Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are some of the most basic needs for human health and survival. WASH can also be crucial components in freeing people from poverty. Still, 1 out of 10 people do not have access to an improved source of drinking water and more than a third of the world's population does not have access to a hygienic means of basic sanitation.*
EMI has long understood the importance of WASH in the context of the services we provide. In fact, WASH solutions are typically included in a majority of EMI's development design projects and are often vital in EMI's disaster response efforts. We have observed that Christian relief and development organizations are increasingly engaging in holistic community WASH services in developing countries. This is a global effort to preserve and sustain human life while at the same time sharing living water through hope in Jesus Christ. However, many of these organizations lack sufficient access to an appropriate level of technical assistance when they encounter complex design issues or overwhelming emergency situations. These organizations need a ministry partnership that can provide cost-effective, on-demand technical WASH expertise within the context of the developing world.
EMI has the experience, resources, and strategic positioning to provide WASH technical backstopping services in this context. A couple examples of how EMI has recently partnered with organizations to provide technical backstopping in WASH can be found in the 2014 Association of Christian Design Professionals (ACDP) newsletters from projects in Uganda and Malawi.
Vision: Provide physical and spiritual hope to the poor who lack sufficient access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Mission: Provide on-demand Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) technical backstopping services to Christian relief and development organizations where complex or urgent needs arise by engaging professional EMI assessment and design teams specifically trained in holistic WASH approaches in the developing world.
EMI envisions two basic engagement categories within WASH technical backstopping, with some flexibility for variation based on case-specific circumstances:
- Field Mobilizations: To provide design, trouble-shooting, assessment, and detailed design review services.
- Team Size: Typically 2-4 design professionals or technicians (qualified staff and/or volunteers).
- Duration: Typically 1-3 weeks. Longer durations may require multiple teams or longer lead time.
- Lead Time: Ideally 4-8 weeks. May be possible to accelerate in some cases.
- In-Office Review: For limited design review and general technical recommendations.
- Team: Typically EMI staff design professionals with the assistance of specialized volunteer reviews, where beneficial.
- Duration: Typically 2-3 weeks after receiving all necessary information to complete the requested review.
It is the goal of EMI's WASH Ministry Program to be a significant technical resource to Christian relief and development organizations by providing excellence in cross-cultural applications of sustainable WASH while honoring existing technical resources available to those organizations and helping combat both the physical and spiritual components of poverty. The following strategic objectives have been identified to accomplish this goal.
- Identify, recruit and train a corps of 30-50 professional WASH volunteers. WASH volunteers must meet the following criteria:
- Previous volunteer experience on a standard EMI Design Project
- Applicable technical expertise in WASH as an engineer or technician
- Spiritually prepared, emotionally mature and physically fit
- Able to mobilize on 4-6 weeks' notice
- Vetted and trained in sustainable and holistic community development
- Establish and further develop relationship agreements with ministry organizations engaging in holistic WASH services in the developing world
- Facilitate opportunities to successfully engage in WASH technical backstopping services while proclaiming hope through Jesus Christ.
- Identify opportunities and resources for training and development of the WASH team in sustainable and holistic community development as well as in technical knowledge sharing.
- Identify WASH Coordinators in each EMI office for increased availability for WASH related services and contextual knowledge of WASH applications within varying world zones.
For additional information, please see the WASH Ministry Program strategy document or contact the WASH Ministry Program at .