Friendly Water for the World has a new story to tell this Friday at 4:30 pm

Find out how a small group of volunteers from Olympia have been water to rural communities in Africa, India for 10 years


OLYMPIA - For its 10th Anniversary, the folks at Olympia-based Friendly Water for the World had dreamed of having a huge dinner, featuring exotic foods from Africa, serving hundreds of participants celebrating the many the accomplishments. But. The pandemic.

Instead?  A Zoom call.  

But it promises to be an interesting one, featuring stories about travels to Africa and India, some told by their partners in Africa and Asia.  The stories promise to be entertaining and inspiring, too: hunting for supplies and suppliers, reducing or eliminating waterborne diseases, using 19th Century technologies to solve 21st Century problems.  Some of the projects have involved the very most impoverished or vulnerable people on the planet: people who live with albinism, women with AIDS, outcasts in the truest sense of the word. 

Of particular note is a series of projects planned in Matsakha, Kenya.  See photos with this story. 

Friendly Water has moved from the dream of its co-founders, David Albert and Del Livingston, to having completed projects in 16 nations on four continents. It operated with volunteers only for eight years; two years ago it hired executive director Curt Andino and several other staff, including one full-time manager based in Kenya.  Together they have professionalized fund-raising, project management and the other departments. Most importantly, the organization has figured out how to deal with many of cross-cultural challenges in training and leading people on the other side of the world. 

Not just water anymore

Starting in 2010, most projects revolve around training local people how to make and use gravity-fed biosand water filters.  Today Friendly Water assesses the real needs of a community and usually trains the locals how to make any of six low-tech products including, mainly, liquid soap, for hand washing, "rocket" stoves, or build water storage tanks, or low-water toilets.  The latter two projects are based on curved, interlocking, soil-stabilized bricks they make using a human-powered press.

Find out more this Friday, 4:30 - 6:00 pm.  To register, click here or visit

Full disclosure:  The JOLT's Danny Stusser is also a member of Friendly Water's board of directors.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here