Since its founding, WEFTA has been an all-volunteer organization except for the recent addition of a resource development and marketing consultant. The backbone of WEFTA is a corps of “volunteer experts” whose companies support their taking part in volunteering to provide technical, highly-skilled knowledge, oversight and follow up of water and sanitation projects in Latin America. Our volunteers help only at the request of the communities that need assistance, and the labor, materials and portions of the funding are provided by the communities themselves. Due to increased requests for assistance, in 2013 we began planning an ambitious campaign to engage additional volunteers to join our current pool of experts.
By working this way, WEFTA empowers communities that lack the technical expertise but have the desire and willingness to work together to build, own and maintain their own water and/or sanitation systems with a minimum of red tape. Each expert has many years’ experience and donates his or her work by choice, thereby protecting those in need of clean water from overpriced or unqualified providers. In some cases, the cost for technical assistance is greater than the cost of labor and materials, so WEFTA’s pro bono work allows communities to put hard-earned money into maintenance of their water systems or into other projects to benefit their communities. In addition, many of our volunteers have experience living and working at a grassroots level in Latin America—often with organizations other than WEFTA—and many speak fluent Spanish. This gives them a cultural sensitivity, understanding and deep respect for how various communities work.
Yes, WEFTA is an organization of volunteers. But because the beneficiaries themselves do the manual labor, we seek only seasoned engineers, hydrogeologists, or those with a very well-developed set of skills in one or more aspects of water treatment/purification and general hydraulics, and/or inexpensive wastewater treatment and disposal technologies appropriate to underdeveloped settings. If you do have these skills, please contact Lou Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers donate their time and knowledge while WEFTA covers travel and on-the-ground expenses.
Clean water and sanitation are priceless benefits for all human beings, but they do cost money. For non-engineers, a great way to support our work is by selecting a project to sponsor and, with WEFTA’s help, raising the money to give the gift of clean water to deserving families in Latin America. If you are interested in helping, please fill out this questionnaire (PDF) and contact us at email@example.com to learn more.