Happy Earth Day! This year we’re coming together as a community to provide women and their families in developing countries access to clean, safe water and sanitation, with the help of nonprofit organization Water.org. Your part is simple: just post on Instagram with the hashtag #AloGivesWater. For every post, we’ll help give 1 person access to clean, safe water for 1 year. Upload as many appropriate posts as you’d like—we will count up to 20,000 hashtags from now until April 28.

Clean, Safe Water Access: Why It Matters

We chose this particular cause because the work that Water.org does is extremely important to us—on both a personal level and in our overall mission (Alo is named for Air, Land, Ocean). In developing countries, unfortunately, many people aren’t afforded the same opportunity. 844 million people (that’s 1 in 9) lack access to water and 2.3 billion people (1 in 3) lack access to a toilet. That means more people have a mobile phone than a toilet. And the global water crisis disproportionately affects woman and children, who are typically expected to collect water for their families—a job they spend up to 6 hours doing every single day, which often puts them in harm’s way. That’s time taken away from education, work, and caring for other family members. The water crisis also hugely affects our ecosystems, which run the risk of deterioration or depletion if people take and take.

844 million people lack access to clean, safe water

How One Hashtag Can Help Create Profound Change

Water.org is a leading force in the effort to end the water crisis, and one of the reasons they’re so successful is because they’re not set up like a typical charity. Instead of directly supplying people with water, which isn’t very sustainable and can create a culture of dependency, they work with financial institutions in developing countries to set people up with affordable loans, so each person can choose and pay for their own water solution. This is called microfinancing (more about that here). The idea is that when one person pays back their loan, that money can then be recycled to pay for another person’s loan—a proven pay-it-forward system that sets people up for long-term success by empowering them to take action and paves the way for more and more people to get access to clean, safe water. So with every hashtag, you’re not just helping someone get access to clean, safe water—you’re also investing in their future.

What Clean, Safe Water Access Means for a Family in Kenya

Sabina and her son live on a small farm in a rural village outside Nairobi, Kenya, and every morning she has to walk long distances to source water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning, since she can’t afford to buy clean, safe water from a local vendor. Unfortunately, her closest option is collecting unsafe pond water, which is often dirty and can contain dangerous bacteria. With help from Water.org, Sabina was able to take advantage of Kenya’s two rainy seasons and set up a rain catchment system, which now gives her and her son clean, safe water for living and tending to their crops.

For more stories about how clean, safe water access has changed people’s lives, click here. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this amazing cause. Remember, every post counts!