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Fall in love with our 2016 Fall Interns!

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From developing new skills to building relationships with staff members, learn what it’s like to intern at charity: water from our amazing Fall interns! 



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Carys Hopkins
School: The University of Bath and Bournemouth University
Hometown: Bournemouth U.K.
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I have known about charity: water, and the way that they are doing things differently in the nonprofit sector. I wanted to come and see it for myself!

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?  

Spending a lot of time with spreadsheets and on Salesforce. Charity: water is migrating onto Salesforce so there are a lot of little things that need to be ironed out before the CRM system can be used properly. I’m here to try and find out if things are working smoothly, and see if processes can be made more efficient.

What’s your favorite thing about interning at charity: water?

Beer and Pizza on Friday, as it’s a great way to meet people. It’s also lovely to work with such an open and friendly team, everyone is willing to help if you need it.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I moved over to the US from the UK this year, so I’m trying to explore America and New York as much as I can. Any recommendations as to what I should see and do whilst I am here is much appreciated.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

West Village/Greenwich Village

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

I don’t like to have plans set in stone as they always seem to change but ideally, I’d like to be working in the nonprofit sector, managing a large team of people doing amazing things for the benefit of others. Perhaps a Director of Programs/Operations.

Share a fun fact with us!

I once performed in an open air Shakespeare play on an island off the English coast for a three-week run. I had to contend with peacocks and mosquitos whilst wearing a giant pointy hat.

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Ashley Gigante
School: Rutgers University
Hometown: Manalapan, NJ
Team: Operations

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

When I first heard about charity: water, I loved their whole mission. After doing a little more research I knew this was the kind of organization I wanted to work for, and then I saw the office in person for the first time and I just had to be a part of it.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

What is so great about my position is that there is no “typical day” for me. One day I can be making sure we have enough supplies and snacks for the staff or helping recognize something in the office and the next day I can be running around checking out venues for our upcoming events. One of my favorite things about it is that I am always doing something new, so I’ll never get bored.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The snacks definitely. And the people are all super friendly and welcoming.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

When I’m not here I spend a lot of time with my family. I consider my brothers, sister, and parents my best friends. I also am a server and a bartender at a restaurant.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

The High Line

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Hopefully working my way up in a great nonprofit organization or running one of my own. I hope to have a cool husband, a couple cute kids, and a bunch of dogs.

Share a fun fact with us!

I’m disturbingly double jointed and can twist my arm in a full circle while keeping.

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Lily Patterson
School: Fordham University
Hometown: Cape Cod, MA
Team: Marketing

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

My high school hosted a gala to benefit charity: water during my junior year and I have been following the organization ever since. I have always been impressed by the transparency that charity: water has its supporters and when I saw the opportunity to work here, I jumped for it!

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

I typically come in and check through our Facebook platform, sometimes posting for the day and hopefully adding new supporters (yay!). The rest of my day is usually made up of working on some longer-term projects as well as responding to issues that our supporters are having with the website. I also get to hang out with Taina all day, so what more could I really want?

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The people are some of the friendliest and most open that I have ever met and I love getting to know everyone. The free coffee doesn’t hurt either!

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

Outside of charity: water I am a full-time student at Fordham University where I am on the Campus Activities Board and play club lacrosse! Any free time I get I love to go check out the Botanical Gardens and, if the tickets are cheap, head to a few Broadway shows!

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

If there aren’t too many people around, the American Wing at the MET is one of my favorite places in the world and I could spend hours there. Otherwise Lincoln Center is a favorite, the seats off to the side are the perfect place to read a book.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

I honestly have no idea, but I do know that I want to be in the nonprofit world and, of nearly equal importance, I want to own a dog, maybe two!

Share a fun fact with us!

Paul McCartney once told me he loved me during a concert.

