.org, or on Twitter @WaterCollective.