Another link in the circle
We are privileged to live in a modern society where we have many opportunities and choice. In my travels throughout the world I have met people who struggle to exist day to day and have little or no choice in determining what kind of life they wish to live. The biggest cause of this struggle is not too many people and not enough food but the unfair distribution of wealth directed by forces outside their boarders. Part of keeping the dictators and warlords in positions of power is to deny the population basic human rights to keep them busy surviving; struggling for food, shelter and clean water.
In North America we are governed by the same forces and have seen the drive to privatize our natural resources. One of these is water. Under agreements like NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Agreement this threatens to turn resources such as water into commodities which violates basic human rights. (UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25 ).
A big part of what North Water does is build products that enhance people’s ability to play in water. We felt it only fitting to set up a program that provides safe drinking water to those that do not have it, much less play in it.
Cambodia seemed like the logical place, so we visited remote villages deep in the jungle. We met the locals and saw first hand what the needs were and how best to work with them. We teamed up with one of the back country tour companies (Hidden Cambodia) which also works to provide clean safe water to these marginalized communities.
We had the choice to contribute to some of the larger fund raising organizations, where we receive tax credits, but found up to 50% of the donated funds go toward administrative costs. We opted to stick to the true intention and make sure every penny goes directly to the people that it is intended to help. This puts us face to face with the people that benefit from our efforts. It is amazing to see how much impact a simple well makes and the gratitude that is shown by people in these villages.
It takes under $2,000.00 to drill a well and provide a whole village with clean drinking water. This greatly reduces sickness and disease, decreases infant mortality, creates a gathering area and a sense of stability within the community. It also lets them know people do care about them and they are valuable part of a much bigger community.
We offer our dealers the opportunity to contribute a percent of annual sales, or a one time contribution to drill their own well. We take care of all the logistics, and provide photos of the people and community that benefits from your generosity.
The photos on this page are an example of one of the villages and people helped by this program (click on them for a larger image).
Lindsay Merchant, President
Our facilitators in Cambodia are Paul and Sheila at: hiddencambodia.com