What does water mean to you?
This World Water Day, UN-Water is asking the question: What does water mean to you? And while this question is on everyone’s mind, the One Drop Foundation is announcing a brand-new water, sanitation, and hygiene project in Madagascar: the Telomiova Project. Read the press release here.
Water is at the heart of our vision for a better world. Our mission to ensure that the world’s most vulnerable communities have sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services is testimony to that. Safe water is more than important, it is vital. And it is fundamental to global health and well-being. In the context of a pandemic like the one we are experiencing, access to safe water—coupled with One Drop’s Social Art for Behaviour Change™ approach and income-generating activities—allows communities the world over to be better equipped and fosters their resilience.
What does water mean to us? Considering that the sustainability of access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services is part of a system, the answer is complex. And it is only together that we can answer.
For a resident of one of the communes in the Menabe region of Madagascar, water means the development of income-generating activities and better living conditions. For METRO AG—one of our project’s financial partners in the State of Bihar, India— water is part of the value chain and it means achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For Georgina Bloomberg, our new ambassador, water means the empowerment of women and girls. For our team, water—when combined with art and emotion—means the power to change lives.
On this World Water Day, we are pleased to join the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in announcing that we have selected nonprofit Helvetas’ Telomiova Project in Madagascar, following an innovative call for proposals issued jointly by our foundations. The combined financial contribution of the One Drop Foundation and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation amounts to US$1.5M.
The Telomiova Project will aim to improve climate resilience, the protection of natural resources, and sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services for the most vulnerable populations throughout 15 communes of the Menabe region in Madagascar. It will look to create long-term impact by ensuring sustainable infrastructure, implementing the One Drop Foundation's Social Art for Behaviour Change approach, and strengthening the adaptive capacities of local organizations towards climate change.
What does water mean to us? Again, water is vital. It is essential for the well-being of vulnerable communities. Without safe water and soap for hand washing, for example, communities face serious risk of disease. This was the case before the pandemic, and it is even more so today. Access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services and behaviour change are the very things that can better equip the world's communities to be more resilient during and after a health crisis.
This past year's pandemic will have shown the world why safe water unquestionably matters, and why investing in solutions that empower communities to develop is just as important.
And we will go even further to say that water alone is not enough. More than ever, One Drop's unique A∙B∙C for Sustainability™ model and Social Art for Behaviour Change approach have proven their ability to strengthen water, sanitation, and hygiene systems as well as behaviour change processes. Let us build on what we have learned and continue to take action towards making water a priority for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Together, let's continue turning water into action!