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About Us

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Water For People is an international development organization of dedicated people who recognize as a basic human right and primary building block of life--an essential social, economic and environmental commodity. We are motivated by the strong connection between water deprivation and poverty. Our vision is a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation;a world where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease.


Water For People helps people in developing countries improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education programs.


Water For People maintains a full-time staff in each of the countires in which we work to manage and facilitiate our projects. We work closely with community members, local government and other trusted nongovernmental organizations to ensure that the work we do is sustainable and appropriate for the community. We enlist community members to do much of the labor involved so that they take ownership which ensures long-term success.

Drinking Water Resources: We develop safe drinking water resources using simple technologies and local materials, such as gravity-fed systems, hand-dug wells, source protection and treatment systems.

Improved Sanitation: We work with communities to develop improved sanitation systems to adequately dispose of human waste. Technologies might include dry latrines and flush systems.

Health and Hygiene Education: We work with local communities to train people about safe health and hygiene education practices, such as handwashing, bathing, and safe human waste disposal. These practices, in combination with safe water and improved sanitation facilities, promote good health and prevent illness.


Since 1991, Water For People has supported more than 800 water and sanitation projects in 40 countries.

In 2006, we helped provide safe water resources and/or improved sanitation benefiting more than 98,000 people.

Water For People supports local initiatives in water supply, sanitation, and health/hygiene education. Our strategy is to enhance local capacity so that the benefits are sustained over time. Solutions need to be local and appropriate, so that the benefits of improved services lead to meaningful and lasting improvements in areas of health and economics.


Colleen Stiles’ leadership qualities and commitment to philanthropy were recognized early in her career. She was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow (Class IX).

In recognition of her accomplishments in leadership and communication, Ms. Stiles has been a guest lecturer/faculty speaker for College of St. Benedict, St. Cloud State University, and Wake Forest University. An informed and inspiring communicator, she has also served on the faculty of the National Academy of Volunteerism, the National Minority Leadership Program, and the Gateman Institute for Small Business.

Ms. Stiles began her professional career as Director of Marketing, then Executive Director of the St. Cloud Area United Way.

Her track record in philanthropy and development continued when she assumed the position of Vice President, Institutional Advancement for the College of St. Benedict. As senior advisor to the college president, she was responsible for alumni relations, fundraising and development, communications, and public relations.

As President and CEO of Pikes Peak Area United Way, Ms. Stiles stepped into the role of change agent to re-establish donor and community credibility.

In 1998, Ms. Stiles merged her passion for philanthropy, understanding of leadership, and strategic approach to business development by founding Greatness in Giving, Inc., which provides philanthropic and strategic business services to foundations, corporations, educational institutions, nonprofits, and private entities.

Ms. Stiles holds an MA in Communications, magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University. She earned her BA in Communications and Sociology, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota.


Frederick H. Elwell

Vice President
Elisa M. Speranza

H.J. (Chips) Barry, III
Denver Water

Edmund G. Archuleta
El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board

Bevin Beaudet
Palm Beach County Water Utilities

Dr. Paul T. Bowen
The Coca-Cola Company

Penny Davey
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Charles C. DiLaura
Neptune Technology Group Inc.

Noel Grant
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority

Cynthia H. Hartley

Julie A. Hellmann
HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas

Thomas W. Hodson
The Ford Meter Box Company, Inc.

Robert J. Hunter
Atlanta Department of Watershed Management

Lucinda L. Kindred
Vanguard Media Group

Richard D. Kuchenrither
Black & Veatch

Daniel S. Lee
Paramount Farms, Inc.

Patrick McCann
Weston Solutions, Inc.

Raymond C. Miller, P.E.

Tony Petrucci, P.Eng.

Joe C. Stowe, Jr.

Bjorn L. von Euler

Paul W. Ware
Penn Fuel Gas, Inc.

Floyd E. Wicks
American States Water Company

Ellen Wolf
American Water

Karen S. Zack
Kinetico Inc.

Colleen Stiles
Water For People




DENVER, CO 80235-3098
Phone: (303) 734-3490
EIN: 84-1166148

A Gift Card

Basic Needs

Countries and Regions

Improve Water

Protect a watershed

This gift will provide fencing and/or tree planting to protect a watershed in rural Honduras. This will help ensure the highest quality water for a gravity-fed water supply system.


Promote Education

School sanitary block

Your $100 gift will help provide a school sanitary block (total cost $5,000) in a rural Guatemalan school. This project will include water service, adequate, gender-sensitive sanitation facilities, and a hand-washing station to help children develop proper hygiene habits.


Promote Sanitation

Plastic Poop

You read it right. Your gift of plastic poop will be used in an innovative hygiene training program in Bolivia that facilitates discussion of sanitation issues. Participants are given a "gift" which generates excitement and interest. When they open it, they discover plastic poop (or a fly or rat). It stimulates open discussion and analysis of sanitary practices in their village.


Prevent Illness

5 Children's Latrines

Your gift of five children's "arbor-loo" latrines will provide five Malawian children with a safe and hygienic way to defecate while developing good hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. This innovative gift will also help the environment. The arbor-loo latrines generate valuable compost that is used to cultivate fruit trees. After each use, ash and dirt are added to feces, which helps eliminate odors...


Provide Safe Water

Safe drinking water

This gift will provide a sustainable, safe water supply for one person in the developing world. It might be a child who will no longer be sick and can go to school. Or a woman who will no longer have spend hours every day hauling water for her family. Your gift will provide safe water for years to come and new hope for the future....


Prevent Poisoning

Arsenic water filter

Your $100 gift for a share of an arsenic filtration unit (total cost $2,000) will help protect the lives and health of West Bengali people for years to come. This simple filtration column is attached to a well and utilizes activated alumina to safely remove arsenic from the groundwater before it reaches the tap. You can help provide safe drinking water and prevent pain and...


Build A Tap Stand

Water for a family

Your gift of a water tap stand will provide safe water to a family close to home and give a woman the freedom to pursue other, more productive activities. Instead of hauling water, she can care for her family and perhaps contribute to her family's income. Her children won't be as sick and she can spend her limited income on food, education for her children...


Build A Latrine

One family latrine

Give a family in need the safety, privacy, and dignity of a new dry latrine, including leach pit, commode, and shelter. With this gift, a family will no longer need to relieve themselves outside which creates an unhealthy environment and can spread disease.