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Jenna Siflinger
School: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Hometown: Framingham, MA
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I stumbled upon charity: water in 2014, fell in love with the mission and have followed them ever since! I am pursuing a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and knew working with charity: water’s Key Relationships team would be a great way to build on my education with real-life experience.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Every day in the office so far has started with a cup of green tea and checking in with Kathleen. Other than those certainties, no two days have looked exactly the same. I might be researching donor prospects, responding to customer questions on Zendesk, or mailing a birthday card to an amazing supporter.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

My favorite part about interning at charity: water is definitely the people, from the staff to the supporters. I get to be surrounded by passionate and hard-working professionals from varying backgrounds all coming together to end the water crisis. Getting to hear about the things our supporters are doing for clean water every day is beyond inspiring. I have to add, Bagel Mondays are pretty high up on the list as well.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I spend Thursdays and Fridays back home in Massachusetts where I work for Advocates, Inc. - a nonprofit organization based out of Framingham, MA offering services to individuals with developmental disabilities. When I’m not at work, I’m most likely studying, playing guitar, or rooting for the Patriots! I also have a bit of an obsession with traveling and am always plotting my next trip.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Definitely Central Park

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Ideally, in 15 years I’ll be going to work every day doing something I love and genuinely making a difference in the world. I better also have a puppy or two by then.

Share a fun fact with us!

Give me a word - I can say it backward. If there’s ever an Olympic event for useless talents - I’m in.

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Amanda Baker
School: Tufts University
Hometown: Great Falls, VA
Team: Water Programs

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I majored in environmental engineering and was always most interested in the water projects. I heard about charity: water at school and was really impressed with their commitment to local partners and sustainable implementation. It seemed like a great way to apply my education and interest in a meaningful way!

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

I am on the Water Programs team, so a typical day consists of one or two meetings, and spending time on GIS projects, travel planning, or site photo reviews.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

I love the people and the space! It’s a great team and the other interns are super nice and outgoing. I do also love the snacks.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I moved to Manhattan in September, so I am exploring lots of new restaurants! I also enjoy running and biking in Central Park, doing crossword puzzles, and watching baseball (go Nats!)

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

The Upper East Side, because my little cousins live there!

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

15 years is a long time - hopefully I’ll be working at a nonprofit or somewhere that has a world impact I am passionate about, and living in or near a cool city with my family.

Share a fun fact with us!

I am a certified scuba diver!

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Tsering Bista
School: NYU Gallatin
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

To help end the water crisis.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

My day usually starts with a video call with Angharad, who is our incredible KR leader in the UK. I work closely with her and (the always awesome) Rachel on all kinds of projects ranging from donor outreach to event planning to influencer research.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

Getting to be part of the creation of our first international branch.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I produce video news content for CNN and I’m a third-year journalism and public policy undergrad at NYU.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Jackson Heights, Queens - it always makes me feel like I’m home.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Creating visual content that exposes global injustices and influences people to do something about them (and being one of those people that do something about them).

Share a fun fact with us!

“Tsering” means “long life” in Tibetan but it’s also the equivalent of “bless you,” so my name is what Tibetans say when someone sneezes.

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Emily Bingham
School: The Kings College
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Team: Finance

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

Well, I actually interned here in the Spring with the Marketing team! It was so awesome I had to come back and learn from the Finance team too. The work that comes out of this office really changes people’s lives, and I’m so grateful to be a small part of it.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Grabbing a cup of coffee, entering donations into the database, and helping out with any other projects with the Finance team.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The shared passion for the mission in the office.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

Studying finance, spending time with friends and finding great food.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

I love going to rooftops with amazing views of the city.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

This is pretty cliche, but I just want to be working hard and spending time with my loved ones.

Share a fun fact with us!

One time I screamed so loudly that they stopped the roller coaster I was riding.

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Heidi Kaht
School: Northern Kentucky University
Hometown: Hoboken, NJ
Team: Water Programs

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

charity: water is such a unique organization from the 100% model to their creative branding, but one of the most significant things that drew me to charity: water is their ability to connect. The way that c:w tell the stories of those that don’t have access to clean drinking water are stories of hope, not sadness. Water is one of the most basic human needs that connects us all, and through charity: water’s creativity and willingness to do it differently, we are reminded of that connection.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

My day involves assisting the Water Programs team with any tasks that they need help with, from WASH research to cleaning up grant cards.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

My favorite part of interning at charity: water is the people that I get to work with. Everyone at charity: water has an interesting or inspiring story and they are more than willing to share all of the things that they have learned along the way.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

When I am not interning at charity: water I am usually catching up with friends or taking day trips to all of the great little historic towns right outside of New York City.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

I have no idea but I want to be doing something that is meaningful.

