Unlocking economic, environmental, and social transformation
Our Impact to Date
Community Entrepreneurs who have completed Business Basics Training
ongoing training sessions with Community Businesses
water filtration systems sold
clean burning stoves sold
potential new communities identified
Unlocking Communities’ unique approach ties high-quality, sustainable water filtration systems and stoves to a grassroots economy that results in cyclical economic growth.
Our inaugural project is in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Two-thirds of the population live in poverty and more than half of rural Haitians do not have access to clean water. The average income per capita is $729 per year with 13% unemployment and high underemployment. Haitians spend approximately 24% of their income on purchasing bottled water and charcoal for cooking and heat. Our water filtration systems and stoves give them a more cost-effective and sustainable option, while also helping the environment.
By putting financial power directly into the hands of Haitians, we make a positive impact on individuals and communities in three critical ways:
- Creating job opportunities in rural communities and providing training in: business fundamentals, personal finance, and WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) education.
- When a family switches from buying bottled water to using a water filtration system, they save around $150 annually (10% of income).
- When a family switches to a clean burning stove from traditional methods, they save around $150 annually (10% of income).
- Entrepreneurs earn a commission of $7 per water filter. This additional income can be invested on home improvements, purchasing animals, and ensuring their children can attend school.
- Entrepreneurs are taught transferable business skills that they can use to grow their water filtration sales or start other businesses.
- A water filtration system created from simple ingredients (clay, sawdust, water, and nanosilver) can produce clean water for a family of 5-10 people for approximately 5 years, saving the purchase of up to 100,000 plastic water bottles.
- Each clean burning stove saves approximately 20 adult trees and eliminates approximately 10 tons CO2 emissions over it (essential since Haiti is currently 98% deforested).
There are many ways to get involved, from donating, volunteering, corporate involvement, and spreading the word!