(By Jennifer Chernishenko, Administrative Assistant at Integrated Sustainability)
At Integrated Sustainability we believe clean water should not be a privilege, it should be a right for every person in every part of the world. Water is our passion, and because of this we have chosen to support the charity WaterCan.
WaterCan is the Canadian arm of the leading international non-governmental organization, WaterAid, which focuses on providing safe water and improving hygiene and sanitation for the poorest populations in the world. Guided by its principles to make its solutions integrated, inclusive, practical, sustainable, empowering, and supportive in the communities it works with, WaterCan has helped over 1.2 million people. As a part of the international effort for clean water, WaterCan works alongside the Australian, American, Swedish, and British divisions of WaterAid to provide sanitary resources in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Central America.
Why focus on clean water? On its website, WaterCan shares statistics about the educational and economic impacts water has on people’s lives when it is unclean and hard to get. For instance, did you know that 748 million people lack access to clean water? Or how about that in the developing world women and children walk long distances or pay hefty amounts to get water from vendors every day? For those reasons and many more, WaterCan works towards its vision of having “clean water for all.”
We have been raising money in support of WaterCan in a couple of ways. Our main fundraiser to date has been the “office challenges” where any staff member can create a challenge for themself or for coworkers. Once initiated, other staff members can add their “bids” in support of the challenge being completed. When the challengee is satisfied with the amount of money pledged to their challenge, they can choose to accept it at which point they then complete their challenge and the money is collected. Many challenges have already been accepted and to date we have enjoyed watching a few co-workers spend a day dancing around the office, wearing a bicycle helmet, and speaking in a funny accent. We are still looking forward to a member of the management team hosting our weekly Friday morning meeting as a rap and a staff band entertaining us at the annual Christmas party. Good fun – all in support of WaterCan!
To continue our fundraising efforts we are hosting a Loonie bar at our staff Christmas party with all proceeds going to WaterCan, and we are looking at several other fun and exciting ways to continue to raise money and awareness in the new year.
Our goal is to raise $2,500 and so far we have raised about $700. We also have a website set up to make donating online easy. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions to donate. To make donation amounts tangible, WaterCan has “Gifts of Water” available on their website so you can see what each donation amount will get (for example, $25 will get clean water for a child, $50 will train five water and sanitation attendants to operate, maintain, and manage facilities).
We often take water for granted here in Canada, but many places around the world do not have this luxury. Through WaterCan we can help bring clean water and sanitation to the developing world, which will allow people not only to live healthier lives but also allow them time for educational pursuits and time for employment to earn livelihoods for themselves and for their families.
Click here to donate to Integrated Sustainability’s fundraiser: http://give.watercan.com/goto/Integrated
For more information on WaterCan, click here: http://www.wateraidcanada.com