Saturday, November 27, 2010

AMCOW award winners - Feliciano dos Santos and David Kuria

First of all, if you haven't done so yet, please contact your Congressperson in the U.S. in support of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act! And thank you!

Secondly, congratulations to Feliciano dos Santos, David Kuria, and the other winners of awards given by AMCOW - the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW).

Here is what AMCOW has to say about Feliciano:

A musician and activist whose songs about using latrines and washing hands are positively influencing the hygiene practices of communities in Mozambique; a widow who has risen through her caste status to lead a campaign against open defecation in her village in Ethiopia; and a toilet entrepreneur whose innovative partnership with local authorities is changing the way public toilets in Kenyan towns are managed, are the top winners of this year’s AMCOW AfricaSan Awards.

Musician Feliciano dos Santos was announced winner of the Grassroots Champion Award for dedicating his life and his music to campaigning for better public health through clean water and adequate sanitation. Santos nd his Massukos Band have been using music to inspire thousands of villagers in rural Mozambique to curb spread of disease by adopting good hygiene practices, such as washing hands, boiling drinking water and building latrines.

And about David Kuria (

David Kuria won the Public Service Award for implementing a partnership model that is delivering safe, clean and affordable sanitation to the urban poor in Kenya. His company, Ecotact, is pioneering a private-public partnership approach with local authorities, and water and sewerage utilities to build public toilet malls in urban centres and informal settlements. By demonstrating the viability of sanitation as a business, David has been able to attract more than US$1.2 Million for the construction of 40 public toilet facilities in 12 municipalities in Kenya.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Water for the World Act / Write a letter during Thanksgiving weekend!

Dear friends of safe drinking water and sanitation,

During this time of year when we have so much to be thankful for, we ask for ten minutes of your time over the next few days to encourage the US Congress to support the Water for the World Act. This legislation which has already passed the Senate by unanimous consent will help those without safe drinking water and sanitation around the developing world.

Now, during the lame duck session, is the most important time to contact your member of the House of Representatives to ask him or her to pass the Water for the World Act.

This lifesaving legislation would go a long way toward ending the diseases caused by the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation which constitute the world's largest public health crisis. It would also give the United States an important leadership role in providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for millions of the world's poorest people.

The ask is simple: customize the draft letter below with your personal story about how water is important to you and/or your organization, put the letter on your letterhead, and fax it to as many members of Congress as possible. *** For those of you in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington (state), please contact John Oldfield at joldfield (at) for additional details. ***

All House offices can be contacted through 202-225-3121, or through We have found that faxing your letter to the office in Washington, DC is most effective at getting the message through.

Thank you all for your assistance with this important piece of legislation. The draft letter that we are asking you to customize and fax to Congress is below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear [House Member]:

[insert quick personal intro/story about your or your organization’s interest/activity in safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries]

After extensive discussions with policymakers of both parties, the Water for the World Act was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent. The House is now considering whether to bring a streamlined version of the legislation to the Floor. In sum, the Water for the World Act will almost double the effectiveness of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005 -- in terms of lives saved and illness prevented by the availability of clean drinking water and sanitation -- with no additional federal funds. By reformulating and modernizing the way US water aid is focused, the bill will meet the safe drinking water and sanitation needs of 50 million people over the next six years, enhance the capacity of USAID and the State Department to utilize water more effectively and sustainably in their development and diplomacy efforts, leverage an additional 25% in non-federal funds to reach more people, and ensure that our limited aid resources are directed toward the areas of greatest need and greatest impact, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

House passage of the Water for the World Act will complement what I and many other US civic and faith groups, foundations, corporations, and water nonprofits are doing to respond to this vital challenge. If you agree, please contact the House Foreign Affairs Committee to express your support for this bipartisan, level-funded authorization that will enable the United States to improve the health of millions of people -- chiefly women and children -- worldwide, and to stabilize regions threatened by water shortage and disease.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

[personal close]


(your name)

Monday, November 22, 2010

New job openings at A Child's Right in Seattle: deadline Nov 24!

Please go here for details about these great jobs at a great organization below. Forward to your people in/around Seattle!

At A Child's Right:

1) The Development Director is responsible for overseeing philanthropic strategy, relationships, activities, contributions and results. This position collaborates extensively with the Executive Director in prioritizing and stewarding relationships, initiatives, strategy and management relative to individuals, foundations, businesses, and other allies. Coordinating with the Program Director, the Development Director articulates the value proposition of a child's right and engages donors in appropriate ways with program staff. Working with the E.D. and the Finance Operations Director, the Development Director helps ensure compliance with the standards and reporting requirements of external stakeholders, including auditors, donors, foundations, and other relevant entities. This position serves as a member of the leadership team.

2) The Finance & Operations Director is responsible for financial analysis, fiscal management and financial planning. This position oversees the human resources function, manages the day-to-day activities of the organization, and supervises the Administrative Assistant. Working with the E.D. and the Development Director, the Finance & Operations Director ensures compliance with the standards and reporting requirements of external stakeholders, including auditors, donors, foundations, and other relevant entities. This position serves as a member of the leadership team.

3) The Administrative Assistant will facilitate the smooth operation of a child's right, supporting the staff through a variety of administrative and clerical duties. This position functions as the receptionist and office clerk and also performs some Executive Assistant tasks for the Executive Director. This position also supports the Board of Directors, at the request of the Executive Director or Finance & Operations Director.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Water for the World Act / New Video from The Chronicles Group

The lame duck (post-election) session of the U.S. Congress started yesterday, Nov. 15. During the lame duck session we are doing everything we can to encourage House passage of the Water for the World Act.

