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 £5.4 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 £5.4 million to WaterAid’s Sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene programme (SusWASH).
The SusWASH programme aims to strengthen the capacity and leadership of governments, civil society and the local private sector, as well as inform policy and practice at the national level. In practical terms, this means working across all levels to improve water and sanitation governance, coordination, planning, monitoring, financing, accountability and water resource management.
SusWASH is being carried out in four countries – Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Pakistan.
Alongside this global programme, the H&M Foundation and WaterAid have also established two local projects in Bangladesh.
The first is a £3.5 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 £1.4 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.
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.”