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Stella Artois and Water.org Celebrate their Campaign for Clean Water

By; Morgan Caplan

Need to quench your thirst? Buying one Stella Artois iconic chalice provides five years of clean water for a person in the developing world.

To celebrate this partnership between Stella Artois and Water.org, guests gathered at Belgian Ambassador Dirk Wouters’ residence for the ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’ Reception.

This worldwide campaign, which Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White started in 2015, aims to raise awareness for the global water crisis. Today, one in 10 people in the developing world live without access to clean water. Since its launch, Buy a Lady a Drink has provided more than 800,000 people with access to clean water, according to the Stella Artois website.

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Belgian Ambassador Dirk Wouters along with Water.org's Julie LaGuardia and Katcef Companies’ Neal Katcef enjoy the signature brew in the iconic chalices. (Photo: John Robinson)

Although it affects 663 million people around the world, the water crisis disproportionately harms women and children in developing countries, who often spend a large part of the day collecting water instead of receiving income or an education. The partnership intends to provide these women and children with access to sanitation and safe water, so that they can divert their efforts to family and other needs.

Guests dined on Belgian favorites such as chicken croquettes, smoked fish, lobster rolls and of course the Belgian brew, Stella Artois, while the reception highlighted the work this partnership has accomplished. Julia LaGuardia of Water.org educated the guests on the water crisis.

“This was the first partnership of its kind with Water.org, and this turned out to be one of the most impactful and globally recognized initiatives of the organization,” LaGuardia said.

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Guests took home the limited edition chalices designed by artists from Brazil, Cambodia and Uganda. &nbsp (Photo: John Robinson)

Since the launch, the organization has sold 225,000 limited edition chalices and raised $3 million in donations. The three different chalices are designed to represent three countries: Brazil, Cambodia and Uganda. Fernando Chamarelli, the artist who designed the Brazil chalice, took elements from the colorful Brazilian environment as well as comics, caricatures and portraits, to create his signature style. Each artist including Cambodia’s first Khmer female urban street artist, Lisa Mam, and Uganda’s Eria Nsubuga, draws from aspects of the world around them. They incorporated tradition and culture to each unique chalice.

This year, Stella Artois announced a four-year commitment to Water.org, pledging to provide 3.5 million people viable access to clean water and to sell 200,000 chalices by 2020. To further their initiative, the campaign developed a short documentary, “Elizabeth’s Dream,” which follows the life of a young Kenyan woman and the tremendous change her village experienced after receiving clean water.

"The most challenging thing is to get people to care about our cause - and not just care about it, but actually turn out and do something about it,” LaGuardia said. “Everyone in this room is a testament to our success with Water.org.”

 Morgan Caplan is an editorial intern of The Washington Diplomat.



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