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Friendly Water for the World

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Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Water

Mission: We create better health and promote sustainable prosperity with communities most in need around the world.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

David164

Board Member

Rating: 5

FRIENDLY WATER FOR THE WORLD - BUKOBA! There is a lot to say to make full sense of this (the first) photo. It was taken several days ago in Bukoba, the far northwestern edge of Tanzania. Water conditions are horrific there. There are virtually no working wells or springheads in the region. Women walk or bicycle up to 18 kilometers (!) to collect water daily, and they take their children out of school to assist. And the water makes them sick. The regional hospital reports that out of every 500 people seen, 430-450 suffer from waterborne illnesses – typhoid, bacterial and amoebic dysentery, occasionally cholera. According to an epidemiological survey undertaken by Friendly Water for the World, children who remain in school miss on average 11 days each month due to waterborne illness. Friendly Water for the World’s Tanzania affiliate CLAO (Community Life Amelioration Organization), based in Mwanza about 100 miles away, is training 10 groups of people (four of them all-women) in fabrication, distribution, installation, and maintenance of BioSand Fitlers. The local government is assisting with transportation and food, and also with setting up business operations for each group. They also paid for three of the 20 steel molds required by the 10 groups. A local charitable venture “Water for Life” is subsidizing Filters for those who really can’t afford them. But there is more. While BioSand Filters are the cornerstone of the Bukoba program as they ensure both health and a source of employment/income and hence a movement toward self-sufficiency, they do not move communities closer to a source of clean water. Each of the 10 groups is pledging all profits from the first three months of their BioSand operations toward building rainwater catchment/ferro-cement tanks. Hence the first photo. Friendly Water has trained two teams of six – people with HIV in Mwanza – to build rainwater catchment systems, and they have become quite expert at it. The local government in Bukoba invited one of the teams to come up and build three for local schools, and train women in the community to do so. When we first met the 42 families with HIV living on Ilemela hill in Mwanza four years ago, many were already beginning to die of opportunistic infections. Water had to be purchased at the bottom of the hill, and kids were taken out of school to bring it up the hill, where it made everyone sick. Now they are all healthy, trained to make BioSand Filters for others (at a decent wage), and they built a catchment system on top of the hill! The local government in Bukoba invited them to build the three systems and train others (and are paying for it). For some of them, it is the first time they have traveled, stayed in a hotel, or been paid for their expertise. The excitement is palpable, and we expect their work to spread rapidly throughout the region.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Their concept is simple. Rather than give people things that get used up, worn out or broken, give them knowledge that can save lives, prevent disease, provide an income and build community. Friendly Water For The World provides training, education and start up materials to communities in desperate need of clean water and improved sanitation to build healthy families and strong communities with hope for the future. It is truly an honor and a pleasure to work with and learn from this small yet far-reaching organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I cannot praise this organization enough for the amazing work they do to save the lives of the most marginalized people on the planet. Friendly Water For The World uses donor funds judiciously and efficiently to provide the knowledge, tools and support that people need to produce biosand water filters to clean their drinking water and eliminate water-borne diseases. Through rainwater catchment systems they are also ending the long walk to water for so many. I am proud to be associated with this group that epitomizes the term “effective altruism”.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

This non-profit organization works with people to bring them clean water and other needed technologies. Clean water is something that we take for granted here and do not realize the impact of contaminated water elsewhere in the world. The organization works with local people to see how they too can begin to take clean water for granted.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dedicated to finding solutions that work for the most marginalized of people, the biggest impact by far to these people concerns water. Friendly Water for the World provides the means to support the education, training, and initial supplies and materials to build effective water catchment and biosand water filtration systems. The construction is done by people in the communities served. Additional simple, but effective, technologies have also been researched and are being implemented (where appropriate), such as permagardens, composting toilets, soap making, and "rocket" stoves. I would not be serving on the board if I did not believe in the mission and vision of Friendly Water for the World and it's impact to transform and empower entire communities.

