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SDG6 Startup of the week: Social ImpaKt

"Our aim is to positively impact 300 000 lives by 2022 with improved access to clean water." says the founder Jeroen Van Overbeek

12.02.2020.

 

Social Impakt is a social enterprise based in Bali, Indonesia whose mission is to improve access to clean drinking water in rural Indonesia by providing a simple and affordable water filtration technology. They contribute to SDG 6: “ Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all “

How did it all start?

Jeroen Van Overbeek from the Netherlands, the founder of Social Impakt is an ex-corporate executive turned Social Entrepreneur. In his last corporate job, Jeroen was Vice-President for Europe, Middle-East and Africa for an English corporation, which manufactures yeast and bakery ingredients. Based in Dublin, he managed 800 employees spread over 9 countries in charge of a $260 million business. He holds an MBA from Rutgers University.

After having spent 20 years in the corporate world, Jeroen experienced a shift—he wanted to give new meaning to his life and focus on humanist values. He was helping companies make money, but he wasn’t helping people. He realized there had to be a better way to use his business skills. He decided to start his own business, moved to Indonesia and created Social ImpaKt in 2014.

 

Why water?

“More than 1 Billion individuals on this planet lack access to safe drinking water, 1 out of 7 people. In Indonesia alone, 27 000 children under 5 die each year from waterborne diseases like diarrhea. This is unacceptable. I am on a crusade against this and I am fighting hard to reduce his number.

Access to clean water is a human right, and because so many people lack access to it, I created a social enterprise to distribute affordable ceramic water filters to villagers. Clean drinking water has a huge impact on local rural communities: you directly improve health and income and you break the vicious circle of poverty “  says Jeroen.

 

Please explain the technology.

"Our water filter is a ceramic gravity-fed water filter where the ceramic filter placed in the top bucket filters out bacteria, parasites by size. Water comes down through the 0.4-micron filter to the bottom bucket. Colloidal silver is mixed with the ceramic and kills viruses, bacteria. Inside the filter, you have activated charcoal which filters out chemicals, pesticides, chlorine to give a neutral taste to the water. So filtered water is safe to drink, no need to boil it. Our filter is approved by the WHO." explained Jeroen.

What was your impact so far?

"Over the last 6 years, our social enterprise has positively impacted 260 000 lives with improved access to clean water in Indonesia.

We distributed filters to many remote areas and have also been involved in disaster relief activities in 2018 when earthquakes and tsunamis hit the islands of Lombok and Sulawesi. Our water filters are life-saving devices in these situations. We raised over 160 000 US$ for water filters from foundations, NGO’s and private donors. We work hand in hand with local NGOs to distribute the water filters to the victims of these disasters.

The water filters also have a positive environmental impact: over the last 6 years, Social Impakt saved 34 500 Tons of Co2 equivalent - people boil water on wood or gas in the villages, emitting Co2. And we reduced plastic bottle use by 183 million units, as the filters are used as refill stations.

Our aim is to positively impact 300 000 lives by 2022 with improved access to clean water." concluded the founder.

 

Follow their work and get in touch if you would like to support what we do with less privileged communities :


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