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India's current droughtRecent efforts to stem corruption and promote economic growth have caused many to proclaim that India has a bright future ahead. However, India’s current drought poses a grave threat to their future. From 2001 to 2011, India’s annual per capita water availability decreased by 15 percent and most estimates have projected it to fall by almost 30 percent by 2050. In addition, India’s ever-growing population is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2050, making the already difficult task of providing clean water throughout the country that much harder. Needless to say, India has a major challenge on its hands that could define the future of the country.

What Has Caused These Issues?

While there are many reasons for India’s current drought, most experts point to a few main culprits. One of the biggest is India’s changing climate. As India has experienced progressively warmer summers, it has seen reduced snow cover throughout the Himalayan mountain region. This has resulted in decreased water runoff and increased water shortages over time.

Secondly, India has seen its water supply decrease as a result of poor agricultural practices by farmers. Considering that agriculture accounts for 90 percent of India’s water consumption, these practices, including improper use of pesticides and indiscriminate use of groundwater, have resulted in substandard water availability for the millions of Indians across the country.

Lastly, the country has been plagued by water pollution due to improper sewage systems and the dumping of waste in lakes and wetlands. This waste often finds its way into groundwater and contaminates it, resulting in drinking water that is unsafe to drink.

Improvements in Sanitation

While water scarcity in India is by no means a simple issue, there are many promising solutions to the problem, some of which are already being implemented throughout the country. One of the biggest areas of focus for many NGO’s working in India is on improving sanitation practices. Nonprofits such as Water.org and WaterIsLife have both done great work in recent years with to improve sanitation. Water.org has focused its work on providing people with the opportunity to use clean bathroom facilities, which has reduced open defecation. WaterisLife has helped install many wastewater treatment plants, which have helped treat dirty water and make it drinkable.

Rainwater Catchment Systems

India can also continue the good work that has been done by installing water catchment systems around the country. These systems can help recycle water and are a sustainable solution to the water scarcity issues that currently plague the country. Charity: Water, a non-profit based in New York City, has already played a major role in the installation of such systems around the country, which has helped make water more accessible for thousands of Indian citizens.

Looking into the Future

India is not the only country currently facing a drought. Many countries around the world, especially those located in warm or desert climates, are going through similar issues. However, swift action must be taken lessen the effects of the drought. Such action will require heavy contribution from both Indian citizens and the Indian government, along with NGO’s from around the world.

– Kiran Matthias
Photo: Pixabay

Matt Damon and WASH
Matt Damon is an academy award winning actor, screenwriter, producer and humanitarian. Inspired by his trips to Mexico and Guatemala as a youth, Matt has been devoted to ending the struggle for basic human needs. He learned about the immense challenges of accessing and retrieving clean water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa and this inspired him to create the H20 Africa Foundation.

The Foundation of WASH Program

Later on, he teamed up with Gary White to merge into one foundation and launched the WASH program with the official website water.org. The WASH is an abbreviation from Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Matt Damon works with the WASH program by doing active organization work. He visits multiple countries to strategize on how to improve water condition and meets with high-level organizations like the World Economic Forum and the World Bank. This hands-on activity has positioned him as one of the world’s experts on water and sanitation issues.

Matt Damon knows water is a basic human need. In many areas around the world, women and children walk miles on a daily basis to the nearest source of clean water for cooking, drinking and bathing. Having to go so far for water every day takes people away from education and their families and Matt believes this robs people of their potential. As Matt says it himself: “Access to clean water is access to education, access to work, access-above all- to the kind of future we want for our own families, and all the member of the human family.”

The Effects of Water Crisis

The water crisis around the globe has been an ongoing battle for many countries. More people die from unsafe water than from any form of violence, due to the waterborne diseases. These diseases kill more children than malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS combined. Over 100 million families are in a constant cycle of disease and lack of opportunities to improve lifestyle. One in three families lacks access to a clean toilet, increasing the chance of disease. With the journey to get decent water being so long, 443 million school days are wasted, just because families do not have clean water. Time spent gathering water also affects the economy as well as nearly $24 billion is lost annually. Even with these setbacks, every dollar donated to improve clean water and sanitation increases economic activity by eight dollars.

