Posted by Jennifer Deroin, Kevin Learned, Marianne Barker

Rotary’s mission statement ultimately focuses on peace. But what must you have, before you can have peace?  You must have fundamental basics. People can only dare hope for peace, when those fundamentals are in place; fundamentals like water, disease prevention, health care, and literacy.

Rotary’s areas of focus are building blocks for peace, and the building block base, begins with water.  
Ask any farmer, and they will tell you the lifeblood of their community is water. For girls in communities without water, their days are spent gathering the precious resource, rather than going to school.  For communities without proper sanitation systems (wash stations), disease runs rampant, and often girls can’t attend school.  

In March, we celebrate and focus on this area of our work as Rotarians.  As you likely know, the days of short-lived well systems are behind us.  Today, they are replaced with thoughtfully managed sustainable clean water and sanitation projects that yield health, education, and community economic benefits.

World Water Day is March 22nd.  What can you and your club do in the area of water and sanitation?  Here are a few ideas:


  • Get Curious.
    • Young Entrepreneurship in Water. Young Water Solutions is an NGO based in Brussels that has as a mission to empower young people to contribute to the achievement of sustainable goals created through a UN partnership. They are offered support to implement water and sanitation projects and become water entrepreneurs.  Learn more here.
    • Wash in Schools Target Challenge.  A pilot program created to motivate Rotary clubs to develop sustainable water, sanitation, hygiene (collectively referred to as WASH), and education projects using the expertise and resources available through two of Rotary’s areas of focus: basic education and literacy and water and sanitation.  Learn more about becoming an International Sponsor.
  • Support a Water Project. Currently, clubs in our District are supporting three water projects Ecuador.  The projects are funding the development of sustainable, community water systems in poor, rural communities with no safe water supply.  If you’d like to contribute, contact Marianne Barker
  • Share a Video at a Meeting to Increase Awareness.
“There is no other single issue that can impact the health, education, economy, equality and progress of all people than the need for clean water and sanitation.”  

~ Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group