As the global population grows toward 9 billion by 2050, social, economic and environmental challenges also continue to multiply. Worldwide a billion people lack access to clean water and that number doubles when you talk about access to adequate sanitation. Nearly 900 million rural people in developing countries do not have reliable transportation access.
With deep roots in civil engineering, we know that infrastructure can ignite positive transformation for a community and believe that challenges faced simply by the location you were born into, such as lack of safe drinking water or access to transportation systems, shouldn’t inhibit your potential. That’s why the CH2M Foundation is committed to partnering with respected not-for-profit organizations who collaborate with local communities to turn their infrastructure challenges into opportunities. These seemingly simple investment become game-changers providing not just clean water, a safe crossing or energy, but rather build a pathway for human progress. Time spent walking to get water or reach a market can now be spent on education and gainful employment. Health improves. Girls with latrines can stay in school and no longer have to risk their safety to go to the bathroom. All fueling an upward cycle of mobility and opportunity.
The CH2M Foundation has established long-term partnerships with organizations addressing these challenges through innovation, proven technologies and with a strong commitment to long-term sustainability through local capacity building.
Water For People brings together local entrepreneurs, civil society, governments, and communities to establish creative, collaborative solutions that allow people to build and maintain their own reliable safe water systems. Empowering everyone transforms people’s lives by improving health and economic productivity to end the cycle of poverty. Water For People’s goal is simple, complete water coverage for every family, every school, and every clinic in the 9 countries where they work, bringing everyone together to make a difference. In 2013 Water For People improved water and sanitation access in over 450 communities around the world, and created over 550 new jobs through their water and sanitation efforts. Our 2016 annual workplace giving campaign for Water For People, raised more than US$220,000 to enable their mission.
Through our decade-long support of Engineers Without Borders USA, the CH2M Foundation is helping to bring basic infrastructure solutions to developing communities in 39 countries. This work has impacted more than 2.5 million lives by providing access to clean water; building bridges that link communities to education, healthcare facilities and markets; and providing energy to power schools and health clinics. In 2014, we partnered to help the organization further develop its Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning program to measure the long-term sustainability of projects, an initative that we continue to support (watch a video we produced for EWB on their Impact Review in Rwanda). In January 2016, we served as the pilot for the first corporate volunteer team supporting EWB’s Engineering Service Corps project to complete a feasibility study for the re-commissioning of a micro-hydro dam in Joyabaj, Guatemala.
Bridges to Prosperity provides safe access to over 680,000 people to reach markets, healthcare clinics and schools. The CH2M Foundation’s inaugural grant to Bridges to Prosperity in 2013 helped the organization establish a bridge training program in Panama and in the summer of 2014 the first CH2M team comprised of 11 global transportation employees built a 45-meter suspension bridge to connect the communities of La Conga and La Florida, Panama. This partnership proved so successful that in the summer 2015, the Foundation partnered on two bridge builds in Rwanda and Nicaragua. This dual bridge partnership was continued in 2016 with the Butara, Rwanda build in February and the Las, Brisas Nicaragua build in June. To date, the CH2M Foundation has supported the construction of five bridges in three countries collectively providing life-changing access to 10,000 community members and awarding a life-changing skills-based volunteer experience to nearly 60 employees.
Learn more about these bridge builds through the team member’s blog posts.
The CH2M Foundation proudly partners with these organizations through financial support and through our Employee Travel Grants program, which enables employees to share their technical expertise in the field to advance the mission of these organizations.
Watch the video below about our 2015 Gasura, Rwanda bridge build with Bridges to Prosperity.
Additional videos on CH2M Foundation projects can be found on our YouTube channel.
1 WHO AND UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation.