Leading Athletes and Sports Influencers Join water4Her Campaign
PLEDGE TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS AND FUNDS TO EMPOWER 100,000 WOMEN THROUGH CLEAN WATER ACCESS
WASHINGTON, March 8, 2021 – To mark International Women’s Day, leading female athletes and influencers from the sporting world are lending their support to the cause of empowering 100,000 East African women through clean water access.
water4Her, a collaboration of women for water™, a clean water and women’s empowerment action platform, and two-time Super Bowl winner Chris Long’s premier athlete-led initiative Waterboys, is bringing together a community of athletes, influencers and donors to raise awareness and funding for clean water projects in four East African countries.
Today, water4Her announced a first wave of ambassadors who will help promote the year-long effort including (in alphabetical order):
- Brittany Ammerman: Former Wisconsin Ice Hockey, founder of Kenya’s Nikumbuke Soccer League
- Betsy Brandon: Ferencvárosi Torna Club (Budapest) and former Houston Dash soccer player
- Makenzy Doniak: Chicago Red Stars soccer player, former Western New York Flash, North Carolina Courage and Utah Royals FC player
- Joyce Ekworomadu: Retired Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Nigerian National Team player and one of the first Harlem Globetrotters female players
- Julie Ertz:S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and Chicago Red Stars player
- Heather Mitts Feeley: Former USWNT defender and three-time Olympic gold medalist
- Alyssa Gialamas: Two-time Paralympian swimmer and 21-time U.S. record holder
- Laurel Ivory:S. under-17 and under-20 National Soccer Team player and University of Virginia collegiate champion
- Kristen McNabb:S. under-18 and under-23 National Soccer Team and OL Reign player
- Olayinka Sanni: Retired WBNA player from Detroit Shock, Phoenix Mercury, Nigerian National Team
- Brianna Westrup: Rangers FC (Scotland) soccer player
Sports Hosts and Broadcasters
- Kay Adams: Sportscaster and host of Good Morning Football on NFL Network and People TV show
- Mina Kimes: ESPN contributor, award-winning journalist, NFL analyst, senior writer, podcast host and television contributor
- Charissa Thompson: FOX NFL KICKOFF Host and Broadcaster
- Colleen Wolfe: NFL GameDay Kickoff, Good Morning Football, Weekend NFL Total Access and on-location Super Bowl and NFL Draft Network host and broadcaster
“Clean water lifts up all women and their communities. I am proud to take the water4Her pledge to support the empowerment of women and girls,” said basketball star Joyce Ekworomadu.
water4Her is led by The Chris Long Foundation co-founder, Megan Long, a former collegiate lacrosse player now serving as campaign chair.
“We thank these powerful women for lending their voices to water4Her at a time of critical need for women and girls around the world,” said Long.
In Africa, women and girls bear the burden of water collection and spend their days walking miles, waiting in long lines and experiencing harassment for water that is often unsafe to drink. Evidence shows that access to clean water is linked to improved reproductive health, increased income, decreased gender-based violence, and reduced risk of water-borne illness.
“Lack of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene access, compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, is plunging women back into poverty,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of campaign co-founding partner Global Water Challenge (GWC). “This issue is urgent, and when you invest in empowering a woman through clean water, you invest in her ability to Live, Learn, Earn, Lead and Thrive.”
The roster of female athletes and influencers will use their platform to mobilize a group of 100,000 women to empower 100,000 women by encouraging fans to take the water4Her pledge and action at water4Her.org
Funds raised by water4Her will be shared by four impact partners, World Vision USA, Global Grassroots, WorldServe International and Mama Maji, to deliver critically needed water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access for women and girls in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
For further information please visit water4Her.org to take the water4Her Pledge.
water4Her Athlete Ambassador, Julie Ertz – U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team player and 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
water4Her Athlete Ambassador Joyce Ekworomadu – former WBNA star and one of the original Harlem Globetrotters female players.
About the Campaign Founding Partners
Global Water Challenge (GWC)
Founded in 2006, Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and women’s empowerment. With companies, civil society partners, and governments, GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation and supports gender equality through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions. Through GWC’s innovative public-private partnerships, over 2 million people have been reached with clean water access, sanitation and hygiene training. For more information, please visit globalwaterchallenge.org.
women for water™
women for water, launched by Global Water Challenge (GWC), is a clean water and women’s empowerment action platform advancing gender equity by empowering women and girls in 10,000 communities through water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and life skills programs by 2030. Grounded on the pathbreaking Ripple Effect research, women for water galvanizes investment and collective action at the intersection of water and women’s empowerment and currently scales impact in 15 countries in Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Central Asia. Join the platform through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and womenforwater.com.
Founded in 2015 by two-time Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, Waterboys unites professional athletes, coaches, veterans and fans from across the world in support of a single, shared cause: providing clean, accessible drinking water to 1 million people. By working together, players and fans can make a meaningful difference for communities in desperate need by funding sustainable clean water projects. These projects provide life-giving water and all that comes from it, including education opportunities, improved health, and economic stability. Initially starting with projects in East Africa, Waterboys expanded its work in 2019 to also include U.S water projects and operates five core programs that support its work; NFL Waterboys, Hoops2o, Conquering Kili, Hometown H2o, and water4Her. Waterboys has raised over $5.5 million with the help of over 60 professional athletes, providing clean drinking water to more than 395,000 people as a result. Waterboys is the signature initiative of The Chris Long Foundation. To find out more, visit waterboys.org.
About water4Her Impact Partners
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. World Vision is responding to the devastating impact of COVID-19 in more than 70 countries (24 in Africa) and every 60 seconds, World Vision is helping more than 200 people survive, recover, and rebuild from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
WorldServe International, working in East Africa since 1996, addresses the world water crisis through established long-term collaboration with powerful partners to bring clean water where it can be sustainably accessed and maintained over time. Set apart by the sustainability of their sites, each clean water project is carefully planned and drilled by a fleet of drilling rigs and support vehicles. WorldServe’s model is focused on working with village leaders – including women – before, during and after the drilling process to successfully transform villages.
Mama Maji is a non-profit organization that works to empower women through water access across the Maasai and Luhya communities in Kenya. Their programs provide women the necessary tools to turn their greatest burdens into pathways to success. Through targeted training in water infrastructure development, business, and health and sanitation, Mama Maji leverages a human-centered design to involve the community both locally and abroad, particularly the women, in every step, from formulation to celebration.
Global Grassroots is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that supports Conscious Social Change, particularly through water and sanitation enterprises, for women and girls in post-conflict countries. Global Grassroots’ mindfulness-based social venture has trained more than 700 social change agents in post-conflict regions of East Africa. Since 2006 in Rwanda, Global Grassroots has launched 17 teams operating 26 active water sites, serving more than 75,000 people with clean water each year. This represents a 96% sustainability rate to date.