WE can make a difference in 8 days…. #DrinksforWater






Clean Water.(photo by Kelly Keith)


COME JOIN US, listen to 2 great speakers, enjoy a cocktail or two, and connect with WE, the collective US, to raise funds for safe and clean drinking water in rural Zambia.


#DrinksForWater #ForWater

WHERE: Busboys & Poets in DC located at 1025 5th St. NW, Washington DC 20001 (http://www.busboysandpoets.com/about/5th-k)

DATE: Thursday, July 14, 2016

TIME: 6 to 9 p.m.

SPEAKERS: From the World Bank – Pratibha Mistry and from World Vision – Yeva Avakyan

TICKETS: Early Bird $15 (sale ends 7.8.16); after 7.8 price increases to $20.  At the door $25.



It is officially summer and with that comes the sweltering heat and humidity. Ways to find comfort include replenishing our bodies with water, swimming or staying indoors or in the shade. But for many that is not an option.

Imagine not being able to quench your thirst with a tall glass of clean water or swim without risking disease?


Did you know that as of 2015 (2016 statistics are not available):

  • 748 million people still do not have access to drinking-water.
  • 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking-water that is faecally contaminated – unsafe & unclean.
  • Women and children spend 125 million hours collecting fresh water every day, some as many as 6 hours a day. That is almost 46 billions hours every year.
  • Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.

For children, lack of access to safe water can be disastrous. Not only does it lead to death but it also leads to stunting and chronic malnutrition.

  • On average, 340,000 children, under 5, die annually from diarrhoeal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene. That is nearly 1,000 every day.
  • Diarrhoeal disease is the third leading cause of death among children under five.
  • Some 161 million children suffer from stunting, or chronic malnutrition, which has been linked to WASH (water, sanitation, health, & hygiene) and particularly open defecation.
  • Globally, a third of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

Watercan Kenya

For women and girls, collecting water cuts into time they can spend caring for families, studying or going to school (education). Not having access to clean and safe water impacts livelihoods & maternal help. In vulnerable areas, it also puts them at risk of violence, rape and attack.

“Water is the very essence of life and yet three-quarters of a billion people – mostly the poor and the marginalized –  …. are still deprived of this most basic human right.” Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes.

Water means life, it means freedom, it means choices, and it means strength. At Water Empowerment (WE), it is our mission to provide the tools and education to make this happen.



Nothing will work unless you DO. – Maya Angelou

In 2013, we launched our pilot program in the Mpika district. Our goals, to:

•    Educate the community on water safety and community responsibility to maintain water sites
•    Create a community which is clean
•    Have access to safe drinking water
•    Educate school children on hand-washing, and
•    Establish a new water source closer to the village

WE achieved success. Our outreach workers met with community workers weekly discussing future plans and also doing WASH education in the first village. They taught the proper distance for latrines from living quarters and water sources. They also taught the importance of hand-washing, boiling water and using the chlorine tablets that were handed out. Our outreach workers were volunteers.

Through the WE pilot program, WE learned it needs a mix of paid workers and volunteer workers. WE learned communities want to be part of the collaborative effort of bringing about change. WE is looking to continue its work in the villages and rural areas that need the assistance and help.

It always seems impossible, until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela.

WE is looking to expand and scale our WASH programs, as well as, provide WELLS to villages. CLEAN and SAFE WATER provides the following:

  • It reduces death and disease. 842000 deaths from diarrhoeal diseases each year could be prevented by improved water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • An increase in healthy food.
  • It reduces conflict.
  • It creates Gender Equality.
  • It increases school attendance.
  • It improves impoverished communities (lifting 150 million people out of hunger).
  • It reduces pollution. Today 90 percent of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water. This changes with clean and safe water.
  • It protects biodiversity. The loss and degradation of biodiversity compromises ecosystems and all the services they deliver, including a supply of clean water.
  • Universal access to safe water and sanitation would result in $18.5 billion in economic benefits each year from deaths avoided alone, a return of $4 for every dollar spent on safe water access.
  • It impacts climate change.
  • Plus safe water and sanitation transforms women’s lives, enabling them to fulfill their potential.