Share a fun fact with us!

I am pretty sure that my life mission is to end up in Borneo, helping to save the Orangutan population.

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John Rogers
School: UPenn, Columbia Law School, Columbia Business School
Hometown: Boston, MA
Team: Finance

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

The simplicity and power of the mission, the incredible people, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Honestly, no two days are the same at charity: water, and I love it that way. I’m currently working on a number of long-term (2-3 month) projects, but I also support Christine, the Director of Strategy and Business Ops, on day-to-day, ad-hoc deliverables. Most of my time is spent either modeling in excel, performing research, or writing internal memos.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The energy around the office - people actually love coming to work!

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I’m currently a second-year JD/MBA student at Columbia, so school takes up a lot of my time. When I’m not either on campus or at the office, I’m usually running with my Vizsla in Central Park.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

When you have a high-energy puppy in NYC, it’s hard to beat Central Park - the Ramble and the North Woods are two of our favorite spots!

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

I wish I knew! Hopefully investing in infrastructure and/or energy projects in emerging markets. I want to leverage my legal/business skill-set to help close the quality-of-life gap between the developed and developing world.

Share a fun fact with us!

I recently went on a month-long hike with my dog in VT!

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Morganne Hodson
School: Colby College
Hometown: Rye Beach, NH
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I knew I wanted to get experience at a water-focused nonprofit, but the innovative strategies that charity: water uses and its dedicated culture made it clear that charity: water would be the best place to learn about the inner workings of a leading water organization.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

I mostly do research on donor prospects for Pamela to giver her additional background information about potential water project sponsors. I also help her with various other projects like grant proposals and whatever else comes her way!

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

Getting to see how people of such diverse interests and backgrounds collaborate to keep the org successful!

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

Exploring the exciting city life after going to college in Maine, which was beautiful but those winters got chilly!

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Any and every cafe in search of a good mocha.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Working for an organization that is committed to ending the water crisis!

Share a fun fact with us!

I had a brown belt in karate by the age of 10.

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Kelly Chan
School: Barnard College
Hometown: Bethpage, NY
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I really wanted to learn about how a large international nonprofit operated.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Drinking two cups of coffee and then working on the completion reports.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The start-up vibe is a really cool environment to be at and my manager, Egu, is awesome to work with!

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I play on an intramural volleyball team at school, I work part-time as a paralegal and I occasionally have fun freelance photography jobs.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Bryant Park or anywhere I can people watch!

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Working at a large nonprofit either on the operations side or on the field. I also really want to have a cat.

Share a fun fact with us!

I do freelance portrait and event photography through an organization at school called The Columbia Photography Association.

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Cecilia Vollert
School: Gonzaga University
Hometown: San Mateo, California
Team: Key Relationships

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

A mentor introduced me to charity: water in high school, and years later, the lecture series I led at Gonzaga allowed the chance to bring Cubby to campus to share more about the organization’s history and efforts. Since I have been looking for opportunities to get more involved! I fully stand behind the mission and vision of charity: water and knew I could learn a ton and positively contribute, so I seized the chance to apply when the fall internships opened.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

With coffee in hand, I settle in either at my desk or some other cozy nook around the office, check in with Brady, and pick up whatever project I was previously working on. During down moments, I wanted the office to chat with other wanders (the kitchen is the best spot). Getting to know the staff has been a fun and meaningful way to really dive into the culture here.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The work hard, play hard atmosphere is contagious. These staffers are some of the most focused, creative, and dedicated individuals I know, but they also value the relationships, people-centered platform, and narrative only results, which makes for fun collaboration and hangout time!

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I recently relocated to New York from California by way of Washington state, so it has been an absolute hoot to explore my new home! On the weekends, you can find me serving at Distilled NY (come on by!)

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Anything by the water – DUMBO, the Hudson River Greenway, and the Williamsburg waterfront have been my favorites. And thrift shopping! I found good-as-new Birkenstocks for pocket change my first here WHAT.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Ha, check back with me in 15 years. Let’s see…I would love to be in the PNW working on international development, environmental conservation, or clean water initiatives.