Doug S.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Attended Training to build filters and other items with my 17 year old grandson last month; it affected us both deeply, and he immediately wants to do more to help the world, including support of FW. Seems a great unique organization with strong leadership and integrity.
Doug Smith, NV

Donor

Rating: 5

My partner stumbled into a Friendly Water for the World workshop two summers ago. He was immediately enthused by what he learned for biosand water filters. He has become a trainer at workshops in Washington state and Bolivia. His interest and enthusiasm has led me to become a monthly donor for this nonprofit. The help it is doing for the women and children of this world is amazing.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've known about Friendly Water for the World since friends attended a filter-building training at an international Quaker event in Kenya. Since then I've been trying to donate, and am now having a year's fund-raising as a way of celebrating my 80th birthday next January. I can't think of a better way of celebration. Each time I read Friendly Water's news I see more people in country after country who have been pushed aside by global society, and who are now enabled to work for their own and their family's health, give children schooling, generate income, and offer the technique to other groups. This organisation works from the grassroots, and belongs to the people who seize upon the techniques and take the initiative to make them better known and spread them. Our world is not fair, but this organisation works with patience, imagination and simplicity to help redress the balance. Every time I tell people a story of its achievements they gasp in amazement like me. I have just walked a half marathon here in Dunedin, New Zealand (see the picture!), as a fund-raiser, and total strangers have donated.

Dean C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World is doing such important work, and one can be sure that any donations to them will be well used. Those of us in wealthy countries take our abundant clean water for granted and can hardly imagine how hard life would be without it. I'm thankful to the organization for the opportunity to support their lifesaving efforts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been donating to friendly water for several years and over the last year started volunteering at some of their local functions. It is a small but growing organization that really strives to provide a life changing capability-clean water- to communities in remote areas of sub-Saharan east africa and India. Their programs to educate and train local groups to build and maintain low cost technologies to collect, store and clean water to improve the health of their community is simply the way to go. Thanks Friendly Water for what you do.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World has done remarkably well as a relatively young, rapidly expanding, hugely successful non-profit. I am defining successful as staying true to core mission and values to help people, villages, and communities provide for themselves affordable and clean drinking water in some of the poorest areas around the world. Success is measured also by great declines in water borne diseases, by income generation for local villages in Africa, Asia, and South America, by fostering local entrepreneurial work, by providing initial guidance and resources for people who then create sustainability for themselves, by protecting people who are vulnerable, and by honoring cultural and ethnic beliefs. This organization has remained administratively lean, carefully directing donations into project work and communities. Leadership of the Board is clear, focused, efficient, and guided by an excellent balance of skills, perspectives, and backgrounds in health, law, science, finance. International relationships are built and enhanced by the outreach with attitudes of open caring and friendship. There is no judgement or need to fix or do things for others. It is a truly remarkable organization.Y

David164

Board Member

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World continues to expand its work, both in depth and breadth. Besides BioSand Filters, they are now working with communities around the world to deploy other life-saving techologies; rainwater catchment systems; MicroFlush toilets; non-fired soil stabilized bricks; rocket stoves; liquid non-palm oil soap; PermaGardens. Taken together , they provide an integrated approach to community development, based around water and sanitation.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

FRIENDLY WATER FOR THE WORLD - BUKOBA!

There is a lot to say to make full sense of this (the first) photo.

It was taken several days ago in Bukoba, the far northwestern edge of Tanzania. Water conditions are horrific there. There are virtually no working wells or springheads in the region. Women walk or bicycle up to 18 kilometers (!) to collect water daily, and they take their children out of school to assist.

And the water makes them sick. The regional hospital reports that out of every 500 people seen, 430-450 suffer from waterborne illnesses – typhoid, bacterial and amoebic dysentery, occasionally cholera. According to an epidemiological survey undertaken by Friendly Water for the World, children who remain in school miss on average 11 days each month due to waterborne illness.

