charity: water started with a birthday party. After signing up to volunteer in Liberia in an attempt to turn his hedonistic life around, former nightclub promoter and all-round rebel Scott Harrison witnessed the devastating impact of dirty water firsthand. 

As a volunteer photojournalist with Mercy Ships —  a hospital ship manned by a team of doctors and surgeons who specialised in removing facial tumours — he was horrified by the scale of the water crisis. 

“Thousands of people are turning up sick but the basic need for health isn’t even met. It wasn’t okay. Kids shouldn’t be drinking from scummy swamps, or ponds or rivers,” Harrison says. 

Read More: What You Need To Know About Water And Sanitation 

“I found out people weren’t just drinking this water, they were breaking their backs to get it.”

“Dirty water is responsible for more deaths in the world than all forms of violence, including war.” 

When he returned to New York City, he was determined to do something about the crisis. 

“So I started with a party, it’s the only thing I knew how to do!” On his 31st birthday, he got a friend to donate a club and charged each person $20 to enter - only this time, instead of pocketing the money, he sent all the money straight to a refugee camp in Northern Uganda. And so began charity:water. 

The video captures the organisation’s powerful journey from one simple idea to a community that has helped fund over 20,000 water projects and bring clean water to more than 6.3 million people around the world. 

Read More: Girls Waste 200 Million Hours Collecting Water Every Year 

Entitled ‘The Spring,’ the video is an invitation to join this growing community of people committed to help solve the water crisis in our lifetime.  

Narrated by Harrison himself, every minute of this 20-minute film is worth watching. From his own personal story, to the tragedy of Rachel Beckwith, who donated her 9th birthday to charity:water but never lived to see her wish fulfilled, the video proves the impact one life can make. 

Join The Spring now: 


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By Yosola Olorunshola