INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
DayOne Response addresses the global need for clean drinking water through its flagship product, the patented DayOne Waterbag, US EPA approved, 10-liter water backpack providing all four elements of municipal water supply: collection, treatment, transport, and protected storage. DayOne Response is positioned as a leader in the water and sanitation industry and has deployed in more than 30 countries with international NGOs, governments, including the Red Cross, Direct Relief, World Vision, Convoy of Hope, US Navy and Thai Marines.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Each year, 255+ million people are affected by natural disasters, and without access to clean water, they face potentially life-threatening waterborne illnesses. The American Red Cross says: “Providing clean drinking water is our #1 challenge in disaster zones.” Current devices are costly, ineffective in treating muddy waters, bulky to ship, difficult to use, and not trusted in the field. Organizations need a system that provides access to safe water when transport capacity is limited.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
In 2017 alone, DayOne Response provided more than 30 million liters of clean drinking water globally, including in the aftermath of hurricanes (Texas, Puerto Rico, and Haiti), drought situations (Kenya and Ethiopia), and for remote school settings (Rwanda and the Philippines). The Waterbag has been deployed worldwide in more than 30 countries.
In addition to providing immediate drinking water, a single Waterbag deployed prevents the waste of 1,200 1/2-liter plastic water bottles. To date, DayOne Response has prevented the plastic waste of more than 30 million plastic water bottles.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
I believe everyone deserves access to clean drinking water is this is what inspires me every day.
At DayOne Response we want to empower disaster survivors. We also want to help humanitarian agencies deliver water aid more efficiently, empowering people worldwide to easily purify heavily-contaminated water into clean drinking water in 30 minutes. The International Federation of Red Cross deployed Waterbags in Cote d’lvoire for cholera response and the field team heard the following feedback on a monitoring visit: “When I see the dirt at the bottom of the bag, I said myself I will never again drink the water directly from the pond.” (Gagnoa, in Goh region of Côte d’Ivoire). The transparency of the Waterbag is a big factor in providing end-users confidence that the treatment is working. In Nicaragua, DayOne Response worked with a refugee community in Managua. One participant said, “I was a survivor of the floods here and we were given buckets and chemicals to treat our water. After performing the treatment with this bag, I see that it prevents re-contamination of water and I would have liked to use this treatment over the buckets we were given.” This is why we do what we do!
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
My dream is that everyone will have access to clean drinking water worldwide. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. As an organization, our goal is the DayOne Response community and partners will be ready to service one million individuals with clean water within 24 hours of a natural disaster anywhere in the world. To accomplish this we are building a global program where DayOne Response has eight Strategic Regional Hubs, in which each hub has 20,000 sponsored DayOne Waterbags stockpiled for deployment within 24-48 hours of a disaster. Seeding regional readiness works to make sure all are prepared.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Everyone can do their part to help us make our dreams come true. We invite readers to sponsor a DayOne Waterbag on our website and then the Waterbag will be shipped directly for hurricane and disaster relief in the most needed areas around the world.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
As a female-founded company, access to capital has been a challenge. In fact, women founders perform 63% better than their male counterparts yet they receive only 5% of the venture funding. The tides are changing with a growing number of women entrepreneurs starting companies and proving themselves with financial returns. One analysis by Quantopian hedge-fund researcher Karen Rubin showed that women CEOs outperform peers three to one in the S&P 500, further developing the conversation over women driving top financial returns. There are new funds designed to support female entrepreneurs like MindShift Capital, a global, women-run venture firm investing in amazing women-led companies solving big problems with sophisticated solutions. At DayOne Response Inc. we have had to be creative about our funding, but we are optimistic about the future of funding for women.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
My freshman year of high school my leadership teacher had us each memorize the poem “Success” by Berton Braley. It stuck with me all of these years and when things get tough I recite it aloud. I recommend future leaders do the same. It is also important to remember daily who you are making the impact for. Even the toughest of days is no where near the toughest of days for the disaster survivors.
“Success” by Berton Braley
If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it,
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it,
Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or of man for it,
If you’ll simply go after the thing that you want,
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
YOU’LL GET IT.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
We invite others to support us by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Feel free to share the message: “Help @DayOneResponse raise awareness of the world water crisis & bring clean water to a family by sponsoring a Waterbag here: https://dayoneresponse.com/store/sponsored-waterbag/”
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