charity: water Builds Wells - and Connections

Ten years ago, Tencia found herself in a perilous situation. After her husband’s sudden death, she was left to provide for three young boys on her own. Tencia turned to baking bread — a perfect combination of maize flour, bananas, salt and water learned from her grandmother — as a means of survival.

Lack of access to clean water meant bread making was a slow process. Navigating thick grass and banana trees to reach the river took hours, and climbing uphill with forty pounds of water in tow took energy.

In 2010, Tencia’s village received a drilled well from charity: water and clean water flowed into the center of their community. Families weren’t limited to a single jerry can of clean water, and Tencia could focus on her burgeoning business instead of logistics.

charity: water aims to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world. This is no easy task — bringing clean water to people in need is different in each country.

It all springs from sustainable workflows

charity: water works globally with hundreds of partners; requiring a tremendous amount of resource coordination and clear communication. Ian Cook, Head of IT at charity: water, knew that end users needed an easier way to get their work done, instead of losing days of productivity with the content management tools in place.

Previously, partners would load information into the system but identifying it later was nearly impossible.
“The user experience had to be excellent. We wanted something staff would want to use while also providing multiple levels of access permissions and folder controls for collaborating with partners,” Cook said.

That's when Ian and his team decided Box.org was the right partner. “Box is the backbone of charity: water’s custom impact census system and workflow. It tracks all the work done any minute of any day, anywhere in the world,” Cook states. “Box helps keep every asset in order and makes them all discoverable.”

Box allowed for easier collaboration with better organization and access to assets. For example, content search for “children at water points” would have required phone calls, discussions and searching with fingers crossed, all in hopes that someone remembered who took the photo and where it was stored. “This took somewhere almost 6 to 10 hours a week,” Cook said. “With Box, we get all those hours back.”

Looking ahead: leveraging Box for more

Today, every single department and charity: water’s 20+ partners are using Box. “Our partners are the eyes, ears and hands implementing and building on the ground. Having them use the same tool has made our work so much easier,” Cook said.

Becoming more closely connected to their partners and global projects has opened up charity: water to new possibilities. Now, Ian and his team are constantly analyzing systems and processes to identify ways to leverage new integrations and technology. “With Box, we started by just migrating files over from our old systems,” Cook states. “Our nextstep was to connect our external partners into folders and tying Box into their SSO for more security and visibility.”

Looking beyond Box as a digital asset manager, charity: water hopes to leverage the power of Box Platform to create a portal where mechanics could share photos and videos with training and insights on how to build, manage and maintain new wells and latrines.

For charity: water, it’s not just about reaching the finish line. It’s the progress made every day and how technology like Box has helped them achieve that goal. And it’s about Tencia — and the thousands of others around the world — whose access to clean water helped shape their livelihood and health.

If you'd like to donate to charity: water to support their work, please click here. Every $10K we raise helps us build a well for a community in need. Join us!

Click here to learn how Box.org enables nonprofits to innovate and fulfill their mission.

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