Share a fun fact with us!

After a summer teaching program in Zambia, I bungee jumped over Victoria Falls!

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Lucy Li
School: Princeton University
Hometown: Hong Kong
Team: Finance

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I had worked in investment banking after graduating, and while I learned quite a lot, I felt too far removed from anything that I found meaningful. So I began doing research and speaking with people, and that’s how I stumbled upon charity: water. It was one of the few organizations that resonated with me, so I hopped on a 16-hour plane ride and moved to New York.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Lots of Excel for the project I’m focusing on, big mason jars full of water, and quality learning time with Carlos (our Data Scientists) who is a total data whiz and wonderful to work with.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

Is it cheesy to say the people? Everyone’s so nice! Besides that, it’s great being at a fully fledged nonprofit with so many different teams because it’s an amazing opportunity to understand how the various pieces of a good organization operate and fit together.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

Lots of cooking with friends, occasionally binge-watching a TV show and exploring the East Coast with my boyfriend.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

Bryant Park! The best picnic spot.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Living somewhere sunny with a dog named Latke.

Share a fun fact with us!

I’ve lived in seven places: Massachusetts, London, Hong Kong, Connecticut, New Jersey, Cape Town, and New York!

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Selina Dziewic
School: Case Western Reserve University
Hometown: Cashen, NY
Team: Water Programs

Why did you want to intern at charity: water?

I fell in love with charity: water’s mission during my undergrad and talked about the water crisis to just about anyone who would listen. But, what really drew me in was the integrity that’s rooted in this organization and how committed each individual is to uphold the values that Scott initially laid out. It’s not a mentality that you find many places and I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

I deal with all things data for the Water Programs team! Whether it’s through reconciling data or building charts, I get to see all the work that our partners are doing on the ground.

What’s your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

This may sound like a cop-out answer, but it’s the people. I’ve been a part of several other internships and none of them have had people as invested in the organization as charity: water. It’s immediately apparent that everyone is talented, genuine, and passionate - and so willing to teach you about their work. It makes for a really great work environment. Also, the sparkling water is an added bonus…it’s the little things.

What goes on in your life outside charity: water?

I’m the type of person who is constantly on the go. When I’m not here, I’m either working at my other job or exploring the city/Hudson Valley. Or baking. Or running. Or finding new coffee shops to frequent.

What is your favorite place to hang out in New York?

I feel like I’m always finding new places to hang out around the city, but a favorite has always been Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?

Building a career in the nonprofit field, traveling the world, and laughing with people I love. (It’s vague, but 15 years is a really long time…)

Share a fun fact with us!

I snorkeled the continental divide in Iceland! I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold in my life, but it was absolutely worth it.

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Netflix&Thrill

Our staff does not mess around when it comes to Halloween. At the end of every October, you’ll find us in makeup and fake blood, wigs, and tattoos… especially when there are prizes on the line.

Last Friday, our staff powered through some embarrassing morning commutes to take part in charity: water’s Netflix&Thrill Halloween costume contest. And the results were too good not to share.

You’ll recognize Eleven and her waffles, some Gilmore Girls, some Gossip Girls, a few Escobars, a haunted House of Cards, the cutest dalmatians in the world, and the entire cast of Orange is the New Black.

Enjoy.

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charity: water Halloween

Get Ready to Walk

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Next Wednesday, October 5th is National Walk to School Day. That morning, kids all around the country are going to be missing their busses and passing up rides from their parents and instead will be walking to school. And we want you guys to join the fun!

Millions of people around the world without access to clean and safe drinking water have to walk hours every day to collect water for their families. We want our community to get involved in National Walk to School Day to raise awareness about the global water crisis and walk so others don’t have to.

To make sure you guys are fully prepared, here are 5 ways you can get ready for National Walk to School Day and make a difference for kids all around the world.


1.  Learn the Facts

663 million people around the world lack access to clean and safe drinking water. Many of them live in isolated rural areas and have to spend hours every day walking to collect dirty water for their families. Not only does walking for water keep kids out of school, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick.

Together, we’re helping kids around the world spend less time walking to collect water, and more time in school.