The Work of WASH Program

For more than 25 years, Matt Damon has been working closely with the WASH program to bring clean, accessible water to people in poverty around the world. With the WASH program, safe water has the power to turn problems into potential. The potential for health, education and economic prosperity lie in the power of clean water and sanitation. Gary and co-founder Matt are out there making this happen. So far, they have brought clean water and sanitation stations to over 16 million people. Charity alone is not a permanent or not even long-term solution. Through government and economic outreach, they can raise money with percentages from products sold and government funding. Another way the organization is tackling the ongoing water crisis is with its own type of credit called water credit. Water credits are small loans families can apply for in order to have proper sanitation systems built. The payback on these loans has been high, with a 97 to 99 percent payback rate.

Wash Program Super Bowl Ad

In an attempt to reach out to the masses of people, Matt Damon took the WASH program and put it in a Super Bowl ad. The ad states that, although the water is available at the turn of the knob, for roughly two billion people around the world, water is difficult to access. This includes 750 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and 63 million people in India that lack access to clean water. For example, conflict in Yemen has completely cut off the supply for clean water. At least half a million of those people are infected by waterborne diarrheal diseases. To take action, Matt urges governments and businesses to invest in clean water and toilets. The commercial promotes the sale for Stella glasses. This company has dedicated a portion of 300,000 sales that will go towards water projects correlated with the WASH program. Getting clean water to people globally will require donations, but most importantly companies that will invest in this program.

With millions of people affected by the water crisis, there is no one size fits all solution. Matt Damon and the WASH program are using their influence and are utilizing all their resources to bring people water, a basic survival need, straight to their homes.

– Kayla Cammarota
Photo: Flickr

Providing Clean Water: 3 Beauty Brands that HelpShampooing hair, showering, washing hands after the bathroom- these are all examples of things that are easily taken for granted in the developed world. But 844 million people lack access to safe water around the world and 2.3 billion lack access to proper sanitation. BROO, Aveda and Ollie and Otto are three hair care companies that have partnered with different charity organizations in a goal of providing clean water for the millions of people that are currently living without it.

BROO & Water.org

With every Broo product purchased, one person is provided with the access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Water.org believes the biggest barrier to clean water is affordable financing and knows that charity alone is not a long-term solution for having clean water. By partnering with WaterCredit, Water.org is providing loans to families for only $322. The goal of these loans is to provide families with water connections and toilets. Having water in homes costs only a fraction of what it does to buy clean water from vendors, which could cost as much as 20 percent of a family’s income.

Once the loans are paid back, the funds turn into another loan for a family in need, continuing the cycle of providing clean water and getting families out of poverty. Ninety-nine percent of these loans are paid back in full. Since WaterCredit started, 2.6 million in loans have been disbursed.

Without clean water in the home, women and children in some places spend six hours a day walking to gather clean water. Clean water supply changes people’s lives by giving them more time to get an education and better health. Providing clean water to communities in need ends the cycle of poverty by giving them access to things that previously were not available.

Aveda & Global Greengrants Foundation

Aveda celebrates Earth Month every April by raising funds and increasing awareness for the environment and people lacking clean water. By selling Light the Way Candles, Aveda has raised over $50 million for clean water projects since 2007.

All of the proceeds go to Aveda’s partner Global Greengrants Foundation and support grants that are providing clean water to those in need. Global Greengrants and Aveda have provided 920,000 people with clean water through projects in 85 different countries. Projects include things like “helping communities advocate for safe and affordable drinking water, protecting watersheds such as lakes, wetlands and rivers, helping communities address climate change which contributes to water shortages and scarcity around the globe.”

In April 2018, Head Technology Trainer Godliver Businge of the Uganda Women’s Water Initiative in Gomba, Uganda, taught women in the community how to build Biosand filters that kill 99 percent of bacteria in contaminated water.

With funds from Global Greengrants and Aveda, Gomba is now a prosperous community that can afford to buy textbooks and other school supplies for the children. Buswinge continues to teach women how to build Biosand filters, which in turn reduces the poverty rate and increases health.

Uganda Women’s Water Initiative is also teaching women about bio-intensive farming and how to make soap. Three hundred women are now trained in how to make Biosand filters and rainwater harvesting tanks.

Ollie and Otto & Generosity.org

Ollie & Otto partnered with Generosity.org to provide clean water for one person in yearly period for every product purchased. So far, the partnership is supporting clean water projects in Haiti, India and Africa.

