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The Story of Maria and Miguelito

March 22, 2014

After enthusiastically taking part in our project in El Salvador for 3 years, Maria Elena Urquilla, mother of 5 children, wished to volunteer as an ambassador to assist other families benefitting from the project in acquiring knowledge and management skills related to clean water, agriculture, and micro-financing.

In order to take part in the training of voluntary ambassadors to ultimately benefit her community, she needed to recruit the help of her 12-year-old son, Miguelito. The young student ensured that his illiterate mother was able to follow all the workshops. And that’s how he himself became an ambassador for both his family and friends!

Now 14 years old, Miguelito is a very communicative young man, and has just finished his 6th year in the Center Cerro School in Nubes. He continues to help daily in the school garden, as well as helping his mother cultivate the family garden, a source of nutritious food for the entire family. 


Building Partnerships

March 22, 2014

ONE DROP and Water For People recently announced a strategic partnership to help address one of the most pressing and urgent social and economic issues faced by humanity today, and work together for the eradication of water and sanitation poverty. Leveraging their core organizational strengths, these two important players in the water and sanitation sector will be collaborating beyond the scope of individual programming, to ensure sustainability and increase the scale and impact of their work. Aiming to deliver sustainable water-access solutions, this partnership will require an investment of $10.8 million over the next 5 years as it strives to improve the lives of more than 650,000 people in India’s Sheohar district.

ONE DROP is also thrilled to announce a new charity partnership with Formula-E, the world's first fully-electric racing Championship. Formula-E, from the outset and by its very nature, demonstrates a remarkable commitment to environmental sustainability, and water in particular. This amazing partnership will help grow ONE DROP’s awareness on the world stage.

WHAT WE’RE AIMING FOR AT WWW 2013

September 05, 2013

Stockholm’s 2013 World Water Week (WWW), held from September 1-6, is the leading annual global event for concretely addressing the planet’s water issues and related concerns of international development. The Week attracts over 2,500 participants and 200 collaborating organizations from all over the world. Leaders and experts from the world’s scientific, business, government and civic communities convene to exchange views, experiences and shape joint solutions to global water challenges.

The high-profile World Water Week, with its critical mass of stakeholder organizations and individuals in attendance, provides ONE DROP with an ideal opportunity to grow awareness for its holistic, integrated approach to water access. But beyond spreading the word on our unique methodologies and our success in such a short span of time—a mere five years—we will be presenting a list of objectives that, individually and collectively, will aid us in achieving our global goals in both the short and the long term. Functioning as an open and dynamic platform, the World Water Week enables ONE DROP to build capacity, form partnerships and review implementation, thereby furthering its mission.

POKER RAISES AWARENESS... AND OUR FUNDING POT

September 05, 2013

This summer, ONE DROP greatly benefited from the unwavering commitment of valued partner World Series of Poker® (WSOP) to its cause through the ONE DROP High Rollers fundraising event held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The event was buzzing with talent from every corner of the globe, with $17M in prize money to be won and a big $4.7M marked for the tournament's last man (or woman) standing!

At the end of the day, and with the world watching thanks to ESPN3's live coverage, it was Anthony Gregg who took the event's top honour. Worth mentioning, among the "also-rans" was businessman Bill Perkins, whose 3rd place finish merited celebrations in the form of a $100K donation to ONE DROP on the spot.

With over 4,700 entrants, The Little One for ONE DROP is the second largest poker tournament this year. With such a high number of players, our fundraising event definitely got off to a great start!

When the cards finally stopped flying at the Rio, it was California's Brian Yoon who took the gold bracelet and carried away the top pot of $663,727— just a little over the $528K that ONE DROP raised from entries to the contest.

Grand total from both events and the All In for ONE DROP campaign: over $1,327,000. Not bad for a few days of poker fun in the sun!

SIGNIFICANT AND LASTING CHANGES

September 05, 2013

Families chosen for the project have many challenges to take on. What is the most crucial one at this time?

The targeted families are among the poorest of El Salvador and the lack of water is the main cause of poverty in the project's intervention zone. A family of five has an average household income of US$296 per month. This revenue, which comes essentially from agriculture, is spent on food, education and health. A life expectancy that is much shorter than in other parts of the country, a high rate of malnutrition among children, a very high illiteracy rate (32.9%) and a very low education rate (less than four years) are the consequences of this level of poverty.

What major changes have you noted since the project got under way?

The changes I've seen are remarkable, significant and lasting. The project's targeted families now have water for consumption and for agricultural production. We notice an important decrease in gastrointestinal diseases in families (in children, in particular) who use water filters and latrines. Collected and stored rainwater enables families to grow an abundance of quality vegetables (radishes, tomatoes, cabbage, and so on) all year round, which they also sell. So in addition to providing them with essential vitamins and nutrients, these vegetables enable families to triple their income which, for instance, is then used to buy clothes for the children, medication and school supplies.

What can you tell us about ONE DROP's "tripod" approach?

Developed by ONE DROP, the tripod approach is a one-of-a-kind and innovative approach, as it attacks the causes of poverty head on. With it, concrete and long-lasting measures related to water management, microfinancing, and social arts and popular education can be implemented. The targeted families, especially young people, are mobilized on environment-related issues and challenges in their region and, in particular, on those related to universal access to water. Families gradually adopt healthy habits and behaviours that respect the environment and the water resource. In addition, Oxfam-Québec's on-site cooperation and the work accomplished with local partners ensure the community's access, an understanding of their needs and, in the long term, the sustainability of measures taken.

What helps to make the impact of our projects sustainable?

Projects make use of a simple technology adapted to the conditions of the intervention zone. For the most part, irrigation systems, water filters, latrines and energy-efficient stoves are built using local materials and are installed by local producers themselves, who are specifically trained for this purpose. In this way, maintenance is easily and accessible to all. Microfinancing offers families the possibility of starting large-scale agricultural activities (i.e., production of laying hens, pork production, tilapia farming and so on), which enables them to double or triple their annual income. In addition to greatly improving their quality of life, the money earned enables them to maintain the water infrastructure. Finally, making changes in behaviour and mobilizing families around water issues have remarkable and lasting effects.

What living conditions would you like to see in the intervention zones in 10 or 20 years from now?

All our efforts are aimed at ensuring that, in 10 to 20 years from now, the following goals have been reached:

- The entire population in the project's intervention zones has access to safe water in quantities that are sufficient for family consumption and agriculture.

- All families have access to quality food in quantities that can adequately feed each of their members.

- All families can carry out profitable economic activities allowing them to have enough money to send their children to school, to dress them, and to offer them health care when necessary.

- Members of a community work together to ensure that the intervention zone is planted with trees, that it has an abundant quantity of safe water and that all vulnerable zones are protected.

- Producers no longer resort to the slash-and-burn agriculture before sowing, no longer cultivate on soil that is sensitive to erosion and no longer use herbicides or chemical fertilizers.

We aim for changes that are significant and lasting.



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