CALGARY, June 6, 2019 /CNW/ - CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, announced today two significant gifts from David O'Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will see all new donations matched, up to $12 million. The two successful Canadian businessmen and philanthropists have each chosen to invest in accelerating the impact of this Calgary-based international clean water charity.
"CAWST is addressing one of humanity's biggest issues. I had the privilege of seeing the enormous leverage of this small, but mighty charity over the past 14 years. In 2017, I visited East Africa and witnessed how CAWST's model is so effective and scalable," said O'Brien, CAWST chairman and major donor. "This match campaign will change lives."
CAWST is a Canadian charity and not-for-profit engineering consultancy that provides practical training to organizations in developing countries on household water and sanitation solutions. One-third of the world's population—that's 2.1 billion people—are trapped in a cycle of poverty because they lack access to safe, readily available water at home1. To tackle this issue, CAWST works to scale up the number of local water, sanitation and hygiene professionals in developing countries and improves their knowledge and skills.
"CAWST is notable for its can-do, entrepreneurial, spirit of innovation attitude. The high purpose of its mission and the professionalism of its people is what drew me to this organization," said Cumming. "CAWST is tackling a critical global need and this unique international charity and professional engineering entity is making significant progress addressing clean water and sanitation in developing countries."
Both O'Brien and Cumming are no strangers to philanthropic giving. Mr. O'Brien was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing him as a respected corporate leader and philanthropist, predominantly focusing on post-secondary education. In addition to CAWST, his notable list of charitable contributions include the O'Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary, Sick Kids, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, McGill University and Concordia University, among others. Mr. Cumming's transformational $100-million gift to the University of Calgary was one of the largest philanthropic gifts in Canadian history. In honour of the donation, which the Government of Alberta matched, the school of medicine at the University of Calgary carries the name, Cumming School of Medicine. Mr. Cumming also, among other initiatives, created and funds the annual global Ryman Prize, which is frequently referred to as the Nobel Prize relating to aging.
The O'Brien-Cumming Match kicks off immediately. The $12 million donation is split evenly between Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Cumming, with each party contributing up to $6 million. To learn more about CAWST and the match campaign, Canadians are encouraged to visit cawst.org.
Founded in 2001, CAWST is a Canadian charity and licensed not-for-profit professional engineering consultancy working to address the global need for safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries. CAWST reaches people in need by working with the thousands of existing, in-country organizations to start or improve their water and sanitation projects. To learn more about CAWST and its transformational work, visit cawst.org.
1 Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. Geneva: World Health Organization. (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/jmp-2017/en/
SOURCE Centre for Affordable Water & Sanitation Technology (CAWST)
For further information: Media contact: Hailey Carnegie, Public Relations Lead, CAWST, [email protected], 1.403.243.3285 ext. 258