Since Generosity.org started, they have helped 20 countries gain access to clean water and proper sanitation. According to this organization, teaching people to wash their hands and properly use latrines saves more lives than any vaccine.

Funded by partners like Ollie & Otto and other companies, Generosity.org has funded 813 projects and 470,000 people.

Clean water and proper sanitation give people access to a better life. Without the need for a time-consuming gathering of water or health care costs of water born disease, communities now have the time and money to provide an education for their children and to earn more income by working.

Companies like Broo, Aveda and Ollie & Otto are paving the way towards providing clean water and proper hygiene and sanitation for communities that deserve to be lifted out of poverty.

– Hope Kelly

Photo: Flickr

Right to Water
In July 2010, the United Nations recognized and made a stance that clean water and access to sufficient water is a right for every human being. It has been eight years since the stance was made, and many since have asked: how far has the world come in regards to ensuring better water quality to every human being?

Right to Water

In 2010, there were 2.5 billion people worldwide who didn’t have access to proper sanitation and clean drinking water; eight years later, the figure stands at 2.1 billion people. By no means small, this improvement serves as a positive omen and beginning for a future of continued progress.

But complete improvement in water quality, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen overnight. There are currently at least 2 million people around the world whose water source is contaminated with feces. Although there are many organizations who have stepped up to help those in developing countries regain their right to water, here are three programs and initiatives that have made significant impacts on the current water crisis.

WASH

WASH is a program run by the World Health Organization (WHO) that stands for WHO’s focus on different aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene. The mission of WASH is to provide leadership in water, sanitation and hygiene by making statements, influencing policy and coordinating and collaborating with others.

The services from WASH can reduce healthcare-related infections, increase trust in provided services and increase efficiency in aid provided in healthcare institutions. Today, many facilities lack WASH services — 38 percent don’t have an improved water source, 19 percent don’t have improved sanitation and 35 percent lack water and soap for hand-washing.

The most recent campaign by WASH and WHO — “It’s in your hands. Prevent sepsis in healthcare” — educated others on how quickly sepsis can spread through poor hand hygiene. This education is extremely needed as roughly 30 million people deal with this organ disfunction around the world.

Water.org

Water.org is a non-profit that provides local water projects with local water partners in various countries. One of the key ideas of water.org is to have the communities responsible feel like owners of the specific project. Water.org strives to have the community involved in every aspect of their projects.

Water.org has reached 13 countries, including Honduras. In this nation, water.org reached 14,000 people who are in need of either safe water or improved sanitation. This non-profit is currently working on the construction of a community water system, and health and hygiene education in Honduras. By focusing on these goals, more than 3,600 people in two different Honduras communities will gain access to clean water.

charity: water

Using 100 percent of all public donations to fund water projects, charity: water has funded 28,389 water projects for 8.2 million people around the world. Charity: water’s  efforts have given these people their right to water, and have also funded water programs in 26 countries around the world.

The organization also has a variety of solutions they offer to communities who don’t have access to clean water, including rainwater catchments, water purification systems, hand-dug wells and bio-sand filters.

No matter where or who, good or bad, each person around the world is making some sort of impact on the current water crisis. From littering to pouring cooking oil down the drain, daily actions can have substantial impacts on rivers and waterways in local communities. While there are many organizations that provide funds and support to those without clean water, there are many ways an individual can help with the current water crisis. Here are five ways that water quality can be improved in local communities.

Five Ways to Improve Water Quality

  1. Don’t put anything in storm drains, this includes grass and tree clippings.
  2. Don’t pour grease down drains.
  3. Properly dispose of pet waste.
  4. Appropriately dispose of fluorescent light bulbs and automotive fluids.
  5. Never litter.

It is important for each and every person, no matter where they are, to do their part to maintain safe and clean water, and to always remember that the right to water applies to everyone.

– Victoria Fowler
Photo: Flickr

Water Pollution in the Philippines

Water is often equated with life itself. But for an archipelagic region in Southeast Asia sandwiched between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, water pollution in the Philippines has caused this precious resource to be anything but life’s sustenance. According to a report released by the Asian Development Bank, “heavy inorganic pollutants have made water increasingly a threat to life.”

