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For a Glass of Water – supporting the human right to water

For Glass of Water is an awareness and participatory campaign that has a global reach. The goal is to promote people’s participation to spread the importance of accessing natural resources (treated water in particular) and to bring to light the difficulties that the lack of water causes daily to women as essential agents in the management of this resource.

Case Study

For a Glass of Water – Supporting the human right to water

HFA Priority

Priority 3 – Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels: Public Awareness and Media


For Glass of Water is an awareness and participatory campaign that has a global reach. The goal is to promote people’s participation to spread the importance of accessing natural resources (treated water in particular) and to bring to light the difficulties that the lack of water causes daily to women as essential agents in the management of this resource.

Communication is an important part of this campaign to create a greater impact on visibility, developing participatory actions by the community and the free exchange of content (images, videos, news) shared on social media and on the InAurora global platform – a network that promotes development cooperation in a gender perspective.

The campaign centres on 12-year old Pastora, a girl from San Francisco Menéndez, in El Salvador, Central America. It cleverly combines real life challenges with some story telling aspects to motivate people to participate in their own way online. People partake by filming someone carrying a glass of water in an original way. All the received videos will add kilometres to bring Pastora a glass of water.

The campaign is executed by the organizations Basori Nongoa and Pool of Trainers and involves several organizations that work in sanitation and water projects.

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Access to potable water is a very frequent problem faced by communities in the Central American region, especially in rural areas. Apart from the fact that there is a lack of infrastructure, there is also a lack of consciousness around proper water management and treatment on all levels.   This translates to a lack of quality and quantity of water. On a local level, this has very serious implications on every aspect of community members lives, from agriculture, to health to daily household tasks. 

This is especially evident in women and girls’ daily lives, as social norms assign females the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, and providing all the necessary elements for household functions. Stories like Pastora’s are the norm in rural areas in the region.

Women and children use their time to walk long distances to get water instead of spending that time in the school or for recreation.


The case highlighted in the campaign is in El Salvador (Central America), in the municipality of San Francisco Menéndez, department of Ahuachapán.

How the problem was addressed?

Cordaid, together with the Basque organization Euskal Fondoa, are supporting the two-year project “Integrated water and risk management in the canton La Hachadura, which is the place where Pastora lives.

·       The project intervention is integral, as it is composed of four closely related components:

·       Improvement and expansion of the potable water system in the four communities.

·       Construction of mitigation works along the banks of the Rio Paz.

·       Disaster preparedness and capacity building on community managed disaster risk reduction. This component empowers communities to transform of their own reality.

Capacity building in communities on the issues of food sovereignty and food security.

It reflects an interesting cooperation model between the Dutch agency Cordaid, the Basque organization Euskal Fondoa, the Municipality of San Francisco Menéndez, the organization UNES (Unidad Ecológica Salvadoreña), community organizations (water boards and community development associations), as well as the work of the communities themselves.


This campaign has generated the participation of communities, local governments, civil organizations and other key actors to work for the access to safe drinking water.

Also, other organizations as ACRA (Italy), NZV (Netherlands), Fons Catalá (Spain) have signed up and supported the campaign showing that this is a successful way to be aware and participate on different levels.

The campaign has become a platform where all these and other organizations can join efforts to fight for the human right to water.

The European Union in Nicaragua has signed up to support the campaign and is also using to promote water projects in the region.

Measuring success

One element for success was the idea of using video as a tool for participation, awareness and activation of key messages.

Since the campaign is participatory, one indicator has been the amount of For a Glass of Water videos that people have sent as a form of support and participation in the campaign.

Approximately 150 videos have been received from all around the globe. The videos that people have made reflect the diverse participation on behalf of people and organizations from various parts of the globe.   People taking the time to submit a video is an indicator of their awareness of the subject and willingness to support it.

Impact can also be measured by the amount of visits to the campaign web page, re-posts and likes on the facebook page, and views on the campaign’s vimeo page.

The campaign has generated a lot of interest with other organizations, such as the European Union and other actors that now want to use initiatives like this one to promote water projects or any other themes in the region as a successful way for advocacy.

Relevance to HFA

There is more interest by local governments to contribute to projects that are related to access to water.

This has been the result of a special effort by all the organizations working in the region to create awareness and make this problem more visible.

The For a Glass of Water Campaign is totally replicable in any context in the world and it has shown its positive impact as a tool of awareness, participation, communication and integration of different key actors working on this theme.

Actions and campaigns like this one should be promoted in the HFA2 as a very effective way to raise awareness, participation, and to promote joint work between communities, social organizations, local governments, donors, and other key actors.

Potential for replication

The For a Glass of Water campaign can be adapted to a specific context or adapted to any other themes or projects.

Using this as a model, pools of Trainers (a team of trainers in the methodology Community managed the disaster risk reduction and participatory Video) working together with Nongoa (a Basque organization that works in audiovisual productions), are starting a new advocacy campaign in El Salvador to fight for the approval of a General Water Law and the ratification of an article of the Republic’s Constitution to include water as a Human Right. 

This will be also a global campaign that will generate awareness on the access to safe drinking water and it will collect signatures from all around the world as a measure to pressure the central Government and the congress of El Salvador to approve the law and guarantee the human right to water.

Contribution by

Claudia Zaldana, Coordinator Pool of Trainers,

+(503) 7877-7264.