Jim Thebaut and The Chronicles Group have released a new video supporting the legislation, including interviews with former Senate Leader Bill Frist, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Senator Dick Durbin, and Patti Simon, the widow of the late Senator Paul Simon. Here is a link.

Please forward this important video to as many people as possible, and do your bit to encourage your congressperson to support the Water for the World Act.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Child's Right / Russell Gift Empowers Clean Water Initiative

Great news for our friends in Washington (state), and of course all of our friends in China, Nepal, Cambodia, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

All of the groovy details are here. And perhaps logically, A Child's Right is hiring.

Russell Gift Empowers A Child's Right's Clean Water Initiative

George F. Russell, Jr. and Dion Russell today announced a private charitable donation of $10 million to a child's right, an international water charity that provides safe drinking water to children around the world. The couple's gift is aimed at providing 1 million children with safe drinking water during the next 10 years.

"Our intent is to make a significant difference, and to convince others to help support a child's right, so we can help children with a fundamental and vital need," said Mr. Russell. "I've invested in this organization for years, and I am proud of their work and more importantly, the results."

a child's right has developed a customized water filtration system for charitable use by combining established water purification technologies used by multinational corporations. Funding from the Russells' personal donation will support a cascading rollout of pilot installations to serve the vast water needs of children in poor, urban areas across Asia and East Africa.

This announcement comes seven weeks after the United Nations Summit urged the global community to redouble efforts toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It is widely acknowledged that achieving access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is fundamental to achieving all eight MDGs.

Through a series of commitments, the donation will require a child's right to meet annual targets and performance goals in 12 new countries. The exploratory strategy will assist the charity in determining whether the current operating model will work effectively in each new location while simultaneously building infrastructure and capacity in its Tacoma, Washington headquarters.

"It is amazing to consider that without the vision and charitable leadership of people who recognize children's needs, this important work would not be possible," said Eric Stowe, Executive Director of a child's right. "George is a savvy investor and has set the bar high for us with this incredible gift. Because of his donation, we can roll out our expansion in a disciplined way, where future donors can observe success and know that all new dollars raised will be remarkably well leveraged, thanks to an assurance of infrastructure support."

Water purification projects will be piloted in twelve new countries: India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Kenya and Uganda.

The Russells' investment is based on a child's right's existing operations in China, Nepal, Cambodia and Ethiopia. a child's right works in partnership with local institutions, whose beneficiaries are guaranteed ten years of equipment, service and support.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gates Foundation - hiring WASH analyst in Seattle

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is continuing to grow their WASH team in Seattle. Please apply here or direct your friends/colleagues to this position.

Position Title: Analyst, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (requisition number 2276BR)

The Research Analyst will: support the wider WSH portfolio, and the director in particular, via a variety of short term and longer term projects. Key tasks include:

• Gathering, synthesizing and analyzing quantitative data in support of strategy development, advocacy and policy analysis, and grant development;

• Reviewing, summarizing and reporting out on academic literature and policy reports in sanitation

• Desk-based due diligence of partner organizations and critical agents of change in the sanitation sector.

We are looking for people with extensive experience in developing countries. This position is limited to U.S. citizens or those with a Green Card, and relocation fees will not be sponsored.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Capitol Hill Briefing on India, Water, and Sanitation

For those of you who can join us in Washington DC next week, please RSVP for this congressional briefing on safe drinking water, sanitation, and India.


Capitol Hill Briefing on Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, and India
Friday, November 19, 10am – 11:30am

The House India Caucus, the U.S. India Political Action Committee, and Water Advocates invite you to a Congressional Briefing on Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, and India on Friday, November 19, 10am – 11:30am in Rayburn B‐318 (coffee and bagels will be provided).

Sponsored by:

Congressman Jim McDermott
Congressman Ed Royce
CoChairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans


Water Advocates

Cosponsors of the event include Tata Sons, Ltd., the Water and Sanitation Program, the Acumen Fund, Living Water International, and the International Business Leaders Forum.

Speakers include:

• Niharika Joe, General Manager – North America, Tata Sons, Ltd. (
• Marc Manara, Water Portfolio Manager, Acumen Fund (
• Jae So, Manager, Water and Sanitation Program (a global partnership administered by the World Bank (
• Living Water International (

As India continues to progress economically, the challenge of providing safe drinking water and sanitation remain considerable. This issue provides tangible opportunities for the U.S. and Indian public and private sectors to collaborate on an important development challenge and contribute to a stronger relationship between the two democracies.

The Indian public sector, the U.S. Government, and nonprofit enterprises and corporations from both countries are collaborating to address this problem. This briefing will provide participants with a glimpse into the many solutions to the water and sanitation challenge currently underway.

*** Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 17, to wateradvocatesrsvp [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Philadelphia Global Water Initiative / Annual Conference / Nov 4

Please plan to attend the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative's fourth annual conference (this Thursday in Philly) if you can!  More details below and full agenda here.




To register or with any questions, please contact Chryslene Rebeiro at chryslene.rebeiro ((at))

Date: November 4, 2010
Venue: University of Pennslyvania
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
Philadelphia, PA


•To review the magnitude of the global water shortage
•To understand the challenges of managing limited water supplies, especially in developing countries
•To show examples of approaches that have been successful in allocating water among various demands [eg, agriculture, drinking water/sanitation, manufacturing, energy, ecosystems services] and to identify other potential solutions to the allocation problem
•To identify key research questions that need to be addressed, and to build toward a major Wharton/Penn Initiative For Global Environmental Leadership [IGEL] Conference in Spring 2011 on "valuing water"
•To establish a network of people interested in water allocation

This Conference is organized and hosted by the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative with financial support from the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Wharton/Penn, University of Pennsylvania Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Pennoni Associates, Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Beechwood Orchards, and University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center.

Generous in-kind support provided by the US EPA Region 3 Office in Philadelphia.