The Community Water Solutions Story
Community Water Solutions empowers women to launch sustainable water businesses. We don't drill wells! Instead, we bring students and young professionals from around the world to Ghana, West Africa, where together with the community they build sustainable water treatment centers and train local women to run them. Over the past 5 years, CWS has launched 49 water businesses in Ghana which empower 98 women entreprenuers. 100% of our businesses are still in operation today.
Where We Are Today: The CWS Fellowship Program
How do we do it? Just ask our Fellows! Through our innovative Fellowship Program, Community Water Solutions mentors students and young professionals from around the world who help us bring clean water to new communities. Our Fellows raise the funds to travel to Tamale, Ghana where they work in small teams to build new water treatment centers in rural villages and train local women to run them as a microbusiness. Each business provides safe drinking water to the entire community, generates income for the women entrepreneurs, and uses locally available products. After the Fellowship ends, our local staff monitors the businesses and proactively resolves issues as they arise.
Since launching the Fellowship Program in 2010, CWS has expanded from 5 to 49 water businesses, which empower 98 women entrepreneurs. These businesses provide more than 28,000 rural Ghanaians, including over 5,000 children, with consistent access to safe drinking water. But for CWS, this is just the beginning.
Every year, we receive far more qualified applicants to our Fellowship Program than we can accomodate in Tamale and we end up turning away willing canidates. We know our model works and now we're ready to grow!
Last year, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous philanthropist, we conducted independent site assessments in several regions in West Africa and have identified two new areas, surrounding the cities of Walewale and Salaga in Ghana, as optimal sites for CWS.
Where You Come In
Rural Ghana Can't Wait
We need to raise $60,000 to help finalize our expansion so we can be ready to host Fellows in Salaga and Walewale this year. Community Water Solutions operates as a lean, pay-as-you-grow, self-sufficient organization. Based on our success in Tamale, we know exactly what it will take to expand our Fellowship Program to these new cities and build water businesses in the surrounding areas.
Here is what we need to do:
- Set-up one field office in Salaga and another in Walewale
- Purchase water-testing equipment, so that each field office has a well-equipped quality control lab to monitor the safety of the drinking water
- Hire and train 4 local staff members for each field office. Our staff is amazing: They host the arriving Fellows; they are our translators, and they are on the road monitoring our new water businesses.
We Need Your Help to Reach Our Goal!
So, what's in it for you?
Beside's that awesome feeling that you get from supporting a worthwhile cause, we're excited to offer some great perks to CWS supporters. Below are some of our favorites:
CWS Post Cards
With a $50 or greater donation, you will receive a pack of 5 postcards, which feature beautiful images of CWS villages in Ghana. All of the photographs were taken by Lucy Parker Randall of Smitten & Hooked Photography. This January, Lucy generously donated her time and amazing talent to CWS and traveled to Ghana to document our work!
Custom CWS Water Bottle
Donate $100 or more and you will receive this custom aluminum CWS water bottle. Everytime you take a sip you'll be reminded of the thousands of people that you helped to provide clean drinking water!
Framed Photograph from Ghana
Donate $250 and you will receive a framed 11.5" X 15.25" photograph of your choosing by Lucy Randall of Smitten & Hooked Photography. Below are some of our favorites, but you can chose from any of the photos posted here. Frame dimensions are 15.75 X 19.75".
Love what you see? Give $1,000 or more and you will get to choose three Smitten & Hooked Photographs that we will then frame and send to you!
Handmade Patchwork Blanket
Donate $5,000 to CWS and you'll receive a beautiful patchwork blanket handmade in Ghana! Of course, you'll also get to choose three Smitten & Hooked framed photographs, have your name put up on the CWS Wall of Fame in Tamale AND schedule a skype session with the CWS-Ghana staff so you can chat with the people that make it all happen!
Other Ways You Can Help
Can't donate, but still want to help out? There are plently of ways that you can support CWS:
- Like us on Facebook and then share a link to our campagin!
- Tweet about us! The more people that learn about our campaign, the better!
- Come to Ghana as a CWS Fellow!