Elliot for Water is the first social good search engine that empowers its users to help people in need of clean water by allocating its ad revenue to impact projects. One fifth of the global population has no access to clean water, leading to death of six thousand people per day due to water-related diseases. Elliot For Water’s mission is to help bring drinkable water to as many people as possible and to improve the quality of life, while respecting the needs of the local culture and environment.
This is achieved by allowing its users to help people in need around the world simply by surfing the web. Elliot For Water donates 60% of its profits to buy Solwa Technologies, solar energy based products that purify dirty or polluted water through desalination, the irrigation of arid grounds, and the dehydration of food. We will also take care of the primary necessities of the villages in which this technology will be implemented.
See below for a Q & A with the Andrea Demichelis, founder of Elliot for Water.
What originally inspired you to create Elliot for Water?
I really wanted to create something that could help the world and impact as many lives as possible. Just before having the idea of Elliot For Water I was thinking that whatever I would have done in life, it would have been something focused on a greater good, and not only on getting me rich. I strongly believe that one can be successful, also economically, and help others at the same time, and with Elliot for Water I want to prove it.
On the technical side, how is Elliot for Water providing drinking water to communities in need?
Elliot For Water is taking an innovative approach for the humanitarian projects. What we want to do is not only provide a source of drinking water, but to make a project that will give to the villages the base for a social and economical development leading to a full independency. In order to do so, we set up collaborations with local associations, like Well Found, and inventors of innovative technologies in the field of water purification, like Eliodomestico. The project is shaping out as following: the association is already working with the rural villages, in our case in Guinea-Bissau, and we will came in paying for a source of water, provide a couple of season of seeds, and then teach the people how to build these sustainable technologies that are made with simple materials that any village can access.
On the other side, Well Found will instruct locals on how to better use water, for both personal and agricultural uses. The project is not an easy project, and it will be a process that will last months. By approaching the villages in this way, when we will have finished people will have near them a source of water, so that kids and women will not have to walk anymore miles and miles every day, a tool that can purify it, as almost all the deaths related to water come from the quality of the water that they drink, a couple of seasons of seeds and the knowledge of how to use them in order to start a full circle that will allow the village to develop by its own. In the future I would love to work in the education as well, and provide school materials for kids and hopefully connect developing countries’ schools with the ones in our part of the world.
Could you describe how your safe water projects have already impacted the communities where you have introduced Eliodomestico?
Elliot For Water is relatively young, and we have just started our first project in Guinea-Bissau. At the moment we have been able to send to the village a first season of seeds while we are making, in Italy, some test on a new version of Eliodomestico that would be more efficient. If everything goes by the plan in September we will be able to go in Guinea and start working with the local people in the production of the first Eliodomestico.
Are you looking into using other forms of sustainable technologies, like Eliodomestico, for future projects?
As the humanitarian projects are shaped to give to the people the best return possible, any project will be studied differently and, based on the outcomes of the study, we will decide which technology could have the best result. Eliodomestico is perfect for rural communities where we are making our first projects, as it does not require any source of energy, it is powered just by the direct solar induction, and it is made out of clay. We have also set up another collaboration with an Italian Innovative Start-up, called Solwa. They produce an innovative solar still, SolWa, powered by the solar energy, that would have huge benefits in bigger and more developed communities. The world is moving very fast in terms of water technologies, and this is great as it gives us many different options.
What are the long— term aspirations for the search engine, Elliot for Water?
Can you tell us about NGO and how they are contributing to the water projects?
Operation Well Found is a London association with a decennial experience in the field of water projects. They have been working in rural communities in the countries of Guinea-Bissau and Burkina-Faso. They use an approach that is similar to ours, based on the education, and not simply drilling a well and then go away; what is really important, here, is to teach people how to use water.
A simple example is: I can give you a source of water, but if then I don’t teach you that you have to wash your hands before touching it, or not to drink the same water that you use to wash you, the problem would not be solved at all, the water would become contaminated and it would bring diseases. Well Found is directly contributing as they find the villages where we will realize the project, and together we will educate people and teach them how to build, use and maintain the technologies, alongside with innovative agricultural methods. They are a key part of the project and the experience side of it.
Do you see other institutions collaborating with Elliot for Water, such as the Istituto Don Bosco Alassio is, the future?
Yes, definitely, the Istituto Don Bosco was the first school to adopt Elliot For Water as default search engine in their digital blackboards, tablets and PCs, and I’m very grateful for this opportunity as it gave me the possibility to directly talk with the kids.
It is in our plan to involve as many schools as possible in the project, as it would be educational for the kids, and would help saving lives while the students are studying.
So, if there is any school interested in joining Elliot For Water, just drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be more than happy to arrange everything.
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Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 200 countries. Grant has personally interviewed over 600 impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.