I stumbled across ASD two years ago while looking for video production work, but after reading their mission statement I knew I couldn't NOT volunteer. They were looking for someone to edit together some promotional videos from existing footage, so I contacted them and offered my services, and immediately heard back from Gemma Bulos. Gemma quickly arranged to have a couple dozen DV tapes shipped to me, and while I digitized and indexed the footage she sent, I realized that the job ASD does is even more important than their mission statement lets on. As such, I continued to offer my services as needed, and try to help out in whatever way I can, because this is a project that MUST move forward and continue to do what it does. In comparing what other 'clean water initiatives' are doing, and the methods they're using, this simple, grass roots, locally sustainable project is bound to have even more of an impact in the long run.
It is unacceptable that billions of cases of diarrhea and millions of deaths occur each year in developing countries because of the lack of safe water and sanitation. For over a century we’ve known that safe drinking water could solve this problem. This is the focus of A Single Drop’s work. ASD has developed a comprehensive training program that includes microbiology testing with a Portable Microbiology Laboratory, options to make contaminated water safe to drink, and instruction in basic sanitation. The women attending these workshops return to their communities to share their knowledge and initiate water projects with initial funding and follow-up support from ASD. ASD accomplishes this on a shoe-string budget. I’m pleased to support ASD as a volunteer trainer and as a donor.
A Single Drop was pioneered by a single woman who realized the power of One. She was unafraid to be that one who went into a number of different countries in Africa and her own country of origin, the Philippines, to address a problem no one had successfully addressed, the need for clean water, water that would stop transmitting water-borne diseases to three to five million people and the need to give l.2 billion people worldwide access to water. Just 24 hours without water and a number of us felt the effects of being deprived of water; we were at a retreat and the house we were staying at had a well, but because we had not been careful enough about conserving water, the well had dried up. We were lucky, we could go out and buy bottled water until the well refilled, but think of all the people who cannot do that. So Gemma found a way to teach women how to filter their water simply, inexpensively, safely, which not only saved their health and the health of their families, but united the women, empowered them, and gave them a feeling that someone cared about them. Little by little, A Single Drop has become an award-winning model of social entrepreneurship, giving the under-served economic opportunities to become self-reliant communities who can create and manage their own water service centers in environmentally sensitive and financially sound ways. Women are becoming recognized as holding up “half the sky,” as Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn’s book is called, “Turning Oppression into Opportunities for Women worldwide,” and ASD proves this with turning women into Water Stewards, which will benefit their entire communities in a myriad ways. I recommend non-profit philanthropists to get behind this vital project as soon as possible!
Both the education I received in helping pass on to young girls the water issues that are faced by peoples world wide, and in learning what work is being done by this organization; I am extremely impressed. The event that was organized for Girl Scouts, Brownies, and young girls was amazing in bringing it to their level of understanding, and the girls were very receptive. I am also impressed with the world wide work being done by A Single Drop. Communities are helped with techniques according to what their needs are and they are the ones who build and become a part of the learning process. This is incredibly valuble work that, in my opinion deserves global attention.
Here's what I like about ASD. It empowers women. It empowers local solutions to water problems, and has a model where it takes just a short amount of time to create a new program that can sustain itself. With small investments, households are transformed so that they have access to safe drinking water. ASD is cost effective, very sustainable, and has opportunity to impact literally millions of people (it's already impacting tens of thousands in the Phillipines and Africa.
The amazing thing about ASD is that it inspires and motivates people... apart from the numbers, the immeasurable things are what have the biggest impact. Gemma Bulos is a tireless leader who has inspired and empowered many women. When I worked at the Centre for Affordable Water & Sanitation Technology (CAWST), I delivered training on household water treatment together with ASD in the Philippines. The workshops were a success and led to many projects in the field, by Plan International and others, helping numerous families to learn how to treat their own water and therefore take control of their own health.
I am a teacher in a primary school in Cork City in 2004 and Gemma came to talk to our classes about her single drop organisation and the projects she is involved with. She inspired me and my students!
I came to know Gemma Bulos and her work about 10 years ago through her song campaign for a world anthem "We Rise" and her work with children's groups. The inspiration I derived from witnessing this and coming to know the person she is has been profound, and I have followed her work as it has grown over time. To work with the waters of the world and to promote self-reliance, pride, self-empowerment of women through practical application of means to improve quality of life is such a high service, I have been proud to participate as a donor to the A Single Drop initiative. I have seen what can be accomplished when a single woman listens to the song within her, takes the courageous step to move into her dream while leaving everything else behind, and impact lives around the globe. I am inspired, proud, and have seen the impact on my own life as a result of this work. When we impact one life, we impact all. And this most uplifting truth is what Gemma makes evident to anyone she has touched.
