Reflections by Laura Burke
InComm regularly hosts visitors from around the world; it’s just that kind of company. But today’s guests weren’t our usual FinTech experts.
Partners for Care (PFC), is one of InComm’s latest volunteer opportunities. Its goal is to get safe drinking water and water storage solutions into the hands of as many people as possible, in areas where running water is a luxury.
Imagine this for a second. How easy is it for you to find water? It takes a short walk to the break room, where we have crushed ice and water for the effort it takes to hold a cup under a spout. Here, safe drinking water is an after-thought. In many rural areas of a developing country like Kenya however, that’s just not true.
Imagine your home. Now imagine it without faucets. And imagine that, instead of faucets, the water you drink comes from a dirty jerrycan.
Things you may not know about jerrycans:
Some of them are metal. Metal rusts.
Whether metal or plastic, none of them can be sanitized properly.
Some cans spent a former life carrying flammable liquids like kerosene before being re-sold to Kenyan communities.
Old Jerrycans should never carry drinking water.
So imagine drinking this water. Unsurprisingly, those who do are sick. All. The. Time. In fact, 80% of ALL health problems in developing countries are linked to poor water conditions.
PFC isn’t the only organization tackling this problem. You may be familiar with some of those organizations. You may already support them. So why was I interested in PFC when it came to InComm?
First, PFC offers practical solutions. Building a well in a small community takes large-scale funding efforts. In the meantime, people are still sick and dying. Is there a quicker way to reach people with a solution that isn’t months, perhaps even years away? It turns out, there is. Observe PackH2O.
PackH2O – WaterPack
It’s simple. It’s sturdy (thanks to development by its manufacturer GREIF, it is designed to last years). With it, one person can fill, close and transport 5 gallons of water from a clean source back to their community. The inner lining of the container can be removed regularly and solar sanitized – one of the most elegant methods of sanitation available. You need a sunny day. That’s it.
After that, open the spout at the bottom of the bag and you’ve got clean running water. Drinking ONLY that water slows the spread of cholera, typhoid, and a laundry list of other water-borne diseases. Not only do people heal, they begin to understand just how sick they were and why.
That’s a lot for a $10 bag.
Second, I’ve met members of the US Board of Directors, who serve this organization so passionately, pro bono. And today, I met the visiting members of the Kenyan team.
Pictured here with Wade Anthony from InComm, this team is practical and smart. They believe they can fight disease caused by something so absurdly preventable. They are also dreamers. They want to transform communities with education and jobs. In fact, in the days ahead, the production of packH2O will move to Kenya, bringing income to the very communities that use it. They imagined it could be done and they did it.
Finally, let me add this. How much easier is it for you to get involved with a service organization that’s on your doorstep? InComm/PFC is going to make it easy. All you have to do is raise your hand and say, “I’m in.”
So here’s the pitch. DONATE TODAY. Visit:
There’s a counter there that tracks our progress towards raising $10,000 (hint: we have a ways to go). But I have faith in the spirit of giving at InComm, so I believe if we imagine it too, we can do it. And I hope it’s inspiring to know that sometimes at InComm, we run into more than visiting FinTech experts. Sometimes we meet smart, practical dreamers. Like I said earlier, I think we’re just that kind of company.
If you have any questions, or would like to get involved with the InComm/PFC team, please feel free to reach out to Mila Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Wade Anthony at email@example.com. They will be happy to speak with you.