While many improvements were achieved as a result of the Millennial Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015, much still needs to be done. A sobering fact: the amount of safe water could drop by 40 percent in 15 years if people do not change the way they use water. WE is on the front lines to ensure this does not happen and providing resources, tools and training necessary to achieve access to safe & clean water. BUT we can’t do it alone, we can’t do it without your help. July 14th, is the 1st fundraiser this season to raise awareness and funds to continue providing safe & clean water sources in rural areas or areas devoid of such luxury. Please join us. If you can’t join us, please consider donating. Every little bit counts.

At #DrinksForWater, WE will have two speakers, one from World Vision and another from the World Bank. Both are intimately familiar with the issues, the challenges, the successes and the failures.

Our 1st speaker is:

Pratibha Mistry (LinkedIn)

Pratibha Mistry, Water and Sanitation Specialist at The World Bank (LinkedIn Pic and Profile Info)

Pratibha has more than twelve years of working experience in a range of public and private institutions, from consulting engineering and banking, to public sector development through regional and global development banks. Working across both public and private sectors has enabled her to understand and translate development concepts across different points of view. She is at home in a global multi-cultural context and has worked in 10 countries across four continents. She has a keen passion for development, and has worked extensively in designing, implementing and evaluating development projects. She appreciates the political, social and economic complexities inherent in development, and is able to operate with pragmatism and passion.

Over the span of her career Pratibha has engaged with development issues from waste management and environmental impacts, to extending access to financial services, and comprehensive experience across the entire project cycle in the development finance space. She is regarded as a competent, high performing individual who is technically strong and has solid project management experience. She has played various roles, from leading projects and participating in dialogues with governments, managing multi-disciplinary teams, providing technical expertise and mentoring project implementers. She has a strong ability to translate high level goals into implementable projects, and engages in development issues with insight and thoughtfulness.

Pratibha is able to build strong working relationships with stakeholders ranging from technical experts, local government officials, senior bureaucrats, and development and donor agencies. She particularly enjoys working closely with officials implementing projects, providing ongoing guidance and mentorship on all aspects of project implementation. Together with her technical expertise, Pratibha engages her work, and the people with whom she interacts, with deep caring, compassion and integrity.

Pratibha has been a featured keynote speaker; in 2013, she was part of a discussion panel on National Drinking Water Security Pilot Programs; and in 2014, she was part of a round table discussion – Mapping Science and Technology in Africa: Traveling technologies and global dis\orders & she was a part of the evaluation team looking into the “Impact of Low-Cost In-Line Chlorination Systems … on Water Quality and Child Health.”

Our 2nd speaker is:

Yeva Avakyan

Yeva Avakyan, Senior Gender Advisor at World Vision U.S.

In this role, Yeva leads the organization’s strategy and efforts to promote gender equality and address gender-based violence. As a social worker, she has worked with survivors of domestic violence, and brings years of experience in development research, program design and evaluation in the areas of gender-based violence, human trafficking, child marriage, male engagement, and prenatal sex selection.

She holds masters’ degrees in Sociology and Public Administration and has been an outspoken advocate for the use of research as an integral component of bringing about social change. Yeva lives and works in Washington, DC.

Follow her on Twitter @YevaAvakyan

Here is a link to an article she wrote about Zambia, an area where WE is currently working.


Here is a link to her blog: https://blog.worldvision.org/author/Yeva-Avakyan

WE is excited to hear from our speakers, for the event and to meet you on the 14th. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, WE’s information is below.


Manena Ng’ambi           Elimika Pfuma         Elizabeth Fischer

(443) 681-9420                                                   (703) 582-7192




Water Empowerment (WE)  – http://waterempowerment.org/

Water Empowerment aims to empower communities lacking water by offering long term solutions.

Our goals are:

  • Lessen waterborne diseases
  • Improve sanitation
  • Increase the earning potential of women in communities we serve
  • Decrease the time spent collecting water for women & girls
  • Educate communities about new cost effective tools available for water and sanitation
  • Capacity building training


Press Release by Elizabeth Fischer (Board Member)


Photo#1 by Same Sky; Photo#2 by ixwater; Photo#3 by Kelly Keith; Photo#4 by Daniel Yeo; Photo#5 by WaterCan Project; Photo#6 by Group 3