As a proud Founding Global Partner of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, The Coca-Cola Company believes young people have an indispensable role in shaping a better, brighter and happier future. This special series highlights the13 Global Shaper hub projects – the semifinalists competing to win five $10,000 prizes as part of the Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge for the Global Shapers Community.

Did you know that in the world 750 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water? And that 840,000 DIE each year of water related diseases? In a world with so much wealth and so many amazing humans it is truly a tragedy that we can’t change this....

But wait a minute… WE CAN!

Cartagena Global Shaper

The Cartagena Hub, concerned with the number of vulnerable communities in and around Cartagena that do not have access to clean drinking water, decided to partner with the organization Waves For Water to provide families with filters that will allow them to have access to this resource.

We provide families with filters that are portable, require no electricity to function, and are extremely simple to use. In order to function you only need a filter kit ($50 US Dollars, includes the filter and tools required for assembly) and two buckets. The filter will remove all biological toxins from the water, providing access to safe drinking and cooking water, thus reducing the risk of contracting diseases and improving the quality of life.

Up to today, the Cartagena Hub has teamed with Waves for Water to fundraise for filters for 40 families and a community kitchen, and applied for funds from the local government that will allow for 250 families to receive a filter each this summer. Additionally, when the families receive the filters, a small lecture on the importance of hygiene, good nutritional habits, and caring for our water resources is given.

The Cartagena Hub believes that WATER is crucial for health, health is essential for development, and healthy children are more likely to stay in school and become successful adults, so we launched a project called WATER FOR LIFE to provide families living in extreme poverty with access to clean water.

WATER FOR LIFE is an easy and quick way to provide families with clean water, the essential building block of health, and we don’t want to stop in Cartagena, this project can be taken GLOBALLY as other hubs or organizations can easily replicate it all over the world! 

Global Shaper Cartagena author

Cristina Bustillo is a Global Shaper and currently the curator for the Cartagena (Colombia) Hub. She graduated from Davidson College in 2012, where she majored in Political Science. She was part of the team that created a 20 year  strategic development plan for her home city of Cartagena, and is currently the Executive Director of Sociedad de Mejoras Públicas de Cartagena, an NGO dedicated to creating and sustaining social value, improving public spaces and boosting the development of Cartagena.