• Grassroots campaign brings together school children, faith-based organizations, companies, individuals to provide clean water to a quarter million sub-Saharan Africans
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2007 -- PlayPumps International announced today that its innovative 100-day grassroots campaign raised more than $1.5 million to donate 111 PlayPump™ water systems to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, which will improve the lives of a quarter million people by providing them with fresh drinking water. The organization announced its "100 Pumps in 100 Days" challenge as part of World Water Day on March 22, 2007, as an extension of the global campaign announced last fall to bring 4,000 PlayPump systems to ten sub-Saharan African countries.
The PlayPump water system consists of a child's merry-go-round attached to a water pump and storage tank that conveniently delivers clean water from deep underground via a simple tap. These systems provide clean drinking water and powerful educational messages to schools and communities in Africa.
"In Africa, clean water can make the difference between prosperity and poverty, wellness and disease, illiteracy and education," tennis star and PlayPumps International spokesperson Nicole Vaidisova said. "The urgency represented by the '100 Pumps in 100 Days' campaign has now been matched by the generosity of donors who understand that the presence of a PlayPump water system in a village can be the foundation to a better future."
From the Scarsdale Middle School Human Rights Club in New York to the Gregg Drilling Company in Spring Hill, Calif., to One Water, in Teddington, England, generous organizations and individuals helped PlayPumps International not only meet its goal of 100 pumps in 100 days, but exceed it. Schools, places of worship, foundations and individuals fueled their own grassroots campaigns. Their simple acts of kindness and community building are making a major difference.
Lynn Simoneaux's 6th grade class at McCulloch Intermediate School in Dallas, Texas raised $28,000. "This project was kid-initiated and kid- driven," she said. "This was kids feeling empathy for other kids. They started it, they worked hard and they followed it through."
Another group, One Water, a United Kingdom-based organization dedicated to addressing the clean water issue, directed 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of its ONE Water bottled water product, under the slogan "When You Drink ONE, Africa Drinks Too." The company raised funds for 19 pumps during the campaign, making it the largest single contributor during the campaign. "ONE Water is proud to continue our support for PlayPumps International in their quest to bring clean drinking water to 10 million people in Africa," said Duncan Goose, Founder of ONE Water. "We thank all of our customers who have contributed to this effort by buying ONE Water."
With more than one billion people worldwide living without access to clean water, PlayPumps International provides a vital tool that helps communities combat water-related diseases that claim the lives of 6,000 people each day. Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a preventable, water-related disease and 40 billion hours are lost annually to hauling water, a chore primarily undertaken by women and girls. Most commonly placed near schoolyards, an easy-to-use PlayPump water system brings water to school children and villagers who previously lacked a source of safe, clean drinking water.
PlayPumps International is pursuing its goal of implementing 4,000 PlayPump systems in ten sub-Saharan countries by 2010 by finding new and creative ways to educate and inspire others to help the cause. The group is now exploring the world of online social networking to achieve their goal by becoming part of Facebook's "Causes" application. This fall, the group will kick off their "KnowH2O!" campaign to teach students about the global water crisis and ways they can help solve the problem.
PlayPumps International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping improve the lives of children and their families by providing easy access to clean drinking water, enhancing public health and offering play equipment to millions of children across Africa. To date, PlayPumps International has donated more than 900 PlayPump water systems in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. In 2007 and beyond, PlayPumps International will help bring the systems to Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. The organization's goal is to provide the benefits of clean drinking water to up to 10 million people by 2010.