BENEFITING: Concern Worldwide US, Inc.
Poverty looks different everywhere. My personal challenge to run the NYC Marathon on Nov 3rd is fueled by the existence of extreme global poverty. Each step along my 26.2 mile journey will be in honor of those who lack basic necessities like water, agriculture, and education. To understand the great work Concern World Wide is doing around the globe take a moment to look at the statistics for their fresh water initiatives’ below.
How Concern is Meeting the Challenge
Throughout most of our history, Concern has been working to improve access to clean, safe drinking water and sanitation as part of our strategy for improving health in the world's poorest countries. Today, our work in constructing and rehabilitating water structures significantly improves access to water for people in 15 countries, and our initiatives in irrigation and erosion control lead to increased food production for thousands of the world’s poorest each year. In 2012, our programs directly benefited nearly 433,000 people.
Through our water and sanitation (WASH) programs, we work with local partners and community members to construct and rehabilitate household and school latrines, standpipes, boreholes, rainwater harvesting systems, rainwater cisterns, ground water wells, and other water structures. Additionally, we protect natural springs and fountains, and counter the effects of deforestation in affected areas.
A key component of our water programs involves community training to manage and maintain local water resources. Concern works to secure sustainability through the establishment of committees that manage the upkeep of wells and other resources; these are comprised of volunteers who receive regular training to ensure health and development benefits over the long term.
Raising awareness of hygiene practices within communities is also a central part of our strategy for disease reduction. Concern is moving from a “knowledge-transfer approach” to a “social and behavior change approach”, using methods such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST). Similar to the introduction of community-led resource-management committees, this approach is designed to ensure that essential sanitation resources and practices will last, and that knowledge and ownership remain within communities for the long term.
Recent Program Highlights
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Seven boreholes were drilled in two villages and a school, giving more than 7,100 people access to potable water. Additionally, seven water management committees were formed, with a total of 140 members, including 66 women.
Haiti: We worked with communities to construct 14 boreholes on the island of La Gonave, giving 8,500 people access to clean water. All construction projects incorporated hurricane and earthquake safety measures.
Tanzania: In the remote hills of Ngara in northwest Tanzania, community members and local partner organizations helped Concern build sustainable community water systems that are accessed by as many as 3,000 people a day. We brought clean water closer to people’s homes, protecting families from waterborne illnesses and lessening the need for women to walk long distances every day to collect water. Watch this video to learn more
Pakistan: Concern implemented two long-term water and sanitation projects in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provinces, supporting 177,320 people through the construction of 442 latrines, 19 wells, two windmills, and one solar-powered pump. We also distributed 1,750 hygiene kits and implemented awareness-raising sessions to promote improved hygiene practices for 10,000 people. This work is invaluable to reducing the disease risk to people living areas struck each year by seasonal floods, that have taken a massive toll, especially since 2010.