In 1990, we set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor. More than a billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day. At least 785 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
For all practical purposes, these statistics refer to the same people; around the world, communities are trapped in debilitating poverty because they constantly suffer from water-related diseases and parasites, and/or because they spend long stretches of their time carrying water over long distances.
In response to this need, we implement participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. Since we started, we’ve completed nearly 20,000 water projects (and counting!).
It all began in 1990, when a group from Houston, Texas, traveled to Kenya and saw the desperate need for clean drinking water. They returned to Houston and founded a 501(c)3 non-profit. The fledgling organization equipped and trained a team of Kenyan drillers, and LWI Kenya began operations the next year under the direction of a national board. That pattern continues today; we train, consult, and equip local people to implement solutions in their own communities in the countries where we work.
Remembering the life-changing nature of that first trip in 1990, we also lead hundreds of volunteers on mission trips each year, working with local communities, under the leadership of nationals, to implement water projects. It’s hard to know which lives are changed more—those “serving” or those “being served.” Our training programs in shallow well drilling, pump repair, and hygiene education have equipped thousands of volunteers and professionals in the basics of integrated water solutions since 1997.