Check out this video from The Journey Series when Tyler walks with Tarik in Ethiopia:


2.  Get Creative

Unleash your crafty side and have some fun getting creative. You can make your own t-shirts, create posters, or even decorate milk jugs to fill with water to carry with you as you walk.

Women and children not only bear the burden of having to collect dirty water, but they also have to carry 40 pound Jerry Cans while doing it. So participate in your own water walk by carrying a jug full of water to get an idea of what life is like for millions of people around the world.

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3.  Make a Plan

The more people you have the better! Gather your friends and family to walk with you, pick a meeting point in the morning, and raise awareness for the women and children who walk for water every single day, together.

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4.  Share Your Story

Don’t forget to share about your walk to school on social media. Remember, this is all about raising awareness. And one of the best ways to do that is to share your story with others. Tweet about it, post on Facebook, even create an Instagram or Snapchat story!

Also, be sure to take some pictures and send them to us at mystory@charitywater.org to share your story with us and have your picture added to the supporter wall in our office.

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5.  Start a Fundraising Campaign

The best part about participating in an event like this and raising awareness for the water crisis is getting your community to take action. Start your very own fundraising campaign and share your National Walk to School Day story with your family and friends and then ask them to donate. 100% of every donation will go straight to the field and help keep kids from having to walk for water, and instead keep them in school.

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You still have a few days to get ready so gather your friends, get crafty, and get excited, because it’s going to be a great day. We can’t wait to see you all out there walking to school and raising awareness about the global water crisis together.

Want to get your school even more involved? E-mail schools@charitywater.org for more information!

national walk to school day charity: water

12,000 lives changed

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we took over the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place NYC and hosted our biggest physical installation in charity: water history. Throughout the three-week activation, hundreds of volunteers came out to help us raise awareness for the 663 million people living without clean water around the world.

We shared our virtual reality film, The Source, with more than 10,000 people. They met Selam, a 13-year-old girl in Ethiopia, and experienced the moment her village received clean water for the first time. Every view unlocked a $30 donation for clean water. By the end of the three weeks, we unlocked enough to change the  lives of over 12,460 people in need.

This type of change would not have been possible without the incredible support of our sponsors and volunteers. Special thanks to Brookfield Place, 11th Street Workshop, Event Farm, ICON, Samsung, Taylor Creative, Le District, Morgan Stanley, Virginia Clay and our dedicated volunteer community.

If you weren’t able to join us in person, you can still experience The Source! Watch it online here.

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Clean water and more time in Ethiopia

Last year, there were 748 million people without access to clean and safe drinking water. Our friends at Lokai wanted to help change that. They created a limited-edition blue Water Lokai bracelet and for each bracelet sold, donated $3 to help us further our mission. In just three weeks, Lokai raised $300k to fund 33 clean water projects in Tigray, Ethiopia which will serve over 7,000 people. Today, 21 of their 33 projects are complete and are currently serving 5,525 people with clean and safe water.

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Now that they have clean water, all 5,525 of those people in Ethiopia now have more time to grow food, earn an income, and go to school. All of which help fight poverty. Having access to clean water does more than just provide drinking water. It means less time collecting water and more time in class, more time to start businesses, improve homes, and take charge of their own futures.

This year, Lokai decided to bring back the Water Lokai bracelet to help give back time to even more people in need. This time with a new product as well, the Water Pack. The Water Pack includes a Lokai water bottle, the brilliant blue Water Lokai bracelet, and a cardboard Virtual Reality headset which will enable the Lokai community to experience “The Source,” our groundbreaking VR film that tells the story of Selam, a 13-year-old girl and her family in rural Ethiopia.

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Selam used to spend her days waking up before dawn to collect water for her family from a small contaminated pond they shared with animals. School would always come second as she often would have to leave early to collect water a second time for dinner that night. Now that she has access to clean water, Selam no longer has to spend her days collecting water. Instead, she can go to class five days a week and study to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

Through our partnership, Lokai has helped us stay humble, stay hopeful, and bring clean water to thousands of families in Ethiopia who can now spend less time walking to find dirty water and more time in school, earning an income, and taking care of each other. Thank you, Lokai!

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