LOUISVILLE, KY -- WaterStep, a Louisville-based organization that provides tools and training in water purification, disaster relief, health education and well repair, is now able to educate people around the world using a new Virtual Training Center. The Center was made possible by a $25,000 grant from the Louisville Water Foundation and a matching grant from local philanthropist Sue Badgett. The funding covered the cost to renovate a formerly-vacant space inside WaterStep's headquarters, as well as the technology upgrades and new state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
The work on WaterStep's Virtual Training Center began in early March, and the first events utilizing the room include the nonprofit's monthly "Save a Life" tour on August 21 at noon, and a training for Field Ambassadors in Uganda on September 11. The room includes state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment, including a high-resolution video camera and ceiling-mounted high-quality microphones for clear sound during group discussions.
Educating the local community and local youth about the world water crisis and water treatment is a big part of WaterStep's mission. Typically, more than 4,000 people (mostly students) a year visit their headquarters for tours and thousands attend trainings. The new Virtual Training Center allows the organization to continue their community education program while adhering to new health guidelines caused by the pandemic. This capability is especially crucial as educators struggle to continue their work without in-person instruction. The center will also be used to communicate with WaterStep's field consultants and partners in over 50 countries around the world.
"We are so grateful that the Louisville Water Foundation and Sue Badgett recognized the urgent need for us to have this improved technology and capability," says WaterStep Founder and CEO Mark Hogg. "This new center will not only address the immediate needs for increased virtual training and education options, but it will also support all of our current and future projects around the world by allowing us to provide real-time, on-going support."