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Skip showers. Raise funds. Change lives. ~150,000 lives to be exact. Each year, passionate advocates from around the world virtually band together and pledge not to take a shower until they’ve reached their fundraising goals. Since 2009, this quirky campaign has changed the lives of almost 150,000 individuals through clean water. But we’re not stopping there.

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I’ve seen tears of joy and I’ve seen tears of sorrow. This time, it’s heartwarming to see years of disbelief flowing from a student whose life has just been changed by the presence of clean water at her school.

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The winter storm devastation in Texas last week was talked about world-wide. My friends in Kenya were sending messages to make sure we were OK. It was a sobering moment hearing that 48% of Texas was without water, knowing that the regions to which we provide water in east Africa have 42% of their population without water at any given time.

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In 2014, Well Aware was first introduced to the Kiliku Primary School, serving 400 students in Makueni, Kenya. At that time, students had to collect and bring their own water from home, sometimes walking up to 2.5 km (~1.5 miles) to a river to fetch dirty water. This unsafe water made many of the students sick, sometimes forcing them to miss school.

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I look back on 2020 with both pain and pride. It was many months of more surprises, challenges and heartbreak than I ever thought possible for this organization. Well Aware was not immune to the way the world was rapidly changing around us, and, in an instant, it was clear that it would be a year that looked like no other for our clean water work.

As a small, nimble organization, though, we were able to quickly regroup and create a new trajectory for our work. While we were postponing project implementation, reworking our budgets, applying for PPP, and assembling a plan to maintain...

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In July of this year, the Well Aware team made the very difficult decision to make the big shift to a virtual event. Held every year in December, the Well Aware Holiday Gala is always the party of the year (sure, we’re biased, but we hear it a lot). What makes our events so special is the vibrant and compassionate community that attends, as well as the palpable love and passion in the room every year. We just weren’t sure we could replicate that.

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Clean water means so many things: health, education, and overall prosperity. Entire communities go from struggling to thriving, all because of access to lasting clean water. Populations grow, children stay in school and parents can provide for their families. Below are impact stories directly from the field from those who benefit from Well Aware’s mission -- sharing their gratitude to you for helping to provide them with this most vital resource.

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This year, we’re all seeing things a little differently than before. Water awareness is more relevant now than ever. Especially when it comes to those who lack it.

Almost 1 billion people still lack access to clean water. So together, we must unite and press forward to make this basic human necessity accessible for all. Regardless of how you use or access it, there is one thing that cannot be ignored - clean water is necessary to not only survive but to thrive.

And with that recognition, we must center sustainability at the heart of all water awareness...

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Prior to 2014, many residents of the Ndabibi community in Nakuru County, Kenya, lacked access to safe, sufficient and reliable water, which seriously endangered their lives. With a population of close to 15,000 people, they had little to smile about on issues of water. The water well they previously used broke and the community was devastated. There was not enough water to go around, and the schools, clinic, fish ponds and agriculture that they built were all but abandoned without water.

But, everything changed in 2014 when the community partnered with Well Aware to drill a new,...

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