A Threat to Life

The Philippines is a developing country that is also undergoing rapid urbanization and industrialization. Out of more than one hundred million Filipinos, nine million rely on unsafe water supplies. In fact, water pollution in the Philippines and a lack of proper sewage kills 55 people every day.

Katrina Arianne Ebora, part of UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program in the Philippines, notes that access to adequate sanitation facilities is a problem for more than 30 million Filipinos.

This portion of the population is forced to spend considerable time, effort and energy in procuring water. Families without a sanitary toilet often face the embarrassment of venturing outside to relieve themselves. Some resort to asking their neighbors to utilize their sanitary toilet facilities.

Environmental group Greenpeace has previously warned that Filipinos in key agricultural areas are drinking water contaminated with nitrates. After conducting a study on important farming areas, Greenpeace warned that nitrate levels were alarmingly above the safety limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The group also noted that “drinking water from 30 percent of all groundwater wells sampled in [the Philippines and Thailand] showed nitrates levels above the WHO safety limit of 50 mg l-1 of nitrate.”

 

Water Shortage

Due to water pollution in the Philippines, the country is likely to face a shortage of water for sanitation, drinking, agriculture and industrial purposes in the next ten years.

In an Asia Development Bank report, the Philippines’ regional group – which includes Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – has made gains in improving water security. However, the region is home to a sixth of the global population and the poorest people in the world. With agriculture consuming a staggering 80 percent of the region’s water, the region is a global hotspot for water insecurity.

Water conservation efforts in the Philippines by many local and international companies have protected the water supplies for future use. Coca-Cola has pledged nearly $1.4 million for a five-year project with the World Wildlife Fund to protect the capital’s drinking water source, the Ipo Watershed. The Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines, an industry that heavily uses water, has started initiatives to capture and utilize rainwater for many production needs.

Investing in Clean Water

In 2014, Water.org began providing philanthropic and technical support to offset water pollution in the Philippines by expanding its WaterCredit program. Water.org’s statistics show that 75 percent of Filipinos are willing to invest in water and sanitation loans. Between 2015 to 2017, the organization and its partners worked with eight different microfinance institutions to conduct research and training in fulfilling the high demand for clean water and sanitation access.

Experts have a consensus on the water improvement efforts in the country: the Philippines government, environmental action groups, industries and locals need to work together on more initiatives to avert the impending water crisis that may beset the region in the not-so-distant future.

– Mohammed Khalid

Photo: Flickr


Take a moment to imagine waking up in the morning, and instead of reaching for the faucet or filtered system you may use for water, you reach for a bulky jar and begin the trek to fill it with water. Imagine filling that jar until it weighs more than 40 pounds and carrying it for miles to bring home. For millions of women living in poverty, this is a daily routine. More than 600 million people worldwide, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa, still lack access to clean water. Stella Artois is partnering with water.org through the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign to bring clean water to those still living without it.

To raise money for clean water, Stella Artois is selling limited-edition chalices. The chalices feature artwork from countries like Brazil, Cambodia and Uganda. Only $6.25 from each sale is needed to provide clean water for five years. So far, the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign has helped provide 800,000 people in the developing world with clean water.

For women like Anita, in developing countries, the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign offers much more than clean water — it creates opportunity. Since Anita no longer has to waste precious time collecting water, she is able to contribute to the family business and grow crops for the household. In addition, her children have hope for a better future as they are able to attend school instead of waiting in line for water.

Although the Millennium Development Goal to halve the proportion of people without access to clean water has been reached, there are still millions of people living without easy access to this precious and essential resource. Through the Buy a Lady a Drink campaign, Stella Artois is bringing not only clean water to needy communities, but hope for building a better future.

Rebecca Yu

Photo: Flickr

Global Water Crisi
The global water crisis not only hurts women around the world but also hurts economies. Water scarcity affects 2.8 billion people around the world for at least one month each year, and more than 1.2 billion people cannot access clean drinking water.

Matt Damon, who co-founded the charity Water.org, told CNN that he has hope that President Trump could help support the fight against the global water crisis. “For every dollar you invest in this sector, you get back four,” Damon said.

Gary White, Damon’s partner in Water.org, said that many women and girls around the world are unable to obtain an education because they must prioritize carrying water for the survival of their families. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition pointed out that women who focus on education find stable jobs and build economies and markets, which not only benefits them but lifts the world economy as a whole. According to the U.N., women spend about six hours a day in Africa carrying water. Women also do 90% of the work of carrying water in Africa.

