Water Brigades' mission is to empower communities to access
sufficient, clean water through infrastructural development, water
treatment, community leader training, and education. Water
Brigades volunteers assist in implementing clean water systems
to prevent water related illnesses in communities with limited
access to clean water. One of the fundamental roadblocks to
community development is lack of clean water. Drinking
contaminated water is a catalyst in the vicious cycle of chronic
illness, which is compounded by poor infrastructure and limited
access to medical care for large rural populations. Therefore,
constant exposure to parasite and bacteria laden water hinders
the quality of life and productivity of rural populations. With a
sufficient quantity of properly treated water, community members
can cut off the connection between water and illness and
ultimately live healthier, more productive lives.
The Water Brigades in-country team works with community
leaders to design sustainable water infrastructure for the entire
community, making sure that with the right education and
training, the local communities are able to operate and maintain
their new water systems. Once planning and design are complete,
volunteers work side-by-side with community members as well as
with our Honduran project technicians in all aspects of the water
system's construction, while learning about its design, how it
works, and its long-term sustainability. No experience necessary!
To ensure the sustainability of the community's water system and to improve sanitation and hygiene practices, Water Brigades and its volunteers provide education and training so that the community can properly administer, operate, and maintain their water system. A Water Council and a Basic Sanitation Committee are established and trained to manage the community's water situation in the future. In collaboration with Public Health Brigades, Microfinance Brigades, and the Community Development team, Water Brigades is working to identify communities with the most need. With a holistic approach to development, we plan to continue working with communities to improve their health and standard of living through the most fundamental resource on the planet - water.
Brigade Length & Logistics
In Honduras, Water Brigades are for 7-9 days. Interested Water Chapters will work with a Global Brigades Chapter Advisor to select their brigade dates and book their airfare through Global Brigades' travel partners. Each Chapter then fundraises for their program contribution and airfare. Upon arrival in Honduras, Global Brigades staff pickup students from the airport and transports them to a safe and secure lodging facility where they will be staying throughout the duration of the brigade. Each day volunteers and staff commute to and from the community to work on the water system and provide education workshops. All meals, in-country transportation, coordinates, translators, and building materials are provided during the brigade.
Imperial College London
University of Virginia
Dennis Ting Teck Wah
Imperial College London
Imperial College London, United Kingdom
"Everything was perfect during our mission in Ghana and be reassured that it involved all kind of miserable moments: lunchtime crankiness; the exhausted friend on your shoulder trying to get an extra 10min sleep on the bumpy minivan route to the community, the hard work that made your hands and feet bleed and blister all over; the bitter disappointment of not managing to finish the super- optimistic purpose of your mission, leaving the finish up work to another group. Nonetheless this was part of the beauty of the experience and I wouldn’t take any of it back. My regrets: I wish my heart was bigger so it could fit all the children of Srafa Aboano. I wish I had more hands so I could build a water tank for each household in the community. I wish I could speak Fante so I could have made a better use of the few precious hours we had to feed the children’s hungry eyes for knowledge with what is essential to bit their odds of life spam. I wish that I hadn’t left Srafa Aboano. I wish there were more young people with us to share this experience...
Volunteering today has nothing to do with philanthropy as it did decades ago. Analogically we take more than we give and since giver and receiver cannot be distinguished there is equality between them both. This is the beauty of volunteering in oppose to philanthropy; we cannot look down to other people because in some ways are less fortunate than us. In the process of enabling them to help themselves through sharing our skills and knowledge at the same time we grow as individuals and personas and acquire new skills."
University of Virginia, United States
"...being in Ghana felt normal, and I cannot say I have ever heard that before. “Come to Ghana, they’re normal, but still could use some help.” This holds so much truth. I just felt like I was helping a neighbor that needed a hand. Granted that neighbor may be across the Atlantic Ocean and may not speak the same language as me, but those are just minor details. The idea of solidarity, not charity, perfectly represents how we must view these interactions. The people of Ghana made this experience absolutely amazing. Even when we casually encountered people during door-to-doors, they were always so interested by what we said. That feeling of genuine curiosity and care is absolutely refreshing."
Imperial College London, United Kingdom
"We spent a total of 4 days in the community helping the Water Brigade build their project. Like any construction project, it was hard and tiring work but it was truly motivating just to be around (and sometimes work alongside) the people there who were always in high spirits despite having to cope with their water issues.
Although the community looked just like any other undeveloped rural town at first glance, it was actually quite an amazing experience just to be there. It was interesting to see how the people there did common things in a culturally different way: from the crops they harvested and how they did it to the kinds of animals they reared and how they handled them. Being there and seeing the people make the best with what little they have really makes you appreciate all the conveniences that we often(sadly) take for granted."