The Water Works Program is a truly unique opportunity for organisations to get involved with a worthwhile cause at the same time as participating in a fantastic team-building and learning opportunity.
In a nutshell, this program enables ordinary people across the world to get involved in building and donating a water filtration system that will effectively increase the health and well-being of an entire community.
Why not check out our video to find out more:
What happens in the program?
- The activity is highly flexible and there are four main variations that we use.
- Usually, attendees arrive with no idea what they’re going to be doing together. We like it that way because when we reveal what we’re doing together it’s an eye-opening experience.
- Each person gets an opportunity to work in a team to assemble a completely functional water filtration unit
- There are only 9 parts that go together in a particular way to assemble the final product however success is dependent on all participants taking a collaborative and customer-centric approach.
- Teams typically default to competing against each other and a number of counter-productive behaviors often emerge which can be explored later.
- Once each team has built a filtration unit we ask them to decorate a canvas which will have a dual purpose:
- The artwork will identify the specific filtration unit their group has sponsored
- It will also be a fantastic memento for your teams and company and can be hung in the workplace as a reminder of the activity.
How do our filtration systems find their way to people in need?
- Each filtration system is delivered by our charity partner Lifewater. They are an amazing group of people who not only ensure that our filtration systems are delivered free of charge, but that they also hold a training event on day one where they teach each recipient family how to use their filtration system. They also identify how to identify and fix any of the most common problems that might occur with their system.
- That means that each recipient doesn’t just get a fantastic new filtration system but they are even taught how to use it!
- We distribute two types of water filtration systems as part of this program. Emergency systems are compact and portable and have been designed specifically to enable emergency crews to respond quickly to natural disasters and prevent avoidable outbreaks of disease during such circumstances. Static systems are much larger and these are designed for household, school or health centre use. These are far less portable but are ideal for long-term use. Both emergency and static systems last for 2 years however emergency systems are a little less robust and can be damaged if they are not well cared for.
- During the distribution process we help the local community establish a committee which then overseas the use of all water systems and their maintenance. Having local people driving the process ensures a level of ownership and is a much more sustainable approach.
- Although Water Works activity participants might donate one filtration system at a time, our charity partners only helps one Village at a time. Essentially, they wait until we have donated a sufficient number of filtration units for each specific village in need before they then go into that village. That’s a really important aspect of the process as it ensures that the community can move forward together in the right spirit. There’s limited risk of jealousy or temptation and in every sense the overall impact of all donations is far greater because they are made together than if they were made individually.
How does each team know where their filtration system goes?
- Each team receives a unique “Story Number” which acts in a similar way to a courier tracking system.
- That Story Number enables participants to track the progress of their gift across the world. They will get to see when their filtration unit is assembled, when it is quality tested and most importantly they will not only get to see where the family or village that receives the unit is based and when they receive the unit, they even get to see a photo of each and every family that receives a filtration system.
- The journey that each team’s filtration system goes on is tracked via a world-leading website called www.3billionstories.com
- Each Story Number on 3 Billion Stories can store 2 photos: a photo of the team that donated the filtration system; and a photo of the end recipient.
- During our programs, teams are encouraged to email us a photo of their team along with their unique Story Number.
- Once we receive your photos we upload them to 3billionstories.com and change the status of your donation to “Sponsored”
- At any time, participants can then revisit the website to see what the status of their gift is.
- Eventually, they will not only see a picture of the recipients of their donation, they will also see a copy of their artwork stuck on the side of the kit they donated.
What are the learning goals of this program? WHY should you get involved?
- First and foremost, we believe that our program makes good business sense. Even if we weren’t transforming an entire community via our donations we still believe it would be a worthwhile pursuit for any business to consider.
- We believe that there are very few learning programs that are as powerful, memorable or effective as the Water Works Program. On that basis alone, provided your company has learning objectives that are consistent with the strengths of this program we believe you should certainly consider proceeding.
- The core learning objectives of most programs include new insights about collaboration, customer-orientation and purpose driven work.
- In addition, there are a large range of learning outcomes that can be targeted effectively during this program:
- Authentic leadership
- Leading change
- Importance of planning
- Mindfulness at work
A LASTING CHANGE and something to REMEMBER THE ACTIVITY by?
- For each filtration unit we give you three branded drink bottles to take as a personal memento from the workshop.
- It’s just a small gift but we like to think that each time our participants take a drink from that water bottle it will remind them of just how lucky they are to have access to clean drinking water.
- We all get caught up in the daily noise of our lives. It’s just too easy to forget those resolutions we quietly make to ourselves within learning events and we all need a bit of a reminder every now and then. A little pause button that helps put things into perspective for us.
- When we give these drink bottles out during our program we challenge each participant to use them in that way. We believe that’s how lives get changed and how corporate cultures are transformed. It’s with each and every individual stopping themselves, seeing from a different perspective and choosing to behave in a different way.