The team at charity: water and I are so proud to continue to partner with Soma on our shared mission to end the world water crisis. Since 2017, Soma has helped to bring clean water to over 5,000 people and build 48 water projects in 7 different countries! To help celebrate this incredible impact, we wanted to share some insight into what we do at charity: water and the important work the Soma community is supporting.
For many of us, we have the ability to easily open a tap and fill a glass or Soma bottle with clean, drinkable water. But for 771 million people around the world, the reality is very different. The majority of people without access to clean water live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their families. Not only does walking for water keep children out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money and take care of their families, the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick. But access to clean water can change everything! When a community gets access to clean water it means education, income, and health - especially for women and kids.
As an organization, we take a unique approach to our work! The first (and my favorite) bold promise we made was to have a 100% model. That means that 100% of public donations go directly to fund clean water projects. We even pay back credit card fees! For example, if a donor gave $10 with a credit card and we got only $7 after processing fees, we’d make up the $3 and send the full $10 to provide clean water for people in need. To do this we rely on a small group of extremely generous private donors and brand partners to fund all of our operating expenses. The second promise is to be as transparent as possible. It’s important to us to keep our community updated on the progress of their projects and how their donation is being put to work. To help do this, we prove every water project we build using photos and GPS coordinates on Google Maps.
When it comes to our work in the field, we work with local partners to fund water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs for rural communities around the world. The water project process starts with the planning phase. Our partners take existing water sources, terrain, and population into account when choosing a water solution. From household BioSand Filters to piped systems that stretch for miles, we work to make sure we’re funding the most appropriate solution for each community. After planning, the project moves into the implementation phase which is when construction begins. In addition to the construction process, local partners spend months establishing community buy-in, promoting safe hygiene practices, and building water committee capacity to manage projects once they’re completed. But our work doesn’t stop when construction ends. We remain committed to monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance to ensure that these programs operate sustainably for years to come.
Since 2006, with the help of generous partners like Soma, we’ve built over 94,000 water projects in 29 countries and brought clean water to almost 15 million people. We are truly grateful for Soma’s continued generosity and their ongoing commitment to helping to bring clean water to people around the world. And, for you, their amazing community who makes this all possible!
Inspired to get more involved? There are multiple ways you can help! For starters, every time you buy a Soma product, they make a donation to charity: water. These contributions go directly to sustainable, community-owned water projects in developing countries. If you’re already outfitted with all the awesome Soma products you need or aren’t ready to make a purchase, you can also donate directly to charity: water through Soma’s donation page.The other best way to help is to spread awareness! You can follow charity: water on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates or check out our website to learn more details about our work and how you can get involved.