United VARs, an alliance of SAP solution providers, is supporting Project: WASH to build clean water facilities for schools in Cambodia.
Made up of 50 members, United VARs is a SAP Platinum Partner, with members in 90 countries. They boast 100 SAP solutions and 250 add-ons with their network enabling local and international projects, aimed very much at the SAP mid market.
The alliance voted to support the project after Managing Director Detlef Mehlmann witnessed the devastating effects felt by students without fresh water. According to water.org, Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by a lack of clean water. Mehlmann stated:
“The schools face disastrous hygienic conditions… There is no drinking water. No toilets. No chance to even wash hands. The students carry plastic bottles filled with water from dirty rivers. It was disconcerting to learn this was the rule and not the exception. Almost all the children suffer from diarrhea, and, unfortunately, many of them die under the age of 12.”
That’s where Project: WASH (Water, Sanitary Facilities, and Hygiene training) comes in. Managed by German organization Kleine Hilfsaktion, the project currently has already provided sanitation and drinking water for over 3,000 students in 21 schools. To fund clean water in each school costs approximately 15,000 Euros, which goes to construction of rainwater collection tanks and bio sand filtration, sanitation training, testing, maintenance and more.
After seeing one of these projects in Cambodia, Mehlmann moved to fund Project: Wash with United VARs leadership. They agreed to support fundraising for further schools. Under the campaign, each member of United VARs will contribute 0.1% of reported revenue for Q2 of the year. This is bolstered by a direct contribution of 20,000 Euros by SAP.
“That was the easiest way to make sure all members could help… At the end of the day, it is a voluntary initiative, but I’m quite pleased to see such a positive response.”
According to Mehlmann, the aim is to provide water for at least one new school, but with the overwhelmingly positive response, they may be able to fund a second.
“I’m trying to be conservative… It’s a bit of a challenge. We’re working with SAP to help spread the word. I’m thankful for the support we’ve received so far.”
Read more about Project: WASH here
Find out more about United VARs here