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Building Value through “Water”: An inspiring Story of a successful NightClub Owner turned Water Champion of Africa

Team YS
11th Oct 2010
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Water

Charity: Water is a non profit initiative based in New York City focused on providing clean sanitized drinking water to the people of the developing nation. This organization is currently involved in around 3000 projects spread across 17 countries and benefiting around 1.2 million people. Mr. Scott Harrison the founder entrepreneur of this growing organization was a top promoter of top nightclubs and fashion events. Suffering from a spiritual bankruptcy he felt a strong urge within himself to involve in the charity work. He signed up for the volunteer service across a floating hospital called Mercy Ships consisting of the top surgeon across the world. This was the starting point of this charity where he came across millions of people suffering from many problems primarily due to poverty and lack of basic amenities.He himself felt honored to have captured the moments of their pain and suffering. In his own words he "photographed many people who were on the verge of death, tears rolling form their eyes and with no ends to their suffering". He said that in western Africa I felt like a prince with a clean bed, sanitized drinking water and food in my stomach. He had this idea on his thirty second birthday that most of us end up getting gifts that we do not actually want on our birthday. He requested his friends to donate $32 on his birthday in order to build up a charity organization in order to provide safe drinking water to the millions of people living in Africa. He started his pilot project in Kenya’s village. He went on to visit a hospital where he saw hundred of people suffering from the water borne disease. To his astonishment and utter shock he saw muddy water coming out of the hospital tap. He used the raised money to drill the land to get clear water. Now more than a thousand people are benefited from the installation of water pump. The number of people suffering from the water borne diseases has reduced and people are enjoying healthy lifestyle.

 

This year this organization is planning to expand its drive for clear water to the neighboring country of Ethiopia. He had identified 33 villages that are currently inflicted with the water borne disease. Due to unavailability of the water in the nearby region people and especially children travel a large distance in search of the so called pure water. One sight and you can tell that the water is the source of all the disease in the village. The children are devoid of the educational facilities, one of the reasons for this is the water borne disease and huge amount of time spent in searching for the elusive water.  He is searching now for new source of finance to help him get free and clear water for Ethiopian children. The number of the contributors supporting his drive has gone up significantly, yet he is suffering from the shortage of funds. He had made a pledge that he will be working to provide basic amenities to the reportedly 1 billion people in this world lacking clean water that counts for one in each eight person on this earth. He repeatedly says "that we usually do not observe ourselves appreciating the value of water" but he is quite sure that one will start appreciating after seeing how African people travel five to six miles in search of water. For the promotion and welfare of this organization ,he has also proposed three basic ways- We can promote either by sacrificing our birthday in case it falls on September or we can contribute a specific amount to this foundation or we can spread the story of this organization that will result in more involvement of the people. Currently this organization boasts of many specialized and highly qualified people such as Michael Wilkerson (Chairman of this organization) and managing director in the investment banking group of Lazard one of the premier company in finance world, Valerie Donati founder of the H20 project, Brant Cryder president of Yves Laurent North America, Gordon Pennigton managing director of burning media group, some other renowned people from the corporate world and a group of dedicated interns. For more information and to lend a supporting hand visit (http://www.charitywater.org/).

Contributed by Paramjeet Gupta

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