How We Work: Water
The purpose of Blood:Water Mission projects are to "empower communities to fight against..." Rather than providing a hand-out, which inevitably leads to dependency and failed projects, we seek to transform communities from the inside out, enabling them to be the agents of change within their own context. While safe water access, hygiene, and sanitation are core objectives within our water programs, the process of enabling these skills and technologies in a community ultimately leads them on a journey of self-discovery, giving communities a platform for understanding their own capabilities, assets, and most importantly self-worth. It's not until communities are able to understand and embrace their potential, that they are fully able to utilize and sustain the projects they have worked so hard to achieve.
In order for this to occur, we must be willing to take this journey with communities; a process that requires both relationships and time. Blood:Water cannot do this alone, nor as outsiders, are we the ones best positioned to do so. Instead, Blood:Water researches and develops close relationships with local organizations, empowering them to be the catalysts in the communities around them. Blood:Water maintains a staff of qualified development professionals who hand-pick each partnership using industry best practices in development. The partnership is then managed using the principles of CREATE, a model developed by Blood:Water which centers around 5 critical areas engagement: Collaboration, Relationships, Empowerment, Accountability and Technical Excellence. In addition to funding, Blood:Water collaborates with our partner organizations on strategy and methods, networking resources to build capacity, and offering technical and programmatic insight where needed. It is through these grassroots approaches that we are able to capitalize on local knowledge, build into civil society, maximize cost-effectiveness, and ensure long-term sustainability.
More than just clean water, Blood:Water Mission funds full-scale programs in iWASH: Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. This approach is critical as community behavior changes in hygiene and sanitation practices have the potential to more than triple the health impact of clean water alone. While each program is unique according to the cultural, environmental, and political climate in which it's implemented, every program is built around core principles in community empowerment. In addition to this, Blood:Water's Africa Program's staff assess the technologies used in each project to ensure that they meet best practices and are implemented with technical excellence. To date water technologies used by Blood:Water include drilled wells, rain catchment, spring development, gravity flow, and biosand filtration. In an industry where sustainability is often compromised by inappropriate methods in development, we are confident that our programs will be around to serve the next generation.