Tom O’Malley, a Canberra local volunteering at NGO Abundant Water, has delivered its 4000th water filter in rural Laos. Abundant Water has to date secured 27,446 people safe and sustainable drinking water.
Tom, an O’Connor resident went to school at Lyneham High, Dickson College and studied his undergraduate degree at the Australian National University. Tom is currently volunteering as an intern with Abundant Water on the ground in Laos. He hopes to one day work in the development sector.
Tom led members of the Abundant Water team on a field trip from the 7th to the 11th of May to deliver water filters to schools in Xayaboury Province in rural Laos. During the field visit Abundant Water and Thai NGO, Child’s Dream, delivered 70 filters to 8 schools within the province. This project alone reached over 2200 students and teachers and saw Abundant Water deliver its 4000th total filter in the process.
“Working to deliver clean, safe and sustainable water to these communities has been a really rewarding experience, I am particularly happy to have worked with local vendors and Child’s Dream to get so many schools access to safe water” Tom said.
Arriving in April, Tom took up the 6 month position on the ground in Laos after volunteering with Abundant Water’s Strategic Partnerships Directorate.
Abundant Water delivers health and hygiene benefits by adopting a social business approach to partner with local communities and develop sustainable and scalable clean drinking water projects.
“This is an outstanding achievement from our dedicated team on the ground in Laos”, CEO of Abundant Water and Canberra Local Sunny Forsyth said.
“Over 27,400 people across Laos now have safe and sustainable access to clean drinking water due to the efforts of Abundant Water over the past decade through our social business model.”
The Abundant Water social business model revolves around providing cheap yet highly effective water filters through establishing and training a filter vendor network in the poorest rural and remote parts of developing countries in South-East Asia.
“As a volunteer-run organisation I am really proud of what we have achieved, and this effort is really the product of the Canberra community who have supported us every step of the way”
“We are so grateful for all the support we have had over the past 10 years and look forward to big things to come as we look to set up operations in East Timor and across South East Asia.”
Illustrating the difficulties of working in rural communities in Laos Tom’s field visit took six days and involved significant travel including a minor bogging incident.
Despite logistical challenges in accessing the communities, Child’s Dream and Abundant Water have developed a positive working relationship through years’ of working in the region. The local schools were hospitable and enthusiastic about the program and Abundant Water looks forward to continuing to deliver safe and sustainable water across nearby communities.
For further information, including images or a request to interview our CEO Sunny Forsyth please do not hesitate to contact us.
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"Practical Solutions for the Common Good"