MiiR is proud to partner with Splash, a Seattle-based nonprofit that ensures clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for kids in Asia and Africa. Together, Splash and MiiR are partnering to implement clean water, hygiene education and sanitation improvements in 10 schools in Kolkata, India, immediately benefitting some 1,965 children and thousands more in future years, with the aim that it can be replicated across India’s major cities and beyond.
This work builds on MiiR’s existing support for Splash in Nepal and expands our philanthropic footprint to India, creating a deep impact on children in both countries. Additionally, our support in India will serve some of the neediest and most vulnerable children in Kolkata through residential schools. The residential school system was started by the local government in 2012 to serve urban, homeless youth. Often these children are from single parent households or are orphaned. Many have also suffered abuse. Most of these children have never enrolled in school or have dropped out of the mainstream education system.
The future of water is in cities. While many people think the global water crisis primarily affects rural areas, today more than half the world population lives in cities and 828 million people live in urban slums. Rapidly growing cities in developing countries face insufficient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, which is felt most acutely by the poor. Splash provides a spark of hope, focusing on children, who are both the most vulnerable to water-borne disease and the key to generational change. Splash targets schools, orphanages, hospitals and shelters to reach the greatest number of kids in a cost-effective way.
Nowhere in the world is there more explosive urban growth than in India. In fact, the country is on track to add 530 million people to its cities between 2010 and 2050—the equivalent of adding every resident of the US and Russia to India's urban centers! By 2030, India is predicted to have the largest population in the world, and Kolkata – the capital of West Bengal – is India’s third largest city. Kolkata is seeing explosive population growth with a growing proportion of urban slum residents. Water is widely available but is typically contaminated. Unsanitary conditions, crowding and inadequate health and education facilities exacerbate the effects of poverty.
By proving the ability to scale in a “hardest to reach” place, Splash believes that it will make national replication a plausible reality. Working in India since 2012, Splash currently serves nearly 5% of the public-school children in Kolkata across 90 of the 2,000 school sites, reaching 40,000 kids. With MiiR’s help, Splash is on track to reach 100% of Kolkata schools by 2021, benefitting 420,000 of the city’s poorest kids. In 2017, Splash plans to serve a combination of small, medium and large schools, with the aim that the model can be replicated across India’s major cities and beyond.
Splash aims to improve the health and development of children in dense, urban areas by ensuring they have clean water, clean hands and clean toilets. Founded in 2007, Splash has completed 1,600 projects serving more than 400,000 kids in eight countries: China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Over the next five years in Kolkata, India, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kathmandu, Nepal, Splash aims to reach 100% of public schools with full WASH coverage to ensure that over one million children have clean water, clean hands and clean toilets by 2021.