EWB-USA’s unique grassroots approach requires that all program proposals come directly from the communities themselves. This increases the likelihood of success by ensuring that the needs addressed by our chapters are being identified and driven by the community. Every program begins with an assessment trip where the chapter performs a community needs assessment and works with the community to identify their priorities. During the following years the chapter returns to perform further assessment, implementation, training, and monitoring and evaluation trips. Throughout the program community members receive training on the maintenance and operation of their infrastructure and a financial mechanism is established to ensure long term economic sustainability. All chapters work with communities for a minimum of five years.

Current Projects

Click on buttons below to be directed to individual project websites

General Project Information

Philippines : Water for Life (OPEN)

The village of Apatut in the Philippines, and the surrounding area, is in need of a new potable water supply. Most residents currently obtain water directly from shallow wells within the village. This water is a significant contributing factor to the prevalence of scabies, dysentery, goiters, urinary tract infections, and other related diseases typically associated with poor drinking water. To protect themselves, residents must boil the local water before drinking it or buy bottled water. Households with babies and small children are at particularly high risk for disease. EWB-Philadelphia has partnered with the local Filipino Rotary Club to combat the health problem by developing a sustainable solution. EWB-Philadelphia will design and assist in the construction of a new water supply for the small community.

Philippines blog:

El Salvador: Faith in Action Together (Project FIAT) (OPEN)

EWB-Philadelphia has recently embarked on collaboration with Project FIAT to provide water to Las Delicias, El Salvador, a poor community near San Salvador. The village of Las Delicias has a population of over 5,000 people distributed in 600 homes on hilly terrain. Water is delivered to homes throughout the community by gravity from three large water storage tanks located at the highest points in the community. Water is supplied to the tanks from a spring higher in the mountains and from a well situated at lower elevations. Water is pumped from the well to the storage tanks for several hours each day, but the tanks drain quickly because a culture of water scarcity exists in the community that leads to hoarding of water in many storage tanks and vessels. Also the community has concerns that the water contains bacteria and parasites. Clean potable water will help this community in all aspects of their lives.

A pre-assessment of the current water supply system was conducted July 2009 revealing several concerns with the water supply system. The major concern is inequitable distribution of water to members of the community – while homes close to the water storage tanks receive water almost every day, other homes receive water only once per week. Other concerns include corrosion of pipes, failure of pipes, and ineffective chlorine disinfection. EWB-Philadelphia will be conducting an assessment trip in the near future to gather additional data.

El Salvador blog:

Local Outreach in the Philadelphia Region (OPEN)

EWB-USA Philadelphia’s presence in our home community involves volunteer service projects designed to promote sustainability and remove urban blight. Through frequent collaborations with service organizations such as Guild House Gardens, Ray of Hope, Northeast TreeTenders, Jersey Cares, and United Way, EWB-Philly volunteers alongside residents to beautify neighborhoods and clean up parks throughout the city. Visit our gallery [link to gallery] to view some of the community work we’ve done to date. Email outreach[at] to get involved. Family and friends of all ages are welcome to join in on this monthly hands-on opportunity.

Rwanda Health and Healing Project (COMPLETED)

EWB-Philadelphia has partnered with Barefoot Artists, Inc. and Thomas Jefferson University to help the Rwanda Health and Healing Project in an effort to improve the health of those living in Rwanda. By completing this project, EWB-Philadelphia will be able to improve the sanitation conditions and access to clean water for drinking, bathing, cleaning and cooking for over 100 families.

The village of Rugerero was built in 1997-98 to help the survivors of the 1994 genocide. With the exception of ten housing units, each housing unit is constructed from mud, plaster and corrugated roofing and the interior features a cooking area, bedroom, living room, living room and toilet. Squat toilets drain through plastic piping into cement septic tanks in the back of each unit. Water is required to flush waste material through the piping and into the septic tanks. Previous health assessments identified several problems including high incidence of broken plastic piping and collapsed septic tanks, both of which expose community members directly to waste material and increase the risk for fecal-oral disease transmission.

Completion of Rwanda’s Health and Healing Project (2007-2013)