Reading time ( words)
In observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, Kimball Electronics donated $5,000 to Water to Thrive to build an entire fresh water well system in a yet-to-be-named African village. Safe, fresh drinking water supports gender equality, physical safety, female empowerment and sustainability.
Water to Thrive, based in Austin, Texas, transforms lives in rural Africa by working with partners and beneficiaries to bring clean, safe water to those lacking it.
Water to Thrive executive director Susanne Wilson was guest speaker for Kimball Electronics 2021 International Women’s Day that was made available virtually to the Company’s global workforce. Wilson shared her inspirational personal journey, which started from humble beginnings in a small town in western Kentucky to her current role of making a true difference for others across the globe by helping her organization meet its mission of building wells and saving lives.
“Susanne’s work with Water to Thrive made her a natural fit for our IWD celebration this year, as well as a perfect partner to help us further demonstrate our company purpose of Creating Quality for Life,” says Kimball Electronics CEO Don Charron. “We were deeply moved by her eye-opening, heart-wrenching, inspirational presentation that demonstrated how Water to Thrive positively changes lives in the African villages they serve. Of course, we want to be part of this global human relief effort. Safe, fresh drinking water should be a basic human right for all, but sadly, it is not.”
“This goes beyond just providing a safe water source,” adds Charron. “The wells also have a role in delivering gender equality, physical safety, female empowerment and sustainability.”
Village women are primarily responsible for walking many miles away from their village to retrieve water, making them susceptible to violence, according to Wilson. The time away also robs women of time that could be better spent contributing to the family income or the education of their children.
IWD provided a logical springboard for Kimball Electronics to support Water to Thrive. A recent CNN opinion piece cowritten by Helen Clark, board chair of the World Health Organization's Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, and Laura Chinchilla , a member of the Sanitation and Water for All Global Leadership Council, expressed the importance of how, on IWD, “We must stand together to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to safe water and sanitation . . . To advance gender equity, we most prioritize the most basic rights that are still denied to women and children. Let's start with the most fundamental of human needs -- access to clean water and safe sanitation, including soap for handwashing.”