Saaf is one arm of a multinational water sanitation initiative, taking place in Rural India. By leveraging a partnership with Access Water Project, we have gained the blueprints to a ceramic water filter. The filter can be made for less than $1USD. The model is to provide entrepreneurial education coupled with a microloan to jumpstart micro-businesses that tackle 2 problems identified in the affected areas, lack of economic opportunity and lack of access to clean drinking water. The other arm of the project is Project Myaah, the exact model implemented in Rural Egypt. This social impact model has worked in 2 additional countries with high success, making India our logical next stop. 100 millions Indian homes do not have access to clean drinking water and 1.5 million children die every year because of it.
For us at Project Saaf, clean water is a human right.
This year, four students from Ryerson University will be going to rural India to implement water filtration systems using their unique model. Currently in India, approximately 35 million people are affected by water-borne diseases annually, reinforcing the dire need for effective water filtration systems. So we created Saaf, a sustainable water sanitation initiative with a goal to effectively lower that number. A water filtration system made out of locally available, environmentally friendly materials such as clay and sawdust was created. We plan to implement this in rural India using a proven micro-financing model, where we conduct our award winning entrepreneurship and financial literacy workshops, and select a few passionate individuals that are community leaders to be our ‘waterpreneurs’. We then teach these ‘waterpreneurs’ the simple manufacturing process, and provide them with a small micro-loan to help them start their own water sanitation business. As a result, we tackle two important issues identified in the areas: lack of economic opportunity and lack of clean drinking water. Fundamentally, we use this model as we strongly believe in the proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”