About Us

We are 7 board members, 5 staff members, and thousands of supporters, volunteers, and partners. We invite all good people to join our community and our work.

children collecting water

About Us

There are many ways to introduce an organization. For us, it starts with people. Friendly Water for the World embodies the African proverb, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The work we do is difficult and challenging. It takes time and commitment from passionate people from around the world, only a few of which we have space to show on this page. Those people come together to build a 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 together?

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. What we do now, and how we do it, has changed a lot over the last 10 years (2020 was our 10-year anniversary!). Along the way we have tried to learn from both our mistakes, and the failures of other development projects that failed to live up to expectations. 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.

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Mission

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

vision icon

Vision

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

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Values

Equality

Community

Listening

Action

Basics

We embrace the dignity, strengths, and rights of all

We practice community-led development

We build knowledge and resilience

We seek to empower people worldwide

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

Steve Johnson-Storey

Steve Johnson

Board Director

Board Director Danny Stusser

Danny Stusser

Board Director

Board Director David Albert

David Albert

Board Director/Co-Founder

Staff Members

Our professional staff began with the hiring of our Executive Director in 2018. Since then, we have grown to a small but ambitious team of four (and we are currently hiring for new Build Center roles). 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 with our Good Hygiene program 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 diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization open to the perspectives of everyone.

Thanks to the world of virtual connections, we work remotely from Kenya to Florida to Washington State. 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

Programs Manager

Ezra Kigondu

Ezra Kigondu

Assistant Programs Manager

Will Forester

Marketing and Communications

Partners

We believe that within every program we start, no partner is more important or necessary than another. Working in many countries over the years, we have come to learn that our partners are our greatest asset – and that for each program to be successful, it requires at least three of them. These partnerships include but are not limited to:

  • a local partner who works to facilitate introductions, build relationships, provide local expertise and connections, and help grow a sustainable program that is accepted by their community
  • a community partner with whom we build and run the program
  • a funding partner who is invested in a long-term program commitment that may last at least three to five years
  • a training partner who helps teach how technologies should be fabricated, installed and maintained, provides program expertise, or shares information to build knowledge in the community
  • an administrative partner who supports Friendly Water for the World

The kinds and number of partners will always represent what is most appropriate for that specific program. Below is a sample list of our partners who may support one or many of our programs, or provide direct funding for the organization.

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GFWC
Global Helps Network

CONANT FAMILY

FOUNDATION

Annual Report

We are excited 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.