Geographic Focus: Addis Ababa
Project Focus: orphanages, schools, feeding centers, street shelters
If you had told us in 2008 that it would take four years to become an accredited international NGO in Ethiopia, we probably would have stayed away. Good thing we were a new organization with all the foolishness and brash that comes with youth! With just one in-country, part-time staff and a handful of contractors, we’ve managed to install and monitor water purification systems at 27 sites—not bad, but not where we want to be. Ethiopia remains our least established program. Now that we are actively pursuing that crucial certification—that’s all about to change.
In 2013, we plan to begin integrating our Health and Hygiene platforms into our Ethiopia Program. In addition, and just as importantly, we will be spending several months working with national and local governments, NGOs, and related water experts to undertake our first national-level needs assessment. This process will help us determine where we will focus our future efforts, for we have found we are most effective when we constrain our work to a specific geographic region with a high concentration of orphanages, schools, hospitals, and shelters. In this way, we can be more efficient (less travel time between sites), have greater impact (building out supply chains and maintenance networks that support an entire community), and scale up our efforts to ensure greater coverage rates and the long-term sustainability of the programs.
All of these steps have one goal in mind: connect more kids to safe, reliable, clean, delicious water.