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One Drop in 2023: Shaping a Water Secure Future, Together

One Drop in 2023: Shaping a Water Secure Future, Together
The cleverness of one alone is a shallow well that soon dries up.

Berber proverb

Water is an essential building block for creating a healthier world. Water, people, and art are at the heart of a more sustainable planet, where people can empower themselves and drive sustainable impact. However, no one can do it alone.

Water-related issues are being felt everywhere, from the devastating effects of climate change to the disparities faced by Indigenous Peoples and the ongoing struggles for sustainable water access in Latin America.

For over 16 years, the One Drop Foundation has brought together people from all over the world to co-create and drive innovative solutions that can bring lasting change to those who need it most. As we reflect upon the milestones reached by the Foundation in the past year, it pleases us to say that these are not the achievements of one organization, but of all those who believe in our mission and continue to support our life-changing initiatives.

Every drop counts. That’s why as we wrap up the year, we’re focusing on raising an additional $20,000 towards our mission. Keep reading to find out where it’s all going.

Measuring Impact Beyond the Numbers

2023 started off with a bang as the first phase of the Lazos de Agua Program surpassed its objectives in Latin America, empowering more than 235,000 people through sustainable access to water, sanitation, and/or hygiene. Utilizing our signature A·B·C for Sustainability™ model, the One Drop Foundation has fostered collaboration between governments, NGOs, public and private entities, artists, and community members to ensure that the achievements and lessons learned in the first phase can generate lasting impact and be scaled throughout the region.

With a second phase already announced in four countries, One Drop and our partners from the Lazos de Agua Program have begun to rally others to the cause through a new ambitious goal: to impact the lives of more than ONE MILLION people in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2030.

2023 also saw the emergence of new projects in Burkina Faso and India, where One Drop and our partners are building on the successes of past projects in these regions to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions for local populations—primarily women and girls—with the goal of creating waves of change towards economic growth, gender equality, and climate action.

Our World Is Changing, and so Must We

As stated by the United Nations, water is the primary medium through which we perceive the effects of climate disruption. This is why in Madagascar, where droughts have become increasingly frequent and severe, community members and local organizations are taking proactive measures through the Telomiova project to innovate and strengthen their adaptive capacities in response to climate change.

As we know, access to infrastructure is only a start. A sustainable water access project is also about engaging communities on both a rational and emotional level, contributing to empowering them to become the leaders of their own long-term change.

Fetra (left), who is responsible for billing at the company EGS, was pleased to note that following the SABC performances, the water transport containers are now systematically cleaned by their users before collecting water from the standpipes.
Photo credit: Helvetas

Fetra (left), who is responsible for billing at the company EGS, was pleased to note that following the SABC performances, the water transport containers are now systematically cleaned by their users before collecting water from the standpipes.
Photo credit: Helvetas

In 2023, community members across the Menabe region gained first-hand experience with One Drop’s Social Art for Behaviour ChangeTM (SABC) approach through various theatrical performances and group sessions, rooted in traditional art and the local context. The performances succeeded in capturing the attention of 2,595 people—including 1,584 women—and raising awareness around the importance of adopting key behaviours related to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Committed to advancing climate action, in 2023 the One Drop Foundation kicked off our partnership with Clearsum, a Canadian business management and strategy advisory firm specialized in managing climate-related risks and environmental performance. Together, we will work to foster a future where sustainability, resilience, and environmental responsibility are at the forefront.

Recognizing the Sacredness of Water

While water drives climate action, social art can trigger sustainable and meaningful shifts within communities. In 2023, as part of the first phase of the Indigenous Water Allyship, nine Young Indigenous Ambassadors were selected to create community social art projects that promote the significance of water, and challenge the current state of water issues disproportionally affecting Indigenous communities in Canada.

Through this program, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), the One Drop Foundation, and partners from the private sector will stand with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples and contribute to their efforts towards water equality and conservation.

“Water is life. Our project aims to utilize art in bringing recognition to water’s cultural importance in Indigenous communities. We want to educate people on water inequities egregiously affecting these communities,” says Mia Cook, Métis Young Indigenous Ambassador.

Paving the Road Ahead

Our work around the globe is fuelled by channelling creativity—into our innovative approach, captivating events, and unique fundraising initiatives—and sharing it with those who believe in our cause.

In March 2023, in the framework of the historical United Nations 2023 Water Conference, One Drop and our partners from the Lazos de Agua Program were thrilled to introduce our Social Art for Behaviour Change approach to an international audience as part of the unveiling of a water-themed art installation. The installation brought together artists from Latin America and NYC-based artist Inma Barrero, as well as stakeholders from diverse sectors of action, with the goal of inspiring deep reflection on our relationship with water by recognizing the power of individuals to shape a water secure future.

Over the summer, our annual fun run made a return in Montreal with the 5km Water in Action powered by AtkinsRéalis, where participants of all ages challenged themselves while supporting our essential cause.

In the closing months of 2023, Las Vegas came alive with the return of One Drop’s most iconic charity events: One Night for One Drop and The Big One for One Drop. Just like every year, a portion of the proceeds from these initiatives help finance our international projects while also supporting water conservation, technology, and education efforts in Southern Nevada.

These initiatives have only been achievable thanks to valued partners such as Atkins Réalis, Ben Levine, Buck Naked Soap, Cirque du Soleil, Guusto, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Ovivo, MGM Resorts, RBC Foundation, WPT, and Wynn Las Vegas who have generously supported our fundraising efforts. Our partners, along with our donors and suppliers, have come together to enable life-changing projects in Haiti, Mali, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, India, and Canada for many years to come.

The road towards universal access to safe water is a long and difficult one, and we are grateful for the opportunity to pave the way and trudge alongside those who share our vision of a better world.

On behalf of everyone at the One Drop Foundation, thank you for being part of our journey and making a difference in the lives and futures of millions worldwide.

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