Friendly Water for the World’s Tanzania affiliate CLAO (Community Life Amelioration Organization), based in Mwanza about 100 miles away, is training 10 groups of people (four of them all-women) in fabrication, distribution, installation, and maintenance of BioSand Fitlers. The local government is assisting with transportation and food, and also with setting up business operations for each group. They also paid for three of the 20 steel molds required by the 10 groups. A local charitable venture “Water for Life” is subsidizing Filters for those who really can’t afford them.

But there is more. While BioSand Filters are the cornerstone of the Bukoba program as they ensure both health and a source of employment/income and hence a movement toward self-sufficiency, they do not move communities closer to a source of clean water. Each of the 10 groups is pledging all profits from the first three months of their BioSand operations toward building rainwater catchment/ferro-cement tanks.

Hence the first photo. Friendly Water has trained two teams of six – people with HIV in Mwanza – to build rainwater catchment systems, and they have become quite expert at it. The local government in Bukoba invited one of the teams to come up and build three for local schools, and train women in the community to do so.

When we first met the 42 families with HIV living on Ilemela hill in Mwanza four years ago, many were already beginning to die of opportunistic infections. Water had to be purchased at the bottom of the hill, and kids were taken out of school to bring it up the hill, where it made everyone sick. Now they are all healthy, trained to make BioSand Filters for others (at a decent wage), and they built a catchment system on top of the hill!

The local government in Bukoba invited them to build the three systems and train others (and are paying for it). For some of them, it is the first time they have traveled, stayed in a hotel, or been paid for their expertise. The excitement is palpable, and we expect their work to spread rapidly throughout the region.



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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A non-profit that is actually making a difference in people's lives. By introducing affordable access to clean drinking water they also introduce hope for a better future. Healthy water comes with healthy lives, increased productivity, job opportunity, increased income, higher school attendance... etc HOPE.

Heather A.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friendly Water goes above and beyond to provide a great service. The work is amazing, and the results are astounding!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

There are a lot of organizations in this world that do a tremendous amount to help those whom they serve whether by providing food, medication, clothing or pallets of clean bottled water. But, I've always wondered, "What happens after the food is gone, the last aspirin taken or the last bottle of water has been drunk?" And, that's why I appreciate the work of Friendly Water for the World. Friendly Water isn't a traditional charity, it's a training organization, whose purpose isn't to give things but to give knowledge and the means by which to use it. Give a village clean bottled water and they'll have a lot of bottles, teach a village the very simple steps needed to make their own water clean and you give them health, you give parents the gift of a child who no longer suffers from daily diarrhea, you give children the chance to attend school and you give a community the ability to rise above the specter of disease and death and celebrate live, the possible, the future. And all these actions continue long after Friendly Water trainers have left the community and moved on to the next village, orphanage or school in need. Friendly Water for the World offers sustainability, empowerment and the ability to transform your own life. Powerful stuff.

Inamul Hasan-Khudai K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women in Rural India get much more benefit with the clean water concept given by Friendly Water for the World to the community. Especially the Leadership among Women and Tribal Community to work on providing clean water in the society gives them a courage and minimising the gap among the society. We thank Friendly water for the World for its noble initiative.

By
Inamul Hasan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World works in a unique system that can not be compared to other non-profit organizations.Friendly Water has a close touch with the individual beneficiaries of the project.It has a clear set up mechanism that makes sure that we are in constant communication with people working for us in the various fields.It has changed the lives of many people with different communities hence giving them a hope for a bright future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World is an amazing organization that empowers communities, starting with clean water. We train groups how to make BioSand Water Filters and start micro businesses and community coops. Our work goes far beyond ensuring clean drinking water. Families impacted by AIDs and women who have been reaped are getting their lives back. Local economies begin to flourish... I love FriendlY Water for the World! - Robin Lee

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am consistently amazed and overjoyed at the results Friendly Water for the World sees with our partners in the field. We stopped cholera in all 26 orphanages in Goma, then proceeded to help the orphanages set up water selling programs so they could pay for food, school fees and more. The stories are equally impactful in many other areas with families impacted by AIDs, war, rape, etc. I am proud to work with this organization, because we do so much good for such a small amount of money. And the people are empowered!