I have known about A Single Drop's excellent work and unique approach since 2008 through my work at Blue Planet Run Foundation. At this time, I reviewed ASD proposals for funding and was consistently impressed with their coherent project plans. Of equal importance, their projects include follow-up, thus ensuring a higher success rate than many other organizations. Their community work is excellent: I applaud their ability to work with communities, hire locally and retract to a support position. In addition to their work in water and sanitation as an organization, ASD has taken a leadership role in an innovative partnership that focuses on women in the water sector: the Global Women's Water Initiative. I think this is a perfect example of Gemma Bulos going a step further, seeing what needs to change in the long run, and engaging with that vision. Women need the extra push that the GWWI offers them through training and seed grants.
I was introduced to A Single Drop and Gemma Bulos while participating in a clean water campaign on the International Day of Peace in 2008. I have been consistently impressed by A Single Drop's commitment to empowering women to take control of their circumstances, their community, and their futures. They strive to go beyond improving access to clean water to providing education for business, technology, and health. They want to transform women from those that life happens to, to those who make life happen!
I have followed the great works of Gemma Bulos, and her organization, A Single Drop over the years w/deep respect and gratitude! In a world in which more deaths are attributed to lack of accress to clean water, than any other cause, this organization has created giant ripples across the planet empowering & inspiring thousands with clear strategies to access thier birth right to WATER. Training women world wide, as care takers for their communities, those w/in 11 countries have gained improved acces to clean water and sanitation, through self reliant, income generating projects on which to build.
A Single Drop is an amazing charity. I heard about Gemma Bulos's work in 2003 and in 2004 and 2005 she came and visited Cork City - the first visit in March 2004 involved visiting over 10 schools in the city raising awareness on the water crisis as well as coming and singing at a concert we had which was attended for a few hundred people. In March 2005, Gemma returned and visited some elderly day-care centres as well as a number of centres which work with adults with special needs. The work of ASD has spread all over the planet with projects running in Africa and the Phillipines. I can't rate highly enough the work that is being done by A Single Drop.
A Single Drop is a tremendous non-profit that truly helps change the World. For many years, the role of women in "less than developed" areas have been muted. A Single Drop is giving these women, not only an avenue to provide the basic necessity of water to their family/community, but more significantly, changing the way that they think of themselves. This important transformation of thought will only gain momentum through time and allow communities to depend upon each other, in ways that have been missing for many generations. In such war-torn areas like Africa, women will be the leading influence in creating a lasting and sustainable economic structure. I am proud to be part of the donorship that helps to achieve this non-profit's wonderful mission.
In August of 2008 I visited an orphanage in Chimoio, Mozambique near the border of Zimbabwe. A Single Drop had just arrived and I was fortunate enough to spend nearly a month with Gemma Bulos, Mariah Klingsmith and Evans Chiyenge while they educated a group of local Chimoio women about fresh-water, sanitation and hygeine. Over the following weeks I observed and photographed as they taught the women how to construct gravity-fed bio-sand filters to purify their household drinking water. Keep in mind that the majority of these people survive on less than a dollar a day, have no plumbing and have been given little means of education. I have to say I have never witnessed anything more inspiring. ASD walked in and within a month's time educated these women about water, taught them to build the bio-sand filters, taught the women how to teach others, and gave them the tools and knowhow to begin their own business providing the most important ingredient in life after oxygen. Since then I have studied up a bit on Africa's economic and social dilemmas and the social entreprenuership model that ASD has created is magnificent. It is hard for a Westerner from a developed nation to understand the magnitude of what these Mozambican women are up against, and they have a voracious appetite for learning the skills neccessary to take care of their families, improve their lives and their communities. A Single Drop has stepped in to begin filling that void, targeting the most important and basic human needs to begin rebuilding this devastated nation. One need only look at the faces of the women in the program to know that it is making an immeasurable impact and is a cause worth supporting. I have to give ASD five stars, though I know that there are many more people out there still suffering, and I would urge whoever might read this to get involved and help A Single Drop to work toward a sixth star, where everyone on Earth has (at minimum) free access to fresh water and a basic education of sanitation and hygeine.
A Single Drop has helped us bring our learnings from an international training back to our community. They gave us additional on-site training in water testing, Biosand water filter construction, WASH education and solar cooking. Local government, schools, Girl Guides, church groups and communities are benefiting from our work and advocacy for access to better water, sanitation and hygiene!