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Wine To Water: Nonprofit Spotlight

Clean water is a basic human right, but universal access to it is still not guaranteed to everyone. 

According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, “1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water.” Whether as a result of the havoc of war, government neglect, impoverishment or other infrastructural ineiquities, clean water access remains stratified. 

That’s why we’re glad to shine a light on Wine To Water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing clean water for drinking and hygiene to all. For almost 15 years, they’ve been making a difference for water access around the globe.

What is Wine To Water?

Wine To Water nonprofit organization mission

Wine To Water is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to “support life and dignity for all through the power of clean water.” They work internationally, with offices based in Tanzania, Colombia, Nepal, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. Each office works diligently to create “sustainable clean water solutions catered specifically to the country’s unique needs.” Building relationships with these nations is crucial to Wine To Water’s efforts, allowing the nonprofit to develop long-term solutions through harmonious collaboration.

Wine To Water History

Doctor Hendley founder

Wine To Water grew out of founder Doc Hendley’s experience tending bar and performing in Raleigh, North Carolina. Drawing on the unique environment nightclubs provided for community building, Hendley threw his first fundraising event in winter 2004 and began installing water systems in Sudan to help victims of the Darfur genocide the following summer. After returning to the United States, Hendley officially founded Wine to Water in 2007.

How Wine To Water Gives Back

Wine to Water sanitation and hygiene

Wine To Water focuses on a variety of efforts through its varied international offices. 

Dominican Republic

Wine To Water concentrates its ceramic filter manufacturing in the Dominican Republic, where a master ceramicist “creates filters out of locally-sourced clay” that can serve families for up to five years. The filter production process also creates jobs and serves as a way to educate children about sanitation and hygiene.

Colombia

Colombia Wine to Water Rehabilitation

In Colombia, Wine To Water focuses on “[rehabilitating] broken wells so that they are accessible year-round, and durable for many years to come.” Wine To Water has helped fund new well drillings in addition to repairing functionality and access to wells that have been damaged or obstructed by flooding. 

Nepal

Wine To Water “focuses on a sustainable approach to water, hygiene, and sanitation development” in Nepal. This includes a three phase process comprising water access, filtration, and sustainability, aided by tools including borehole wells, solar pumps, and tap stands, which the nonprofit “connects to every home.” 

Wine To Water is currently working on “ensuring the communities of Dahakhani and Madi (in Chitwan) are equipped to maintain filters, have a source of community income, and are trained to perform necessary hygiene and sanitation practices.”

East Africa: Tanzania & Kenya

East Africa Wine to Water

Wine To Water operates a second ceramic filter factory in Tanzania, building community connections and providing long-term water sanitation solutions within the area.

United States

“Originated through [its] COVID-19 response with the Navajo Nation,” Wine To Water’s latest program within the United States (based within New Mexico) focuses on sustaining access to clean water for indigenous people. For this effort, Wine to Water is working alongside the Diné (Navajo People). Directing the program is Donna House “of the Towering House People Clan of the Diné and the Turtle Clan of the Oneida.”

Emergency Response

In addition to its efforts tailored to specific nations and regions, Wine To Water also provides emergency response aid throughout the world. Since March 2020, the organization has helped 566 communities based in 9 countries — including those impacted by Hurricane Laura, the California wildfires, and flooding in Pakistan. 

Wine to Water also delivered over 800,000 in Boone, North Carolina with volunteer help, and assisted Texans left without access to potable water amid the freezing weather and electrical grid crisis of storm Uri, distributing “255 ZeroWater filters and 7,260 cans of water.”

Impact and Future Plans for Wine To Water

Wine to water impact

In its nearly 15 years of work, Wine To Water has made a considerable difference. One way to contextualize that is just to look at the organization’s impact since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. From March 2020 to present, Wine To Water has accomplished the following: 

  • Dominican Republic: helped 63,808 people with 2,880 total hand-washing stations. 
  • Colombia: distributed 205 filters, helping 1,950 people. 
  • Nepal: helped 81,1091 people by installing 259 hand washing stations and distributing 208 filters. 
  • East Africa: helped 47,648 people by installing 613 hand washing stations with soap. 
  • United States: served over 201,040 meals and provided essential household items to families in need, helping 3,384 families.

Wine To Water will continue to build on its legacy efforts in each of its regions of focus and international emergency aid, while developing its recent program increasing sustainable access to clean water for indigenous peoples in the United States. 

How to Support Wine To Water

Wine To Water supporters can donate directly to the nonprofit via their website, donate your cash back to Active Minds with Giving Assistant when shopping online, or explore other options for fundraising. You can also look into ways to volunteer in the effort.

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