Acqua for Life’s philosophy is as simple as it is fundamental: that water creates life and empowers lives. Yet for 1 out of 9 people globally, a clean water supply is difficult to access. Acqua for Life was born out of Giorgio Armani's deep connection to nature, in particular water, one of the most essential elements to life. An awareness of the beauty of nature, water and its associated issues that Giorgio Armani, expresses as follows:
"Water is definitely the element I feel most connected to. For me, water represents life and regeneration, but also peace and serenity. Access to drinking water is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century."
A global and comprehensive commitment
Since its creation, Acqua for Life has invested a total of more than 9 million euros in projects across the world. As a result, 413 water systems have helped more than 217,000 people in 15 countries on three continents to gain access to safe drinking water. In 2020, the program is supporting eight projects, in China, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and two projects in Nepal.
Acqua for Life's actions have been conceived with a global approach in mind. The main objective is to improve access to drinking water in regions where the resource is more scarce, but also to take into account related problems, such as sanitation and hygiene. Projects activities include the installation of water points, latrines, rainwater collection systems, filtration and water purification.
Beyond this commitment to develop universal access to drinking water, the Acqua for Life initiative strives to have a positive socio-economic impact on communities' health and livelihood. This involves educating local communities and raising awareness about the recommendations of the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) program. It also involves training the communities to allow them to continue maintaining the facilities independently beyond the three years of support offered by the Acqua for Life program.
Partners for sustainable futures
To support its commitment, Aqua for Life collaborates with three main partners: Unicef USA, WaterAid and Water.org. In collaboration with them, Acqua for Life projects are selected after a thorough evaluation process. Acqua for Life evaluates the condition of water resources in the community or country concerned, looking at water shortages today, water projections for 2040 and the financial situation of the country or community. The same requirement applies to the partners that the program relies upon.
Since 2010, Acqua for Life has been supporting Unicef's water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Haiti, Tanzania, Togo and Vietnam. As part of the Acqua for Life 2020 campaign, the funds raised support Unicef's WASH programs in Nepal, improving water quality and providing sustainable access to safe drinking water for approximately 5,000 people.
In 2018, Acqua for Life chose WaterAid to join its existing partners due to its technical expertise in the WASH sector. In 28 countries, WaterAid is working to provide clean water, adequate toilets and proper sanitation for all, and to find lasting solutions to the global water crisis. Acqua for Life supports four WaterAid projects dedicated to the creation of schools and health facilities in Madagascar, Nepal, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea.
The most recent partnership was established in 2020 with the NGO Water.org, which for more than 25 years has been improving access to drinking water and sanitation through affordable financing solutions such as micro-credit. To date, Water.org has provided more than 25 million people in 16 countries with access to safe drinking water and sanitation. In partnership with Acqua for Life, Water.org aims to transform the lives of more than 18,000 people in Tanzania by providing access to clean water and sanitation.
Acqua for Life by Viviane Sassen in Nepal
After capturing the joys of bringing drinking water to Madagascar, Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen traveled to Nepal to photograph a project run by Acqua for Life alongside WaterAid. There, Viviane Sassen produced film footage and photographs that capture how drinking water can transform daily life in health facilities and birth centers. Her video and photographs highlight the fundamental role of water as a source of life.