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Water.org is September’s Group of the Month

water.org

water.org

Water is the source of all life.

Our bodies are composed of 70% water. So why do 1 in 10 people in the world (over 600 million people) not have access to clean and safe water, and 1 in 3 people globally (2.4 billion) not have access to a working toilet? Water.org recognizes the importance of these issues and is doing tremendous work to help, and that’s why they are September’s Group of the Month.

The Water Crisis

You already know the statistics about access – but why is this a problem? To answer that, we’ll show you some more statistics:

  • Water-related diseases affect more than 1.5 billion people every year.
  • Every 90 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • In Africa and Asia, women and children walk and average of nearly 6 kilometers every day, just to collect water.
  • Time spent gathering water equates to $24 billion in lost economic benefits annually.

Having access to safe and reliable water enables children to spend more time in school, and women more time to work to support their families and further their careers.

The Solution

water.org factA long-term solution to the water crisis requires an annual aid investment of US $1 trillion dollars, a far cry from the $8 billion currently directed towards these efforts. It’s this reality that helped Water.org, co-founded by Gary White and actor Matt Damon, understand that this was a problem that required more than pure charity to solve.

With that in mind, Water.org brought to life an innovation called WaterCredit, wherein agreements were made with local lenders to offer very small loans (typically less than $200) to families and communities in need, without the exorbitant interest rates (up to 20% of their income) that they were previously paying to loan sharks. This was made possible by Water.org agreeing to carry a significant portion of the financial risk.

These loans are used to establish household water connections and toilets, while also giving the borrowers the important sense that they were not simply receiving a hand-out, but actually taking control of their own lives and empowering themselves. WaterCredit loans have a nearly flawless repayment rate of 99%, and these funds are recycled back into the WaterCredit program to assist even more families and communities.

Our Part

WaterCredit has reached nearly 4 million people so far, and that number does not include the help that Water.org has provided by assisting in and planning various water projects around the globe. $8 trillion is a mighty big number, though, and they’ll need a lot of help to get there!

ContactsForLess.ca believes that we’ve spent long enough taking for granted the convenience of drinkable tap water and the dignity of a working toilet, which is why we are very happy to make Water.org our Group of the Month for September. 51% of our profits from every sale this month will, by default, be donated directly to Water.org.

Remember, if there’s another cause that’s near and dear to your heart, during checkout you have the option of choosing from over 50 different charities and non-profit organizations that ContactsForLess.ca is proud to support!

And make sure to watch our video, where Erika tells you about September’s Group of the Month!

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Ecojustice Takes the Stand

Ecojustice

The Biggest Battles Happen in the Courtroom

ecojusticeMost of us do our part to help the environment by doing things like recycling or carpooling, and that’s awesome! But who fights the good fight when the problem isn’t a stray soda can or dripping faucet, but instead a corrupt corporation, big industry, or even our own government? That’s where our group of the month, Ecojustice, takes up arms.

Incorporated as a charity in 1990, Ecojustice’s vision is to harness the power of the law to protect and preserve the environment. This charity model was originally developed by the American Sierra Club Defense Fund, which at the time included young Canadian lawyer Stewart Elgie. Following the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 and seeing how its effects extended to his home country, Elgie recognized the need for a similar group in Canada, and returned to start Ecojustice, serving as a founding board member.

In the years that followed, the team has expanded to include over 20 lawyers and scientists from across the country, all dedicated to representing community groups, non-profits, First Nations, and individual Canadians in the fight for environmental justice.

Ecojustice on the Case

oil_duckHere’s an example of Ecojustice standing up to a multi-billion dollar company and the government at the same time:

In 2010, when 1,600 ducks died after landing on a Syncrude tailings pond in Alberta, neither the federal nor Alberta provincial government laid charges. So Ecojustice helped an Alberta resident file a private prosecution, prompting both governments to take over the case and lay charges. Syncrude was found guilty and agreed to pay $3 million which was, at the time, the largest fine for an environmental offence in Canadian history! But that’s just the start; the group has secured countless other legal victories, and in many cases these victories set a precedent for cases that followed.

Why We Love Ecojustice

Obviously, Mother Nature can’t go to court, which is why the world needs groups like Ecojustice, and that’s why Contactsforless.ca has chosen Ecojustice as July’s group of the month. They are a 100% donor-funded charity, so visit ecojustice.ca to learn more about their cause and to make a direct donation.

In addition, as our group of the month, Ecojustice will be the default charity on every Contactsforless.ca order. However, if there’s another cause that’s near and dear to your heart, remember that you can still choose from over 50 different organizations during checkout, where Contactsforless.ca is committed to donating 51% of all its profit!