The goal of the campaign is to raise $500,000 by December 31, 2023 to support the implementation of toilets at Well Aware’s project sites in Kenya beginning in January 2024, with a focus on serving schools and communities where girls and women are profoundly impacted by a lack of sanitation.
Worldwide, more than 2.2 billion people lack access to clean water and even more people – about half of the world’s population – lack access to safe sanitation, according to the UN. In Kenya, studies have shown that women often avoid using toilets at night due to the increased sexual assault risk, and girls without access to toilets at school are more likely to miss up to 20% of the school year.
In addition, girls and women face greater health risks from the impacts of poor sanitation, as it can lead to higher rates of illnesses like urinary tract infections, hookworm infestations, and maternal health issues that can easily arise from exposure to bacteria in fecal matter.
“Well Aware is thrilled to begin the important work of providing sanitation in partnership with communities across Kenya and beyond,” said Sarah Evans, founder and Board Chair of Well Aware. “With our local team of experts in East Africa and our long track record of providing lasting water systems throughout the region, we are uniquely poised to do this work, particularly as water and sanitation go hand-in-hand. Also, as a woman-led organization, we know access to sanitation is a game-changer for girls and women, who often bear the worst consequences when sanitation is not present in their communities and schools.”
For the past 14 years, Well Aware has delivered comprehensive water systems to communities across East Africa, with a primary focus on deep borehole water wells and rainwater catchment systems. To date, all of Well Aware’s projects maintain a 100% success rate, compared to the industry standard of 40%, which is driven by Well Aware’s innovative approach to utilizing groundbreaking technology aimed at decreasing the rate of water system failures.
With staff in both the U.S. and Kenya, all of Well Aware’s projects are initiated at the community-level and carried out in partnership with local water and school committees. Consistently, most communities who lack access to water also lack access to sanitation facilities, such as toilets, which poses significant challenges to public health, education rates, gender equality, and more.
Well Aware’s Gift of Sanitation campaign will kick off on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023, and all donations to the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar by corporate sponsors, Spectrum Brands, INTERA Inc., Tall Tree Collective, and FreeWater through December 31st. Funds raised through the campaign will go toward supporting Well Aware’s water and sanitation work in Kenya in 2024, such as providing toilet facilities to schools like the Daraja Academy, a school providing free secondary education to girls from across Kenya.