"To impact a community, you must first understand its people” Below the Surface
increases the amount of safe drinking water throughout Ethiopia, empowering its leaders to improve
education and enhance gender equality.
We create a platform for passionate leaders to explore community service globally. We inspire young
philanthropy and an active investment with bettering future generations and the environments they live in.
A project without a system to sustain it doesn't last. In fact, a vast majority of water projects in
Ethiopia fail in less than 5 years. Below the Surface partners with local water committees to ensure the
communities own and maintain their solutions.
Clean water reshapes entire communities. With more kids able to pursue education and improved health, our
solutions empower leaders to develop the places they care about most. Below the Surface is about progress -
starting with the people.
"Access to clean water means everything for the future."
Over 443 million days of school spent absent are related to preventable water-related diseases. In arid
regions of Ethiopia, schools often experience "dry years", which means the kids sometimes miss several
months of school because their families are constantly searching for water. With all this time away
from school, some local children are forced to repeat entire grades every few years.
Women and young girls are the primary leaders in water collection. In sub-saharan Africa alone, they
walk for an estimated 40 billion hours per year. Water collection takes untold hours and leaves girls
and women with no time to invest in themselves. With access to clean water more time can be spent in
school, with family, and developing skills needed to advance socio-economically.
Ethiopia has the second worst drinking water in the world with a 43 point gap between rural and urban
access to water. Dirty water and poor sanitation claim the lives of more than 8,500 children under the
age of 5 every year. Only 30% of Ethiopia's rural areas have access to clean water, and nearly 96% of
its rural areas lacks adequate sanitation
Agriculture is the foundation of Ethiopia's economy, accounting for half of its GDP. Population
increases and global warming place immense pressure on subsistence farming based communities and the
need for water. It is predicted that a 19% increase in global agricultural water consumption and a 60%
increase in global food demand will occur by 2050.
Read about our journey to building better communities around the world.
Below the Surface grew from a passion of young leaders excited about changing communities now instead of
later. Leaders on our team are passionate about not only change-but change that is sustainable.
Ideas spark the movement but it's action that keeps it going. Those who think the most usually do the
least. We emoby a bias to action and persist until successful. Undeniable energy towards a goal outlasts any problem.
Below the Surface for us is not just about helping to solve the water crisis in Ethiopia. It’s about
growing leaders and rebuilding entire communities. Lasting change comes only from empowering the people in