After the great success of the Twestival
which raised $250,000 to create wells in Africa, I sat down with founder Scott Harrison to ask him about the history of the organization and what's next for Charity:Water.
Scott spent several years as a medical photographer, documenting the tragic effects of poor sanitation and water quality in Africa. And upon his return, he decided to throw a fundraiser for his 31st birthday and asked everyone to purchase a $20 bottle of water to fund the development of wells in Africa.
Charity:Water was born and though the original intention was to spin off Charity:Health and Charity:Education, Scott quickly realized that Charity:Water was the key to helping villages gain both health and education. 80% of all disease in the developing world is caused from poor water quality and children are often required to fetch water from miles away for the family, a task which takes them out of school.
With a background in club promoting, Scott brought a certain aesthetic sophistication that was previously missing in the fundraising world. Using stunning photographs, installations of yellow water barrels that helped visualize the water crisis in Africa, and slick video Charity:Water made charitable giving hip and accessible to a new generation.
With Twestival, Charity:Water demonstrated an innovative understanding of the social web by creating a virtual multi-city fundraising campaign using Twitter.
Now there are exciting new plans for Charity:Water in the works. A web development project will be creating the world's first "collaborative gifting" platform -- a way for friends to pool together resources to fund a well project collectively. A birthday app will also be available, so as your birthday approaches you can ask your friends on Facebook and Twitter to get you a well instead of a gift.
And the new Schools program
partners schools in Africa with schools in the U.S. so kids can learn about life in an African village and get their friends and parents to chip in to give a well for a village school.
If you want to see one of the Twestival wells going in
, you can watch the recently uploaded videos from Ethiopia.