The who, the what, and the why

We are 7 board members, 4 staff members, thousands of donors, volunteers, partners, and supporters.


And we stand with those who so often stand alone.

About Us

There are many ways to introduce an organization. For us, it starts with people. Friendly Water for the World embodies the words of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. The parts are committed, engaged, passionate people from around the world, only a few of which we have space to show on this page. The whole is the community of friends who contribute their time, money, and expertise to invest and amplify change. As each individual joins our community, we grow by one, but our impact, your impact, grows by many. But what kind of impact are we trying to make?

The best way to start answering that question is by reading our mission, below. Our mission is the one thing we measure all of our results against. Combine it with our vision and values and you get our purpose, the reason we start our days together. Further down the page you’ll discover the team working to create an impact and the partners who bring it all together. And then we reveal 10 things about who we are and what we do. What we do now has changed a lot over the last 10 years (2020 was our 10-year anniversary!). How we do it has changed even more. We’ve made lots of mistakes and had lots of failures. And we are a better organization for it.

Friendly Water for the World is led by our Board of Directors, chaired by Connie Vasek, and a staff led by Executive Director, Curt Andino. Connie and Curt work together with input from our entire community to create and bring to life our mission.


Friendly Water for the World trains and equips communities in sustainable village-scale technologies to safeguard, conserve, and expand essential resources.


People able to live healthy lives and free to plan for the future.


  • We stand with the marginalized and vulnerable

  • We embrace the dignity, strengths, and rights of all people

  • We promote effective altruism

Board of Directors

Much of the early history of Friendly Water for the World is the history of our Board. The organization was formed and guided by a volunteer board, as it is today. Operations have now migrated from our Board to staff, but our Directors are still a vital voice for the organization while leading committees and evaluating programs. Our current board combines many years of field experience and relevant expertise in our partner communities, technologies, and program operations.

Connie Vasek M.D. was elected Board Chair in April, 2021. She is a scientist, emergency room physician, and researcher. For the last two years, at the request of David Albert our co-founder, she served as our first Board Vice-Chair. She is only our second Board Chair and the first woman to lead our organization. Connie currently heads the Technology and Evaluation (formerly Projects), and Executive committees. She has been a supporter of the organization for more than six years and is dedicated to making the work we do the best it can be.

Board Vice Chair Connie Vasek

Connie Vasek

Board Chair

Board Treasurer Denny Kautzmann

Denny Kautzmann

Board Treasurer

Board Secretary Dave Henry

Dave Henry

Board Secretary

Board Director Kathleen O'Shaunessy

Kathleen O’Shaunessy

Board Director

Board Director Steve Johnson-Storey

Steve Johnson

Board Director

Board Director Danny Stusser

Danny Stusser

Board Director

Board Chairman David Albert

David Albert

Board Director/Co-Founder

Staff Members

Our staff began with the hiring of our Executive Director in 2018. Since then, we have grown to a small but ambitious team of five. And we continue to expand (drop us a line if you’re interested in joining us). Our size enables us to avoid the bureaucratic overhead of much larger organizations and we can react quickly to changes in the environment, as we have during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our team members have very diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and experiences in all kinds of organizations, from other nonprofits to government work and the private sector. We frequently have different points-of-view and are grateful to be building a thoughtful and equitable organization open to the perspectives of everyone.

Thanks to the world of virtual connections, we work remotely from Kenya to Florida to Washington. You can find us on Zoom almost as often as there are time zones.

Curt Andino

Curt Andino

Executive Director

Heather Avery

Heather Avery

Finance and Administration

Eric Lijodi

Eric Lijodi

Africa Programs

Will Forester

Will Forester

Marketing and Communications


We believe that in every program we start, no partner is more important or necessary than another. Working in many countries over the years, we learned that our partners were and are our greatest asset. And that each program requires at least three of them to be successful. These partners include but are not limited to: a local partner who works to facilitate introductions, build relationships, provide local expertise and connections, and help optimize the program; a community partner with whom we produce technologies and build the program; a funding partner who is invested in the long-term program; and a training partner who helps teach the technologies, how they are put together and how they should be deployed. Below is a sample of some of our partners.

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Global Helps Network
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10 Things About Us

  • We were established in 2010 (last year was our 10-year anniversary!!!)
  • We are incorporated in Olympia, Washington
  • We were founded by Quakers but are a non-denominational organization
  • We have worked in the Americas, Africa, and Central Asia
  • We are a water-first international nonprofit
  • We activate community engagement and asset-based community development 
  • We provide expertise in sustainable and scalable essential technologies
  • We build knowledge and resilience in communities
  • We seek to empower people worldwide

Annual Report

We are very happy to share with you our 2020 Annual Report. It is a snapshot of our work last year and a continuing chapter in our transformation from project-driven technology training to co-created and community-led program management designed to secure, conserve, and expand essential resources.