For the past five years and with your help, we have been delighted to support the charity FRANK water. We have an ongoing commitment to this brilliant charity and in addition, each November, it becomes the focus of our Black Friday campaign.
It all started after we were fortunate to meet FRANK water’s founder Kate Alcott, at our Devon store. Our shared love of India, and the important work that FRANK Water does, struck a chord with us here at Nkuku. We were inspired by Kate’s reason for establishing the charity. It was whilst on a gap year staying with a family in Kashmir, that Kate fell victim to unsafe drinking water, resulting in a lengthy battle with dysentery. This fuelled her passion to bring safe drinking water to the family she lived with and other communities throughout India and Nepal, and FRANK Water was born. That was 15 years ago, and since then FRANK Water has successfully brought safe water to over 400,000 men, women and children throughout India and Nepal, and many of you who have shopped with us during our campaign periods have contributed to this success story.
This year has seen the entire globe battle a deadly pandemic, where some of the world’s poorest countries like India have been hit the hardest, struggling to keep cases at a manageable level. India has had some of the highest number of Covid-19 cases, with over 163 million people having no access to safe water in or near their homes. Its major cities are struggling to cope with the number of cases and officials fear that as migrant workers return to their families in rural villages, the rate of infection will continue to increase. Without robust healthcare, clean water and sanitation this will continue to have a devastating impact.
FRANK Water’s work has never been more important, and over the last few months they have worked hard to provide clean, safe water, good hygiene, and handwashing facilities to more of the world’s most vulnerable people. Today, FRANK Water is running shelters for migrant workers in India who are miles from home to provide them with food, healthcare and crucially, safe, clean water and sanitation, as well as helping to organise transport to safely bring them home. In Nepal, FRANK Water have been working with low-income families to help them receive the essential water they need to stay safe from the virus.
The Story of FRANK Water
Katie Alcott, Founder of FRANK Water shares with us the story of how it all began.
"I first came to India in 1997, to teach at a community school in Jammu, a town in the farthest Northern state of India, the one that had, in those days, just one page in the Lonely Planet guide, which strongly discouraged any trip to this contested area of India. Nevertheless, myself and three other girls were sent to the region to be hosted by the city’s Chief of Police and his family.
I have many memories of this trip, both pretty hairy and quite beautiful. One of the fondest was celebrating the youngest daughter, Delight’s 10th birthday in the garden of the house. We played games and sucked on fresh, juicy mangoes.
I do however remember having to excuse myself rather suddenly and rush to the toilet with very little time to spare. A few days earlier I’d eaten at one of the local teacher’s houses and ended up drinking some water that I shouldn’t have, something that I regretted immediately and for many years to come as I suffered recurring bouts of ‘Delhi belly’ (amoebic dysentery).
After five years suffering the effects and witnessing first-hand the impact that dirty water and lack of sanitation have on many of the world’s poorest people, from trips to Bolivia to Mali and India, I felt so passionate about the importance of bringing safe water and sanitation to those without, that I founded FRANK Water.
Since 2005, FRANK Water has funded safe drinking water and sanitation for nearly 400,000 people in 549 communities. Our small organisation aims to address a big problem, providing safe drinking water to the 663 million people worldwide who still lack access to this basic human right.
This is the fifth year that Nkuku have been part of our story, supporting our work in rural India, bringing safe water and sanitation to hundreds of people, enabling them to have healthy, enterprising futures.”
Nkuku work with artisans around the world, but a large majority of our collections are handmade in India. Frequent visits have exposed us to not only the wonder and vitality of this beautiful country but also the hardships and poverty. The charity FRANK Water caught our attention because its focus is to help improve the living standards of poorer communities by going into areas, often too remote for larger charities and establishing clean water systems. This grass roots charity faces a number of challenges in not only installing bore holes, reconditioning wells and finding alternative safe water solutions but also in educating members of the community on how to make use of these systems and maintain clean water.
FRANK Water has made a huge difference to these communities helping fight water born disease, removing the need for women and daughters to walk long distances to collect water, allowing them to focus their time on other areas of home life and importantly giving more time for young girls to attend school and providing people with the basic human right of clean water.
Find our more about FRANK Water and to make a donation visit Frank Water.