The story of Waterdrop’s Water4Smile program
Interview with Spencer McCutchen, General Manager of Waterdrop
Spencer: Taking a shower in the morning or enjoying a relaxing bath at night is something many of us take for granted, mostly because it is a basic human right to access safe water. Yet, I’ve read a data report by the World Health Organization that 61% of people in this world lack access to safely managed sanitation, and 28% lack access to a secure water supply. A more astonishing fact is that millions of people die from diseases caused by unreliable water supply and sanitation. Among those people who suffer, kids make up a large portion. Based on a 2018 UNICEF report, 31% of schools lack access to clean drinking water. My heart was aching when I read about those statistics, and I deeply felt the responsibility to take action and make a difference.
Spencer: When I shared this with the team, they were all very excited. Many of them said that, suddenly, they feel the work they are doing is more meaningful. “For a bigger cause”, Riley Howard, our marketing director, said that it is truly inspiring, knowing that we can utilize what we have to deliver to clean, safe and healthy water to people in need and make a positive impact. So, I guess the whole company is on board with making this happen.
Spencer: After we decided to take action, we did our research and recognized sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest need, Uganda in particular. The nation of Uganda struggles to provide even the most basic of human needs to many of its citizens. A history of war, AIDS, a lack of clean water, poor nutrition and a struggling economy present a population where the majority is under the age of 18. There are a great number of nonprofit organizations that are doing similar works every day, so transparency is our first concern. It is vital to know how the money you donate is being used on real, specific projects. We’d learned that The Water Project has years of experience in providing reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, and they offer a high level of transparency to all their projects with daily reports, which we believe as a very good fit for our company.
Spencer: What stands out the most for me is not the daily reports, besides all the impressive numbers showing the impact we are making, it is actually the “thank you video” from The Water Project that we received last month. In the video, the children were dancing and bouncing around their new hand-washing station. You can feel the excitement across the screen. The smiles on their faces really touched me and the entire team, and motivates us to keep it up. We want to see more smiles.
Spencer: At Waterdrop, we want to use Water4Smile as a platform to promote water stewardship and hopefully trigger wider industry action to make a change. We want first to achieve the vision of “Water for All.” - equal access to clean, safe and healthy drinking water for the whole society. Then raise awareness of sustainable uses of water. To reach this goal, we will continue putting effort and resources into our R&D division, and use innovation to bring fresh water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. here. Learn more about our brand partnerships and how your organization can get involved.