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dr. Connie Vasek, Friendly Water for the World’s U.S. Medical Officer, and I recently returned from a nine-day visit with three of our programs in Uganda.

The first one we visited is one of our oldest projects – Kasaana People Living with HIV, in western Uganda. This is a community of 59 HIV-affected families, founded in 2009 by Yubu (he is the man at the left of the picture) so that these individuals and families would not feel so isolated in their struggles.

Initially, they were not doing well. Deaths were common. Even with anti-retroviral drugs, opportunistic infections struck, as the medications were being taken with unclean water, which can reduce their effectiveness up to 80%. People were becoming too weak to work their small gardens and banana patches, and were becoming hungry as well. Children were being taken out of school, both because their parents could no longer afford school fees, but also because they were needed to carry water, often from as far as 5.5 kilometers away. (While we were there, we still saw some children carrying water an hour each way, three times a day).

As Yubu tells us, in 2013 he found out about Friendly Water for the World from a street sign. He called the number, and quickly met up with our Uganda Country Representative Richard Kyambadde (who wants it to be known that he too has HIV). Within two weeks, Richard came to the community, and helped repair their well and spring heads (thus reducing the walk for water.) With the aid of the community, 59 BioSand Filters were built and installed. Then with assistance from One Days Wages in Seattle, and the Rotary International Foundation, Richard and the community built rainwater catchment systems. Finally, with another grant from Friendly Water, Richard trained the community to manufacture “Friendly Soap”.

The community perked up. Yubu notes excitedly that since Richard turned up in 2013, THERE HAS NOT BEEN EVEN ONE AIDS-RELATED DEATH IN THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. People have put most of their children back in school, and we met several who are now in college and university. Several members of the community have opened stores and started small businesses (we met one woman who now makes an excellent pineapple drink!) Friendly Soap is selling as fast they can make it (and they need a motorcycle to reach markets further away.)

We talked with many families while we were there. The next step is to train the community to build, distribute, install, and maintain BioSand Water Filters under our Building New Lives program, which supports communities of people with HIV in bringing clean water to the larger community. We are grateful to the Conant Family Foundation for a grant to do exactly that.

Yubu and Kasaana People Living with HIV are very proud of what they have accomplished so far. Oh, and lest I forgot, the cost – the initial investment in the Kasaana project was under $2,500. As we continue to note, very small amounts of money, intelligently applied, and with creative, innovative partnerships, can make really massive differences in people’s lives.

Tami T.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Very impressed with this group. what a simple solution for such a huge problem. good caring people doing good!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World offers awesome training camps to teach people, from scratch, how to build waters filters. To be used in places where clear water is nearly none existent. The camps are very fun and you learn a lot about different places, people and of course filters. You get to meet great people and make a lot of new friends. Building the filters themselves full scale was one of my favorite parts as it was a great challenge but also a lot of fun, from sifting the sand to make the concrete. Its so amazing that these filters are being used to make clean water for people who would otherwise have none.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Friendly Water provides the training and tools for orphanages, war refugees, and others to ensure safe and reliable drinking water. Friendly Water has repeatedly eliminated cholera and typhoid from communities that were once ravaged by these diseases in their drinking water supply. Their business model of training local individuals and building a local support network has allowed these individuals to further their socio-economic situation by selling the treated water. This sustainable business model creates a ripple effect through the communities that have installed the biosand filters with improved health and economy. I am honored to be part of this organization that has assisted so many.

