Walu International is dedicated to permanently improving hygiene and sanitation conditions in communities.
We believe in the fundamental dignity of all people, and that clean water and basic sanitation are an inherent human right. Our take on sanitation draws on community based development, which focuses on educating and empowering local populations to identify their own problems and come up with the most appropriate solutions.
Our methodology is to empower communities. We do this by creating community ownership and training committees so they will be equipped to lead.
Through educational lessons, meetings, and training our goal is to provide the community an opportunity to openly speak about problems they are facing and to discuss ways to resolve these problems using local resources.
Walu is building relationships with communities who want to improve their sanitation and hygiene conditions. We cannot train them without your help! Every time you use a toilet or have a glass of water, please consider helping those who do not have the same access to improved sources as you.Learn More
Please read the entries below to learn more about what Walu International is doing.Learn More
November 16, 2015 I am always surprised by the negative connotation the word regret carries. I suppose it can be harsh if it is viewed as condemnation, but for me I find it liberating. I regret something so much that I learned from the experience and made changes so I won’t repeat the mistake. Now that you know I do not beat myself up over my regrets, but rather experience peace as I work through and grow from them, please let me share one of my heartfelt regrets that I made while working with street children in Ukraine. A regret that would forever change the way I do humanitarian work. My philosophy has and always will be to work with Nationals in their home country by providing training and encouragement. Like a number of humanitarian trips I have been on, I was told I would be investing in Ukranians to equip them to work with the hundreds of street children in Kiev. Soon after I got there, it was apparent to me that we (the foreigners) would be spending a majority of the time with street children in a detention center rather than providing training for Ukranians. This concerned me because I felt (and still do) we should be empowering Ukranians to work with these children since they can provide consistency. There was a group of young Ukrainian adults who were ready to take this challenge. They were included on some outings, but nothing was done to support them for long term volunteer work – no training was provided nor was any confidence in their ability to lead demonstrated....Read More
October 16, 2015 I was reading the news yesterday and came across an article about the drought not only in California, but worldwide. My heart stopped when I read that Papua New Guinea has already had 12 drought related deaths and that the count will greatly increase. There was a picture of children standing in a dry field and although the image impacted me, I wasn’t seeing their faces. Instead I was seeing the faces of the many people in Lido, PNG where we have worked for 4 years. I immediately sent an email to one of my contacts in Lido and she informed me that as of now they are doing alright so my mind was eased for the night. I have yet to meet the community in Lido, Nicaragua where we are currently working. Pat has been the Walu face there. I am eager to meet the wonderful people who are already a part of my life. I know that when I meet them the connection will be much stronger and thus articles involving Nicaragua will hurt more than they used to. That is part of this work. The more you get involved in a project the more that particular part of the world matters. For example, as a Californian, I am actively trying to do my part in conserving water during our own drought. Every time I think of what we are facing, I think of Nicaragua and PNG and multiply the effects by 20. We are inconvenienced, while they are focusing on survival. It puts things in perspective for me and reminds me why I...Read More
August 16, 2015 One of my favorite things to hear when working with a community is: “We can do this. We don’t need the foreigner.” This is music to my ears because the truth is once a community has been equipped to provide for themselves, they really don’t need a “foreigner” anymore. We are on the right track to hearing this in the Cuajachillo 2 community in Nicaragua! Pat arrived in Cuajachillo on June 1st. When he arrived, the eco latrine was a new concept for them to grasp. Our initial goal was to make sure they wanted a latrine, work with the community to form a committee, provide training, and maybe discuss latrine designs. We accomplished so much more! Things progressed quicker than we anticipated due to a high level of community ownership. This summer, Pat: 1) Facilitated community meetings 2) Created an environment for the community to choose a Committee to oversee the project 3) Worked with the community to choose a stakeholder for the eco latrine 4) Facilitated discussions with the community to brainstorm a monetary maintenance plan 5) Trained the community to construct their first eco latrine! Water is also an issue for the community due to the distance they have to travel to collect it in barrels. Common health issues and diseases they experience due to water and sanitation/hygiene issues include: Diarrheal Illnesses, Malaria, and Intestinal Worms. The top priorities the residents of Cuajachillo 2 identified to improve in their village were water and sanitation. We are committed to working with the community to improve their situation. Because we believe in community led projects...Read More
We bet there is. And if you get thirsty, is there a faucet where you can get some clean water? We hope so.
Lido village (PNG) has raised over US$14,000 to fund their own toilet project. Walu International needs your help to get our qualified volunteers over to Lido village to facilitate their toilet project. Our partnership with the International Development graduate program at Monterrey Institute of International Studies has enabled Walu International to have qualified personnel working on our projects. Walu International needs your help getting our qualified candidates to Papua New Guinea, “Give A Crap”.Make a donation today!