Paper for Water

Isabelle and Katherine Adams with their origami products
Isabelle (left) and Katherine (right) Adams with their origami products

The United Nations report says that globally 2.2 billion people don’t get safe drinking water. While some walk miles to fetch a bucket of water, others wait in queues for hours at the water tankers, and many contract diseases from drinking dirty water. While you pity their plight, do you do anything to help them?

When two American teenage siblings heard of this problem, they decided to do something to lend a hand. 16-year-old Isabelle Adams and her 13-year-old sister Katherine decided to make and sell origami products and donate the money towards putting up a hand pump or digging a well.

You are probably wondering how much money these paper products could fetch to tackle this worldwide problem. But when store owners and people learned why these students of the ninth and seventh grade were raising money, they began to purchase their products offering them bigger sums. More volunteers joined the two sisters to produce wonderful creations out of paper. They also began organizing origami workshops around Dallas, Texas, informing participants of the worldwide water crisis.

Are you surprised to learn that within seven years these teenagers had collected over $1.5 million to put up 190 water projects in 20 countries? The Paper for Water project now works under the Keiki International Foundation.

Besides getting numerous awards, the sisters travel abroad during their holidays to visit the beneficiaries of their projects. Besides studying in school and their project work, these youngsters also have time for their hobbies and to just be teens.

While Isabelle and Katherine are proud of their charity, they also feel happy that they have inspired people like you about the worldwide water crisis and to do something good to others with your God-given talents. They say they feel heartened when others encourage them to continue their project.

Their website ( and social media pages have inspired some nine million young students to go out and create positive changes.

Their mother, Deborah, spends six hours a day volunteering to manage the project. With a smile she comments, “The most rewarding thing is, the generous people we meet everyday motivate us to continue what we are doing.”

Isabelle and Katherine say, “We want to educate the world about the clean water crisis and to make people realize that you don’t have to be a billionaire or a celebrity to make a permanent change in the life of someone who is thirsty.”

Why not you too do your bit to solve others’ problems? At least you can avoid wasting water.

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”
~ W. H. Auden

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F. M. Britto
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F. M. Britto

F. M. Britto serves marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.