WaterAid and The VF Foundation Launch Program to Improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Cambodia
May 9, 2022 (New York, NY)—WaterAid and The VF Foundation announce the launch of a year-long program to reach more than 85,000 people with access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in Cambodia.
In Cambodia, one in four people don't have access to clean drinking water and half don't have access to a toilet, disproportionately affecting women, girls, and people living with disabilities. With the support of The VF Foundation’s $250,000 grant, WaterAid will improve access to clean water in Cambodia’s Kandal Province by working directly with local governments and community members.
In Kandal Province, reliable clean water access is especially difficult for people living along rivers, in floating communities, and in rural areas where flooding is common. In factories, women face a lack of professional development opportunities in addition to recent challenges like COVID-19. This program addresses these issues head-on, prioritizing women's participation and leadership in design, decision-making and implementation ensuring that access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation at work and home are sustainable for everyone for years to come.
Key activities include:
- Organizing local governments, women and youth groups to lead sanitation awareness campaigns about healthy hygiene practices and COVID-19 prevention
- Implementing a women's leadership program, empowering women to advocate for clean water, sanitation and hygiene at home, work and in the community
- Working with local water operators to ensure improved water quality, community buy-in, and accountable business practices
The Kandal Province program builds on VF’s forward-looking Worker and Community Development (WCD) program, which also works with WaterAid. On a mission to improve the lives of one million people by 2025, VF’s WCD program brings clean water and sanitation to rural communities near VF manufacturing hubs in communities across the globe, including in Cambodia.
Last year, in response to the COVID-19 surge in Cambodia, VF Corporation worked with WaterAid to keep its employees, their families, and communities healthy and safe by supporting the government’s COVID-19 response plan. More than 20,000 VF Corporation factory employees and 300,000 people in surrounding communities were vaccinated and more than 100,000 people across five provinces received vital hygiene supplies including masks, hand sanitizer and public handwashing stations.
About The VF Foundation
The VF Foundation is the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with iconic brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Smartwool®, JanSport® and Dickies®. With its partners, The VF Foundation strives to innovate and problem-solve in collaborative ways to drive transformative, lasting change with the vision of creating a more equitable and sustainable world. Established in 2002, the Foundation has granted nearly $60 million globally to meaningfully improve the communities where VF operates. It’s committed to driving movements for the betterment of people and the planet across its key strategic pillars: championing Worthy Work, embracing Outside Matters, empowering creativity and self-expression as we are Free to Be, and supporting Disaster Relief and Recovery.
More about WaterAid
WaterAid is an international nonprofit working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. WaterAid works in more than 30 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water, 28 million people with decent toilets and 26 million people with good hygiene.
- 750 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
- Two billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
- Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
Every $2 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $8 in increased productivity.