Donor

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World is one of the most exciting, simple and smart projects I have ever encountered! Clean water - simple. We all need to have clean water. Yet so much of the world does not have it. The technology, use local materials to build a filter that brings water to World Health Organization Standards. Inexpensive - in poverty stricken areas, groups of people can pool together funds to purchase a filter, and it cleans sufficient amounts of water for those groups of people to use. Better yet, teach groups of people how to build them for themselves. Sustainable - those who build the filters are able to create a small business from the project and sustain their families financially - allowing them the freedom to continue to do this good work. There is no reason we cannot wipe out waterborne illness in this world! Friendly Water for the World is leading the way!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World does an amazing job bringing jobs, clean water and self-sufficiency to many small communities in Africa and India with local leaders providing the training at a very low cost. They are extremely efficient in what they do as there is only one paid staff member. Everyone else volunteers. They are in 14 different countries and have helped women with AIDS, pygmy groups, albinos, and others who are commonly discriminated against find a means to support themselves while gaining respect in their communities by building biosand water filters and selling water. Once they have the molds, they can keep on producing and selling clean water improving lives in their communities. Its like a gift that keeps on giving yet the beginning costs are minimal. What's more, the bio-sand filters are good for 30 years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first heard the ideas and methods behind bio-sand water filters, I couldn’t believe they were true. Could something so relatively simple, with materials that can be found almost anywhere, relatively cheaply, really be able to filter water for people? To be almost 100% clean? Drinkable? Free from disease? Curing disease with clean water even? And more so, are regular people showing others how to build these? Themselves? Watering from the grass roots? Watering peoples’ lives? Friendly Water for the World has shown me how the impossible can be possible. How we can do things for others that make more difference in their lives’ than we can even imagine. To do so much from so little? That is a modern day miracle to me. A very, very friendly one.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Most of us drink clean water without giving it a thought. Friendly Water for the World DOESN'T! I am proud to be associated with this tiny nonprofit that is making a huge difference in the lives of so many people who do not have access to clean water. They provide training worldwide to enable and empower people to clean their own water with biosand water filters, as well as teach health and sanitation. I encourage everyone to become monthly sustaining donors to make a real difference. I know my contributions are making a significant difference!

Pam_138

Donor

Rating: 5

I took David's class in effective altruism and then went to Rwanda to see for myself what Friendly Water for the World was doing. In many cases charitable donations don't have the effect you would hope, but in this case I think your donation is money well spent. The technology of the BioSand filters is simple enough to be easily implemented. It doesn't break down or need expensive parts and repairs. The people who benefit from it are able to get a filter at low cost. Especially appealing is that it stimulates the economy by letting schools with filters sell clean water, it gives young men in the community productive work hauling these filters to where they're needed, and it is a simple system that allows the locals to take over the process and provide for themselves rather than being dependent on foreigners to rescue them. Friendly Water does more than teach people to make filters. While I was in Gisenye they were also conducting a training session on building cisterns to collect rain water.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Although it is the rainforest and water is plenty, potable water is completely absent!!!
As a Tropical Nurse I worked for seven years (73-79)in the Equatorial Rainforest of the DR Congo, as director of a Medical Social Program covering a population of 30,000 people over a 200 mile stretch along the Lopori, one of the least accessible tributaries (also bonobo country) of the Congo river.
In the set up preventive health care program (latrines, hygiene education, malaria prevention, and many more) potable water is one of the most basic needs in the prevention of worm-, protozoon-, bacterial- and viral diseases because these diseases literally eat away the body, the health, the future of the exposed populations.
Unfortunately we were forty years too early: if we had had this tool of the BIOSAND WATER FILTER available in our seven years the whole population covered would have had drink water by the day we left.
If there is a hygienic revolution for the young countries then this is the invention of the wheel. It is affordable for literally everyone, can be made by every one can be applied everywhere rural and urban locations alike.
In addition of disease prevention the enormous economic advantage - by freeing up time - is unfathomable: yes in the rainforest getting your water for daily use demands an hour walking on average; imagine walking one hour just getting your pail of water (4-5gals) to flush your toilet, then there's the shower, the dish washing, the laundry......
Health, economy and.... politics indeed, for as water is growing scarcer while the global population explodes, drinking water will be a blessing of and for peace! Not convinced? Look at the wars already going on for decades just for water alone. The bio sand filter will spout Water for Health and Peace alike. Jan Dirckx

