LEI works internationally to empower communities to protect their health and environment through the sustainable use of water resources. Our primary focus is the development of water supply and sanitation projects; however, through experience, we know that in order to make these projects sustainable, we must take a holistic approach. This means that we must include income generation training, micro-lending programs, literacy classes, and other programs deemed necessary by the community to support long-term sustainability of the project.
For the past 10 years, LEI has conducted projects in central and southeastern Nepal and Central America. We target communities that are often overlooked by traditional aid organizations.
Project Approach and Philosophy
Before we enter into a community, we identify organizations that are already working there. We work with these local organizations and groups to empower the individuals in the community to identify and communicate their needs. Then we work in partnership with the community to meet those needs.
LEI projects are based on the following principals
- We work with community groups to identify problems and develop sustainable solutions
- We only use local expertise, raw materials (where available) and labor
- We are conscious of gender equity issues and involve women in decision-making processes and ongoing programs.
- We emphasize education and income-generation skill development to ensure long-term project success.
One of these successful projects resides in the villages of Rajul and Mujeliya in the Dhanusha District of Nepal. A partnership was developed with the Women’s Development Service Centre (WDSC), a local non-profit made up of women volunteers who work directly with community members. With the WDSC we trained and utilized local labor from the community to install 230 single family latrines, and develop 46 tube wells that provide clean water to 336 households (about 2,000 individuals). The project results also include 40 newly literate women and 44 women now able to generate their own income through LEI-sponsored programs. Construction of this project, which improved the lives of thousands of people, cost $60,000 and took three years to complete.
LEI is interested in partnering with individuals and groups who share our principles and have connections with communities who lack adequate water resources. If you are interested in working with LEI on a project proposal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and operates as a board-run volunteer group comprised of scientists, engineers, and other professionals. Therefore, we are able to keep overhead costs low. On average, 95 percent of the funds we collect go directly to the villagers who need support. Click here to see the 2008 Financial Statement. We are just a few people who have found that you can do a whole lot with very little money. You can do the same. DONATE NOW.