A US-registered non-profit dedicated to permanently improving hygiene and sanitation conditions in communities. Federal Tax ID 38-3805595
Our solution: Walu believes in Community Based Development and uses the Participatory Method. We believe communities should be the decision makers to ensure the community is empowered and has ownership.
Bringing It Back To Communities
Equipping and empowering community ownership to bring about needed resolution.
Papua New Guinea
Where it all began.......
In 2009, Walu International was born after Zack Parker stepped on human feces during a surf trip in Lido, Papua New Guinea. Because the community did not have any latrines, the ocean was the toilet. The same ocean used by the 1,000-plus community to fish, play and surf.
Zack learned one in six children in PNG died of diarrhea. He was struck by the high mortality rate from something that is so preventable.
His experience and newfound knowledge led him to begin Walu while getting his Master's Degree.
While forming Walu, Zack came across mentors who trained him in Community Based Development using the Participatory Method.
Years later, after time and training, the Lido community learned to build and maintain its first eco latrine!
Cuajachillo Dos, Nicaragua
Typically, nonprofits begin working where there is the greatest need. Walu does not do this. Our goal is to provide long-lasting results. In order to effectively reach our goal in a reasonable amount of time, we focus on the community with the highest chance for success.
Success is based on the: Size of a community, access to resources, a desire from the community to resolve their issues, and community leadership.
Once a community is trained, they can then train nearby communities and eventually reach those with the greatest need. By investing in communities, we avoid creating a dependency that does not allow communities to thrive on their own. Dependency also overlooks what is best for the community because outsiders are making the decisions versus community members who know their weather patterns, terrain, resources and culture.
Cuajachillo Dos was the epitome of a community capable of being successful and investing in other communities. A strong community leadership team took the reins and not only were trained to build eco and standard latrines, they began identifying other issues like the lack of healthy water and organic produce.
San Lorenzo Valley
In August 2020, a devastating fire caused by lightning destroyed 930 homes and took one life in the mountains of Santa Cruz County.
Because Walu's CEO, CJ Runyon, was a Director of Fire Cleanup in a hard-hit area of San Diego County after the 2003 firestorms, it was decided Walu would assist the community in fire recovery.
The first phase of fire recovery is cleanup. This is a vital phase for the mental well-being of fire victims/survivors and the protection of the environment from toxic ash flow when rain arrives.
Unfortunately due to County and State regulations, the cleanup process was grossly delayed. Walu and other organizations collaborated to help minimize the effects of toxic debris flow by barricading toxic ash with foundation, straw, tarps and wattles. Because of these efforts and a La Nina year in December 2020, toxic ash runoff due to rain was minimized. Special thanks to Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.
Board Of Directors
CJ Runyon - President
Zack Parker - Founder
Laura Lynn - Treasurer
Christi Grab - Secretary
Contact Walu if you would like to be a part of our volunteer team.