Guest blog, written by: Justin Mendoza
It all started in a class called MGT 455 “Social Entrepreneurship” taught by Professor Sloan at San Diego State University. He pushed all his students to come up with an idea to help reduce poverty and create wealth for those at the base of the pyramid in poverty-stricken countries.
My idea was a 3D printed water filtration funnel students can create at schools, sell in their villages and my target market was the country of Haiti. Clean drinking water and sanitation provides opportunities such as increasing attendance at schools, preventing diseases like diarrhea, overall, it provides productivity in a country both socially and economically. Water is something I have taken for granted and seeing those in poverty traveling to wells, streams, rivers, and such really made me think about how lucky we are to live with a resource used every day without a care in the world. I had a close friend of mine, Malik whose family is from Haiti, help me design the prototype since he is a mechanical engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona.
One part of my project was called, “Community Asset Mapping” which involved reaching out to nonprofit organizations helping solve the water crisis in Haiti, which is how I got connected to Pure Water for the World. One simple email asking them questions about how water is collected, cultural aspects (which I overlooked), my idea being feasible, partnerships with other institutions, and how rewarding it is to provide clean water and sanitation. The responses I got back from Tracy and the rest of PWW was astonishing to me, it provided me insight on cultural barriers, pictures included of people collecting water, and so much more. Seeing their work and responses I got back made me passionate about helping others and giving back to communities where we constantly take our resources for granted. While my personal career path is going in a different trajectory now, I still find importance in philanthropy, volunteering, raising awareness, and helping others. I hope to one day go on a trip myself and help those directly in need.
What was even greater news was when Tracy reached out to me about a youth advocacy group, it is inspiring to see a group of young people passionate about bringing change to the world, seeing how this upcoming generation plans to conquer social issues, especially in the water sector and bring solutions to raise awareness or be proactive in their communities is something that gives me hope about our future leaders. Something that resonated with me which my professor said was “while hustle is important, sometimes it is even more important to have heart over hustle.”
Access to clean water and proper sanitation is just one way to reduce poverty and with Pure Water for the World helping lead a younger generation of passionate people, it can only foster more positive impact to our world.
Thank you, Justin, for sharing your passion and commitment to ensure people across our planet have reliable access to safe, clean water. PWW is honored to have you join us in this mission.
Want to learn more about PWW and A Drink for Humanity’s Youth Advocacy Group? Contact us today.