Now that we have a live system, we can match funds to projects quickly and easily. The opportunities – and the results – are there for all to see.
Take Earth Water, a new Akvo funding partner, signed up this week. The conversation began a week ago. Now over €20,000 is committed to a water project. That’s what I call action.
A goal for Akvo is that “money and projects should meet in a flash”. Our project and fund matchmaking system has been built to offer a new, simplified way for those with money to browse and select projects to invest in. And it means organisations who seek funds for their projects have a place to showcase them.
Earth Water is a really cool company that connects the sale of drinking water in the developed world with action to provide it to those living in the most desperate situations elsewhere. It has forged a powerful co-branding deal with the UN refugee agency – it’s the only company in the world ever to have the license to use the UNHCR logo on its products. These are sold via retailers in Europe, Canada and the United States. 100 per cent of net profit on these sales is invested in water projects for refugees overseas. It’s a stylish product, too – sharply packaged in a carton, it stands out from mainstream bottled water.
The company does a lot of awareness-building about water issues, too, and the funds going through Akvo come from this activity. It pours huge effort into De Parade, a Dutch theatre festival that tours key cities around the country each summer.
The team runs the festival toilets – yes, like the amazing one you can see up top. They sell toilet artwork to visitors, and under the seats put messages that raise awareness of the worldwide water problem. De Parade has already been to Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht this summer and its 17-day Amsterdam leg ends with a finale on Sunday.
Patrick de Nekker at Earth Water is using the money raised to fund an Akvo project. “Akvo means we can show where the money is going,” was his rationale to me when we spoke earlier. “There is direct contact with actual projects.”
Earth Water, with Parade, have agreed to fund this €20,000 Ceramic Filter Production project in Bafoussam, Cameroon. Run by PRACTICA and ADEID, I’m especially proud of this project, as it was one of the first Akvo projects we commissioned a film about, via the Africa Interactive mobile reporter team. You can see Walter Nana Wilson‘s short film on the project here. Walter shot the movie and uploaded the content using a mobile phone. Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?
Added on top of this project package are two follow-on film reports. All along we’ve sensed movies would be a great selling point and reporting method for everyone involved – a film brings so much to life. At next year’s Parade, Patrick and his team plan to feature those movies. While raising more money.
You can follow progress here.
Mark Charmer is a co-founder of Akvo. Photo credit: Earth Water.