The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Since 2013, WaterAid has been working together with the H&M Foundation on a Global Programme for Water, which tackles water, sanitation and hygiene issues worldwide, as well as running several local projects in Bangladesh.
The global programme
In 2014, the H&M Foundation donated $9.4 million to a three-year programme to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to schools, reaching more than 250,000 of the world’s poorest students. By working with a wide range of partners, the project helped develop and update national education policies, as well as influencing the global Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2017, marking the second three-year phase of the global partnership, the H&M Foundation donated another $9.4 million. During this period, there will be a focus on reaching people with sustainable water and sanitation services in their communities, homes, health care facilities and schools in four target countries: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Uganda.
Alongside this global programme, the H&M Foundation and WaterAid have also established two local projects in Bangladesh.
The first is a $9.3 million project, running from 2013-19. It aims to improve the health, safety and dignity of millions of people in Dhaka, by renovating or building public toilets in 30 different locations in the city.
The second is a $2.4 million project, running from 2016-20. It aims to improve drinking water, toilets and hygiene practices for 10,600 residents in Banglabazar, a low-income community located by the factories on the outskirts of Dhaka.
WaterAid Australia are working closely with H&M Foundation through WaterAid Cambodia in country team during this new phase of the H&M partnership.
What our partners say
By partnering with WaterAid we have been able to make a real difference to individuals and communities, but also to contribute to the systemic change needed globally and nationally.
The partnership in practice
In 2015, thanks to funding from the H&M Foundation, new toilets and a water tank were built at Najma’s school in her village in Sindh Province, Pakistan.
Before that, Najma and her classmates had to go to a washroom 20 minutes away from their school.
“It is better to go to the washroom in school rather than outside,” Najma says. “Our time is saved now.”