Africare News Release


VOTE NOW • How you can vote now to bring wells and clean water to Africa: Click here to learn more about the American Express® Members Project and to cast your vote for Africare's Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water (project #00223; category, Community Development) by Sunday, July 15. You may also visit the Members Project FAQS page.


Support Africare Through The Members Project of American Express®

Vote for Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water
Project # 00223 • Category: Community Development

- a project of Africare -

Deadline: Sunday, July 15

WASHINGTON, DC, July 3, 2007 — Africare’s initiative to bring clean water to Africa is now one of the TOP 50 project ideas being promoted through the American Express® Members Project. Starting July 3, 2007, American Express® Cardmembers are being asked to log onto the Members Project Web site and vote for their favorite project idea. The winning project will be funded at up to $5 million.

Africare invites American Express® Cardmembers to put Africa's need for wells and clean water at the top of the list for the Members Project's grant. Africare will carry out the project, but we need your vote — which costs you nothing — to win the grant.

The issue: Visit most African villages and ask the people what they need more than anything else. Usually they will tell you: water! "Our well has gone dry," they may say (that is, if they ever had a well). All too often, the nearest water source is a muddy stream or an unprotected spring — an hour's walk away — from which women and children fetch the village's daily supply. Those same water sources are also where the laundry is done, people bathe, children play and animals drink.

That's what Africare has seen for nearly four decades, working with tens of thousands of rural African communities.

More than a billion people worldwide lack sanitary drinking water — and one-third of those people are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Improving access to clean water is a simple and cost-effective means to reduce water-borne sickness. Such diseases are an underlying cause of Africa’s high infant and child mortality. They undermine adults' productivity because of time lost to illness (and the time spent walking to and from faraway water sources). Where there is unsafe water, there is poverty. Unless the challenge of safe water shortage is met, the challenge of poverty cannot be met, either. That’s where Africare comes in.

Africare carries out all types of water projects, including those that combine water and sanitation. Digging a well or protecting a spring is straightforward. Equally, communities need water-sanitation assistance — from health education to equipment such as drainage and latrines. Thus, the new water sources remain clean and water-borne disease is reduced.

Water is life, experts know. It is central to any community's continued existence. In Africa, community members are prepared to work hard to improve and safeguard their water sources, if they have the material and technical assistance they need. Africare has provided that assistance in tens of thousands of African villages since 1970. Yet thousands upon thousands more villages remain in need.

You can help through the American Express® Members Project.


1. Vote for this project by Sunday, July 15 — Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water

Click here to register and vote!


Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water

Community Development

Project ID: 00223
Date Posted: 7/02
Project Description:
More than a billion people lack sanitary drinking water. Clean water is essential to proper hygiene and disease prevention. Each year more than three million people — mostly children — die from diseases related to poor hygiene and unclean water sources. Lack of water robs many poor villages of productive workers. Studies show that, where clean water is not readily available, children do not attend school regularly, and more people need medical attention, straining already limited health resources in the community. Many people, old and young, spend several hours per day simply fetching water. Ready access to clean water also allows people to spend more time on other important tasks, such as farming and gathering food. Healthy people are more able to work, learn, and solve their own problems.

2. Tell your friends!
Ask them to register and vote by Sunday, July 15, too!

The more people who vote for Africare's Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water, the bigger the impact can be. Remember: For every Cardmember who participates, American Express® will donate $1 — up to $5 million — to help make one project come to life. Africare's water initiative can be the next project! Be sure to spread the word.


(Africare photo) Sub-Saharan Africa has about 10% of the world's population — but more than one-third of the people who lack safe water to drink. Unsafe water is a major source of disease transmission in Africa. Diseases that claim the lives of millions of infants and young children each year. African communities need your help to stop the spread of water-borne disease — thus, saving precious young lives. Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water , a project of Africare, can give communities that help if it's chosen as the winning project by The Members Project of American Express®. Vote by July 15!

MAY 15 - AUGUST 7, 2007

  • Tuesday, May 15: Project Idea Submission Begins
  • Sunday, June 17: Project Idea Submission Close (11:59PM EST)
  • Monday, June 18: Selection Process for Top 50 Project Ideas Begins
  • Thursday, June 28: Selection Process for Top 50 Project Ideas Ends. NOTE: Africare made it to the Top 50, so that's why you're voting again now!
  • Tuesday, July 3: Top 50 Announcement
    NOW ... vote for the Top 25 Project Ideas from 12:00AM EST on July 3 through 11:59PM EST on July 15. And please, vote for Africare!
  • Tuesday, July 17: Top 25 Announcement (And … you vote for Top 5 Project Ideas from 12:00AM EST on July 17 through 11:50PM EST on July 22)
  • Tuesday, July 24: Top 5 Announcement
    (And … you vote for one Winning Idea from 12:00AM EST on July 24 through 11:59PM EST on August 5)
  • Tuesday, August 7: Finale/Winning Idea Announcement

"The Members Project is an exciting and innovative new initiative that gives American Express® Cardmembers the chance to dream up, and ultimately unite behind, one idea that will have a positive impact in the world around us. American Express® will fund the winning idea with up to $5 million," stated the company's original announcement. "The Members Project is unique in that the project ideas are not generated by American Express®; they are generated by our Cardmembers."

Click here to learn more about the American Express® Members Project and to vote for Africare's water assistance — Water in Africa - Need for Wells & Clean Water (project #00223; category, Community Development) — by Sunday, June 17.

If you are not an American Express® Cardmember, there are still many ways to get involved. Click here to donate directly to Africare. Or, get more options by reading our checklist: "10 Ways You Can Help Africa" (click here).


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