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am most impressed with Friendly Water for the World's passion and commitment to train local villagers how to build bio-sand filters using local materials with the intention that those trained will train others in their communities. Continued support and follow up training are also part of this package. The project reports and feedback from the field show that FWFW is making a real impact in getting rid of water borne diseases in Africa, India and South America. FWFW have a great group of men and women volunteers who are making a real difference!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my wife and I were Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa from 2011 to 2013, we learned about the Friendly Water organization and began reading their website reports on their projects. When we finished our Peace Corps service, we decided to attend the Biosand Filter (BSF) training in Annacordes Washington. I am a retired Professional Engineer with 30+ years experience in drinking water for small systems in Idaho. Some of that work dealt with slow sand filters serving small communities and with other safe drinking water projects. From our exposure during the training to the Friendly Water organization and to the BSF point of use filter they are introducing to needy households, it is clear that Friendly Water with the right people and modest financial support has the potential to make significant health improvement to families, organizations, and communities by giving them the means to make safer drinking water from existing contaminated water supplies. We were impressed with Friendly Water and recommendations this organization to anyone interested in this type of service.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Friendly Water for the World is an organization that helps to bring clean water in a simple reproducible way to third world countries. They have work in 7 different African countries, as well on Central America, India and Afghanistan. Each group is set up as a profit group (for the group, not FWFW) So, besides helping provide clean water they help to produce sustainable livelihoods. Everyone works as volunteers.

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently attended the week long Friendly water for the world Bio-Sand filter training program and was very impressed with the trainers knowledge and dedication. Each of the trainers has spent time in other countries helping local communities learn to build the filters for themselves. I could tell they are all very compassionate about there mission and are truly helping the world becoming a safer place by ensuring areas in other parts of the world get clean and safe drinking water. Their program helps people to become healthy and to build a business that help their local community as well as establishing financial independence. .

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a organization that is helping people meet their own needs. They only go to help where there is an invitation. They work with community groups to develop self sustaining businesses that provide clean water and jobs. In Africa they are also saving the rain forest because people do not have to boil their water. Over 4,500 filters have been made and installed. This is possible, because the original trainers have carefully trained others to teach sanitation, hygiene, production and marketing of bio sand water filters.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am impressed with the passion those people from "Friendly water for the world" have to help the world becoming a better place, their accuracy in helping their brothers and sisters in the poorest regions of the world getting clean drinking water. They sure save many lives in Africa, in India, where ever they go by providing bio-sand filters and most importantly, by educating the villagers about the importance of clean drinking water for their health and teaching them how to make bio-sand filters themselves. They show people to become independent and if they want they can even sell drinking water or sell bio-sand filters to neighboring communities and start making a living. Friendly water for the world brings the bio-sand filters to schools and orphanages saving the life of many children. Wonderful and amazing collaboration of people with their hart in the right place.
Please help with whatever donation you can afford, the money goes straight to the people, not to the board members of the organization, or volunteer, everything helps.

Eileen26

Donor

Rating: 5

Healthy water to drink changes lives. In the United States we wash our cars and laundry in grade A, #1 drinking water that people in other countries can only hope for. Friendly Water for the World teaches people how to create home and local based water filters that reduce intestinal problems and parasite infections. The costs stay low so that more people can be served. Please support this group!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have seen the board work very hard to make this organization be efficient with its money and change as many lives as possible. Those are the guiding principles it seems to me. The need is enormous and Friendly Water keeps growing in an effort to meet that need.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I think this organization is doing very important work and considers the outcome of every decision made very carefully. As a results, water filters are being constantly made and placed in the community - people are getting clean water and new skills.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The organization has highly changes the lives of the people in rural areas and also in the town where I live -Mityana-Uganda through their simple home based water purification technology (BioSand Filters). The sanitation and hygiene lessons they offer are amazing and they have really changed peoples behavior to live a happy live in the society.