Water.org gives microloans called WaterCredit to people in developing countries allowing them to invest in water solutions. Water.org in partnership with Stella Artois, a Belgian beer company, started a campaign called “Buy a Lady a Drink.” The campaign focuses on women who have to carry the water instead of going to school. For this campaign, Stella Artois sells chalices and $6.25 from each one sold goes to Water.org.

White said that the global water crisis is worth the attention because the solution is within reach, easy to understand, and could have widespread benefits that will not only lift millions out of poverty, but create opportunities for businesses all over the developed world as well.

Solving the global water crisis not only improves the health of people in developing nations, but it also improves the global economy.

Jennifer Taggart

Photo: Flickr

Top Diseases in Bangladesh
Bangladesh, a dense country of more than 160 million on India’s eastern border, has seen remarkable development in recent decades. A growing economy and enormous improvements in maternal health and food security have raised the quality of life for millions of Bangladeshis. Now, less than a third of the quickly urbanizing population lives under the poverty line, down from more than half. Bangladesh aims to have officially become a middle-income country by 2021.

Thousands of Bangladeshis, however, still suffer and die from easily preventable diseases every year. While the nation’s expenditure on health increased significantly in the past two decades, it still comprises only 3.7 percent of the national GDP. Improving public health is the biggest focus of international aid in Bangladesh, accounting for roughly 43 percent of all assistance committed to helping the country. The following are some of the top diseases in Bangladesh and what the government and international organizations are doing to fight them.

  1. Tuberculosis
    Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that can be deadly, especially for young children, if improperly treated. According to USAID, Bangladesh has one of the highest infection rates in the world. The World Health Organization reported that tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in the country. In 2012, nearly 70 thousand Bangladeshis died from tuberculosis.
    The Bangladeshi government and international aid organizations have labored to bring the tuberculosis rate down and save more patients, and they have seen tangible success. In the early 1990s, Bangladesh’s government established the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) with the support of USAID, and today, 99 percent of people living in Bangladesh have access to effective detection and treatment services. USAID is continuing to provide funding for technology, infrastructure and drugs to control tuberculosis in Bangladesh, as well as prevent, detect and combat drug-resistant strains of the infection.
  2. Waterborne Diseases
    Bangladesh has yet to provide much of its population with access to quality sewage and water infrastructure. Only 16 percent of Bangladeshis living in rural areas have access to up-to-par latrines. As a result, millions of Bangladeshis are at risk for waterborne diseases, including hepatitis A and E and a wide variety of serious bacterial infections like typhoid and leptospirosis.
    Low water quality makes diarrheal diseases especially serious in Bangladesh. In fact, diarrhea is the seventh single biggest killer of children under 5 years of age in the country. According to Water.org, a nonprofit aiming to expand access to clean water globally, 100,000 children die from diarrheal diseases annually.
    Heavy rain is normal in Bangladesh and frequent floods exacerbate waterborne diseases by overflowing dirty water supplies into clean reservoirs and residential areas. Sixteen provinces in Bangladesh have suffered from severe flooding this summer, and local news is reporting thousands of new cases of waterborne diseases, with scores of deaths.
    The government and aid organizations are working to prevent the top diseases in Bangladesh primarily by widening access to clean water. UNICEF is working with the government to improve water infrastructure and also educate Bangladeshis about how to keep their water clean and avoid disease. Further, organizations like Water.org are providing grants and loans for sanitation projects across the country.
  3. Neonatal Sepsis
    Neonatal sepsis refers to bacterial blood infections in newborn babies, and it is the fourth biggest cause of death for children under 5 years of age in Bangladesh. According to UNICEF, such infections are the leading cause of mortality for newborn babies in Bangladesh; 80,000 of whom die less than a month after birth each year. Many common bacteria can cause neonatal sepsis. While infections are serious, they are easy to treat as long as they are detected early, and preventing neonatal sepsis can be as simple as providing mothers with clean environments for giving birth.
    Despite its struggle with neonatal sepsis, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in maternal and neonatal health in the past 20 years and remains determined to improve obstetric care across the country. The nation has already achieved its millennium goals for maternal and child health and reduced child and maternal mortality by 60 percent since 1990. Bangladesh continues to upgrade obstetric health facilities and make them more accessible to citizens living in under-served regions.

