Vision of a Healthy Village

Everyone participates in a healthy village - moms, dads, teachers, kids, church leaders. But how does it all fit together?

Local Government

Officials are committed to the program and provide support for ongoing maintenance of water sources.

Handwashing Device

A device made from locally available materials that uses a small amount of water, with soap or ash attached.


A clean and dignifying place to go to the bathroom, made from local materials that every family can afford.

Drying Rack

A clean place high off the ground to dry and disinfect dishes in the sun, away from animals and garbage.

Safe Water Storage and Use

Households store and use their water safely in clean and covered containers. This may include boiling and filtering drinking water.

School Latrine

A safe and clean place for students and teachers to go to the bathroom. School latrines encourage attendance, especially for girls.

School Health Clubs

In addition to safe water and latrines, local schools have WASH clubs that encourage students to practice healthy behaviors.

Health Promoters

Community members trained by Lifewater national staff to share health messages at each household.

Water Committee

A group of local leaders that maintains and manages the new water source. The committee saves water user fees for repairs.

Water Source

We provide a community with a safe water source that is managed and maintained by a local water committee.


We walk alongside the local church to bring physical and spiritual healing and well-being to remote, unengaged communities.

School Water Source

A safe water source at the school so students can be healthy and learn.

How to Explore

Hover over any of the blinking dots to learn more about the element.

Vision of a Healthy Village

Everyone participates in a healthy village - moms, dads, teachers, kids, church leaders. But how does it all fit together?

Healthy Village Illustration

Video: How It Works

Lifewater’s in-country staff work house-by-house, teaching healthy habits, bringing hope and transformation, and partnering with communities to provide safe water that lasts.

Design Program for Region

Staff tailor the Vision of a Healthy Village program to address the unique needs of a region. Accounting for factors like water coverage, geographical challenges, and key cultural norms, they design a specific plan of action to best serve local families.

Learn How We Choose Where We Work >

Conduct Baseline Survey

Prior to beginning work, Lifewater conducts an in-depth survey to assess the health, economic status, and safe water access within a regional population. The survey shapes program creation and helps establish a baseline for post-program evaluation. Through this process, staff begin to build relationships with families in the area.

Learn more about Impact Assessment >

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

Each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

Learn about Lifewater’s Five Healthy Practices >

Engage Local Churches

Lifewater works alongside local churches, mobilizing believers to help their neighbors learn healthy habits. Through it all, Lifewater staff seek to bring hope and change to rural communities.

See live results for Local Churches >

Train Local Leaders

Trendsetters are identified to spearhead a movement from within the community. Trained in Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene practices (WASH), they travel to each home, teaching their neighbors how to live healthier lives and visiting regularly to collect data.

Learn more about local Job Creation >

Encourage Healthy Homes

When each household demonstrates that it practices five healthy habits like washing hands and drying dishes safely, it earns a “Healthy Home” certificate, making their improvements official. When 90% of the village boasts Healthy Homes, it is one step closer to become a Healthy Village.

See Healthy Homes on our Interactive Maps >

Community Open Defecation Free

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

See Trapeang Tem’s ODF Celebration >

Form Water Committees

Water committees are made up of respected leaders who manage the water source and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come. Women are the most knowledgeable about water collection and hold at least 50% of the seats on the water committee.

Read one woman’s influence on her committee >

Create Healthy Schools

Access to safe water helps kids stay in school. With sanitary, handicap-accessible restrooms and safe water sources, even the children experiencing the most vulnerability will be able to attend school. Girls can continue to learn even after puberty and develop the confidence to prosper.

Learn more about Healthy Schools >

Design Appropriate Safe Water Solution

The hydrogeology of every village is different, which requires that our engineers develop custom safe water solutions based on surveys, population, and locally-available materials. Construction is managed closely to ensure that we serve people with the utmost quality.

See five types of water access technology >

Provide Safe Water Access

Communities know the pride of ownership. Each village or school contributes 10-20% of the cost of the water source through labor, materials, or capital. Once construction is complete, we connect the water committee with local public works agencies for future repairs and maintenance.

See Results for Clean Water >

Test Water Quality

Adhering to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines as well as national standards, we test water quality at every water source 1-2 times a year. This is one of the most tangible ways Lifewater can ensure our commitment to long-term transformation and quality care is being realized in every village.

Read How Lifewater Tests Water Quality >

Celebrate Healthy Villages

When 90% of families have a certified Healthy Home, ODF is achieved, and the new village water source is in place, it’s time to celebrate! The new Healthy Village hosts a party complete with speeches, dancing, and raising the Healthy Village flag to signify the tremendous steps they have made.

See Results for healthy villages >

Monitor Sustainability for 5 Years

Throughout the project cycle, data is collected and analyzed using a cloud-based monitoring system to ensure quality water access. Water sources are tracked for five additional years to ensure success after active programs conclude.

See Results for sustainability >

Conduct Endline Survey

When community water sources have been monitored for five years, Lifewater staff conduct a final survey using the same questions from the baseline survey. This way, we can measure the impact of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene habits.

See Results for Impact Assessment >

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