Public/Private Partnerships

Several civic organizations are already very active in the global drinking water and sanitation challenge.

The strength and financial leverage which civic organizations bring to this global health challenge cannot be overstated. The support of thousands of individual clubs, chapters and councils has made possible massive, world-changing progress on several global health issues possible (including polio, trachoma, and Guinea worm) and has saved millions of children’s lives.

If your civic organization is interested in the global drinking water and sanitation issue, a typical to-do list includes the following:

  • Begin at the local (club chapter) level by introducing the water topic at an upcoming meeting.  Let members know that in some countries, a single drinking water project sponsored by a Rotary Club has done more than official U.S. foreign aid to improve that developing country’s water supply.
  • Once you have garnered the support of your local club, identify an appropriate project through contacting your organization’s headquarters or through U.S.-based nonprofit organizations.
  • There are thousands of projects waiting for support, thus you can be quite precise in choosing the country, size of the project, the most appropriate solution.
  • Identify sister clubs overseas and the appropriate implementation partners who will actually undertake the project with your support.

At that point, within your organization there are probably opportunities for additional matching grants through district, regional and corporate/foundation channels.  This will give your club the opportunity to scale up its initial project work and have an even greater impact.

For more information about how your civic organization can learn more and engage in this growing sector, please contact John Oldfield joldfield@WASHadvocates.org at (202) 293-4049.

For an example of how one organization is managing its water program, see the website of
Rotary International or email Ron Denham ron.denham@atkearney.com, General Coordinator, Water Resources Task Force.

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