A brief look at some of the top diseases in Bangladesh provides clear lessons about poverty and health. Simple and cheap improvements for health systems — things like basic antibiotics, proper latrines and clean places to give birth — can save millions of lives in developing countries.

Bangladesh still struggles with deadly diseases, but with determination, the country has already climbed beyond many of its goals and continues to promote public health and fight against preventable illnesses.

Charlie Tomb

Photo: Flickr

Matt Damon Toilet Strike

Dear Toilet,

It’s not you. It’s us.

Sincerely,

Matt Damon

Matt Damon broke up with his toilet…well at least until everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. The Oscar-winning actor and co-founder of Water.org announced his toilet strike in a comedic video.

The video is a staged press conference with prominent comedians. It highlights society’s ignorance of the world water crisis and the underappreciation of toilets. 780 million people lack access to clean water.

Damon mentions how the toilet has saved more lives than any other invention, yet 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets or basic sanitation.  More people own cell phones than toilets. The “Matt Damon Toilet Strike” is designed to be less about him and more about people who lack the luxury of clean sanitation.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson released a statement that the world water crisis is something people “don’t like to talk about.” The United Nations aims to double the number of people with toilets by 2015.

The organization’s long-term plan is to “eliminate the practice of open defecation” by 2025.  This practice makes unsanitary water the number one killer of people worldwide.  In fact, children under the age of five are most likely to die from diarrhea-related diseases.

Water.org traded the traditional public service announcement model in hopes of creating a viral frenzy.

“If Sarah Silverman and I can generate millions of views on YouTube for something ridiculous, then we should be able to do better for one of the most important and solvable issues of our time,” Damon said.

The nonprofit has “been toying with [the idea of comedic videos] for a couple of years.”  Damon and the rest of Water.org believe viral videos can “generate new levels of awareness and participation in the cause.”

The announcement video is the first of 12 videos. The strike campaign’s other videos include: Damon breaking up with his toilet, other celebrities joining the strike, and John Elerick fighting to outdo Damon.  The video was filmed for free at YouTube’s L.A. studios as YouTube works to educate nonprofits about best practices for video campaigns.

Jessica Mason, YouTube spokeswoman, understands that views should not be the main concern for non-profits. “We want to help nonprofits raise awareness and turn that awareness into action.”

Water.org will continue using social media to further awarness.  The website features extensive social media integration.  It asks visitors to “lend” their social media accounts and allow Water.org to publish automatically until World Toilet Day on November 9, 2013.

For more information, visit strikewithme.org or tweet questions with #strikewithme.

Whitney M. Wyszynski

Source: Strike With Me

matt damon water_opt

The premise of water.org’s new video campaign is simple; until there is clean water and sanitation for all of the world’s citizens, rich and poor, Matt Damon is on toilet strike. However, the campaign also points to an emerging trend of using comedy in charity campaigns.

Traditionally, nonprofits attempted to use the sheer power of statistics accompanied by heart-wrenching images to support their cause. In a changing media climate, organizations are realizing that the way to attract the public’s attention is to not only appeal to pathos, but to make them laugh.

Water.org is attempting, like most advertising firms, to make an online viral video. If viewers find the video entertaining enough, the impacting message of the campaign will quickly spread. This mode of communication differs drastically from a strictly television or radio campaign that relies on a viewer coming into contact with the message at a certain time in a certain place. Online videos can be viewed at one’s own convenience and on mobile devices making them readily available to anyone with internet.

Mike McCamon, who runs Water.org’s community outreach program, explains that the intent of this non-traditional PSA is to get more people engaged and interested. Once the viewer is hooked by the video, the traditional non-profit mode of operation comes into play on the organization’s website. There are a slew of statistics and images that highlight the importance of the company’s vision of “the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water”.

The message behind Water.org and Matt Damon’s toilet strike is a crucial aspect of development, but the video also points to a trend that is larger than a single nonprofit organization. If nonprofits can successfully blend humor with their important and often moving campaigns, they are more likely to attract attention to their cause and help more people in poverty, and in this case, those without clean water and sanitation.

Access the video here.

Sean Morales
Source: Los Angeles Times
Photo: NYDailyNews