UNICEF Tap Project Brings Clean Water, Hope
As part of an ongoing commitment, Four Seasons hotels and resorts contributed to the UNICEF Tap Project 2010, which funds projects to ensure safe drinking water and promote basic sanitation in developing nations.
For relief organizations, the challenge of bringing help to victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti has been immense. Fortunately, UNICEF already had 60 years of experience on the ground in Haiti. Since the earthquake, UNICEF and its partners have provided clean water for more than 850,000 Haitians, given out hygiene kits to 500,000, and busily promoted safe hygiene practices and sanitation through radio broadcasts and the building of latrines.
But the needs of the Haitian people are far from over. Water and sanitation are still critical issues. And not just in Haiti, but also in many other developing nations around the world:
• Every day, 4,100 children die of water-related diseases
• Nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water and nearly half of those are children
UNICEF has been working diligently to combat these problems. The organization and its partners are trying to reduce the number of people without clean water and basic sanitation by 50% by 2015, saving the lives of countless children who might otherwise die of waterborne illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths.
Restaurants Raise Funds
The UNICEF Tap Project, a restaurant initiative under the auspices of the UNICEF U.S. Fund, has become a powerful tool for raising awareness of the global drinking water issue and for raising funds to improve the lives of millions of impoverished, at-risk children.
The premise is simple: Participating restaurants ask their patrons to donate US$1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free.
This year, restaurants at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole participated in the Tap Project. While the bulk of the fund raising took place in March and early April, the hotels in Washington and Silicon Valley have extended their fund-raising efforts until April 22.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, has also created a special flower display in the lobby to show what 40 litres of drinking water looks like. Forty litres is the amount of water that a single dollar will purchase, and it is a large enough quantity to supply a child with safe drinking water for 40 days.
“Our guests have been very generous in the past, and we look forward to continuing to assist UNICEF in its important work,” says Christian Clerc, general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.
Making a Difference
Funds donated through the UNICEF Tap Project go to a variety of important projects such as drilling wells, installing water pumps, trucking safe water to children and families in emergencies, harvesting rainwater and teaching lifesaving hygiene practices to schoolchildren.
In addition to Haiti, money collected through the Tap Project this year will fund safe water and basic sanitation projects in Togo, the Central African Republic, Vietnam and Guatemala.
The UNICEF Tap Project has raised more than US$1.5 million since it began in 2007. To donate, visit the donation section of tapproject.org.