The Global Women’s Water Initiative was launched collaboratively and was incubated by three international organizations: A Single Drop, Crabgrass and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA). The GWWI collaborators came together to address the lack of women’s leadership in the WASH sector, despite their central role as water stewards. We hosted our first training in 2008 at Green Belt Movement with the support of Nobel Peace Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai (pictured above).
Today, GWWI has evolved and grown to become it's own operation and is currently a project of Earth Island Institute (EII). As a project of EII, GWWI benefits from the EII network which includes dozens of local and international social justice projects.
Since its launch, GWWI has trained and built partnerships with women-led organizations who have different social issues they are tackling. Their organizational missions range from improving maternal health, introducing bio-intensive farming, vocational training for vulnerable women, providing housing for orphans and widows and the like. Each of these organizations have recognized that in order to reach their organizational goals, they had to provide one of the main services that their communities are crying out for: access to clean water.
GWWI supports these organizations, or what we call our Implementing Partners, to build a supplemental WASH program to meet their communities' water needs and in turn, strengthen their existing programs. For example, KSHP in Kitale, Kenya teaches communities bio-intensive farming methods to support food security. After attending GWWI trainings, they are offering income-generating WASH products and services and are ensuring water security in addition to food security. Another example, Life Bloom in Naivasha, Kenya counsels commercial sex workers and provides vocational training so they can seek alternative livelihoods. They've since trained their clients in WASH strategies and some have moved on from working the street to become WASH masons and trainers.
And of course, we are so honored to have our Funding Partners who have provided the resources for us to build this movement.