Category Archives: New WfW web site

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Some friends have commented to me that they see Water for Waslala’s work as an example of health intervention. Certainly, the basic premise of our work is exactly that: If people have access to water that is free of contaminants, then they will get sick less often, if at all. It’s a simple proposition, yet the scope of our work expands further than just health. For example, many people might forget the tremendous educational improvements that ultimately come from access to cleaner water.

If we can help children to avoid contracting parasitic diseases, they will be able to attend school more frequently. Clean water located closer to homes in a community allows kids to focus on homework and studying instead of having to walk several kilometers and back each day to fetch water.

A few weeks ago, one of my graduate classes had a lively discussion about a common problem that Kenyan children are currently facing with parasitic worms. The effort to deworm the children is another example of a health intervention that produces educational benefits as well. Deworming involves taking a low-cost pill once a year that protects against parasitic worm infections like schistosomiasis, which is transmitted by the skin’s contact with contaminated water.

Honestly, I never heard of schistosomiasis until I read this case. Schistosomiasis is pretty tough condition– I learned that it depletes the human body’s nutrients and, as a result, it causes fatigue and listlessness. Children with schistosomiasis often miss school because they are simply too tired to attend or concentrate while in class. By reducing the incidence of diseases like schistosomiasis, deworming is tremendously improving children’s school attendance in Kenya – a great spillover effect from what is primarily a health intervention.

We are focused on achieving the same in Waslala. My role with WfW is to focus on surveying the communities before and after water system construction to capture critical data such as school attendance to quantify the impact that our work is having in the region. As some of these statistics come to light going forward, you’ll be made aware right here on this blog.

For now, I invite you to watch our video that illustrates how clean water improves people’s lives by making them healthier. And good health leads to better students, better moms, and all-around better lives for everyone in Waslala.

[vimeo w=500&h=400]

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By Megan Leitch, Director of Marketing/Public Relations

We are excited to announce the new WfW multimedia-rich web site complete with high-quality videos and photos of our work in Waslala. The site helps to tell the story of Water for Waslala and about the inspiring lives of our beneficiaries. Learn about our mission, the board, volunteers, and the people who make WfW possible. Interested in learning how WfW uses your donations? Visit our financial page for the latest information.

Water for Waslala has worked with the Waslalan people to construct eleven water systems serving over 3,000 people throughout the region. Tour the communities we’ve served using Google Maps or read the stories of several beneficiaries impacted by our systems.

The new Water for Waslala website

Leave us comments to let us know what you think and don’t forget to sign up or donate in support of our Walk for Water fundraiser on April 11. We need your support to continue our work in Waslala!

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By Chris Lamar, a longtime supporter of WfW, who has previously lived and worked in Nicaragua

Five of us traveled to Waslala, Nicaragua last May to capture the stories of those who now have access to potable water thanks to WfW’s efforts. We listened, shared, and meditated on the importance of working together across borders to enhance each other’s well-being. Using photography, video, and notes, we recorded our experience and are currently in the midst of packaging it in hope of disseminating the spirit of WfW. The venue of which will be a revamped website, chalked full of multimedia and opportunities to get involved.

Chris Lamar in Waslala - June 2009

Disseminating the spirit of WfW? What does that mean exactly?

Within the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to work on large scale poverty alleviation projects, some of which had budgets of over $200 million dollars. Their scopes were vast and their objectives ambitious. And although I knew these large projects were helping thousands of people, I still felt something was missing, some sort of energy or momentum. My experience with WfW allowed me to better articulate that missing element.

WfW, unlike many international development organizations, is unique in that it aims to both carry out concrete objectives while also promoting awareness and developing an intercultural community. Whether it is students organizing a solidarity-driven Walk for Water or WfW Board member empowering Waslalans to take ownership of their water systems, WfW has a simple yet powerful approach: it identifies one issue – a lack of clean drinking water – in one geographic area – Waslala, Nicaragua – and builds a community capable of cultivating the sustainable spirit needed to enhance our shared well-being.

And isn’t this what we need most in today’s disjointed, polarized world – a sense of interconnectedness wrought by the practice of empathy, compassion, and self realization? The spirit and motivation behind this form of development isn’t based on national interest or personal gain. It doesn’t result in overly bureaucratic projects, wasteful spending, or insensitivity caused by reckless ambition. It’s not mindful of nationality, creed, or race. Instead, it takes on a much simpler approach, an approach based in the most powerful motivation of all: love.

Be on the look out for the new site! Just by visiting, you’re contributing.

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Matt Nespoli, President WFW

Matt Nespoli, President of WfW

Welcome! I’m Matt Nespoli, the President and Founder of Water for Waslala. This cause has been my central passion over the last five years of my life, and I hope you find our work to be inspiring and exciting to you. A small group of thoughtful, committed young professionals can indeed tangibly improve the quality of life of the poor in our world!

The challenges and rewards we experience everyday working with the Waslalan people are profound, and we’d like to use this blog as a means to share our experiences with you on a regular basis.

I’d also like to share my knowledge of other water issues in the US and throughout the world with you. The world water crisis exists in many different forms in different areas of the world, and water will become an increasingly scarce and critical resource, possibly more so than oil. I personally intend to use my career to find solutions to issues of water scarcity and water quality, and I hope to share some of my insights with you along the way.

Thanks for your support, and happy reading!

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Water for Waslala is proud to announce the launch of our new blog. The blog is a great addition to what we are trying to accomplish as an organization as it will allow us to update you on our progress.

The blog will feature entries from Meaghan Gruber, our newest addition to the team who is based in Waslala and will provide regular project updates and photos. Additionally members of the board will share insights, WFW news and relevant news articles.  We hope you visit the blog regularly to see the progress we’re making with new water systems as well as to stay in the loop about events, news and other important information.

In addition if you have any ideas for our blog and/or new web site, send us an email at


We're Proud to Announce that Water For Waslala Has Been Acquired By WaterAid - Read The Full Announcement