Four Truths – A Message from our CEO about COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

Dear Sonder Supporters,


As the world continues to mobilize to fight the current Coronavirus pandemic, we are reminded of four truths. The first three are simple: 1) access to clean water and soap make us safer, 2) access to education helps us prepare, and 3) not everyone in the world has access to clean water and education. I’ll get to the fourth truth later.

With all of you, The Sonder Project has been watching Coronavirus sweep across the nation and the world, and we have been adjusting our plans accordingly to respect public health guidelines. We’ve stopped organizing mass meetings, postponed garden workdays, canceled our April School Building Trip, and called off our largest fundraiser of the year, the 30A Half Marathon & 5K, to name a few. But we have not given up, and the current situation only deepens our resolve as it shines a light on the importance of our work.

In our partner countries of Burkina Faso and Malawi, too many communities do not have access to running water to wash hands frequently and at-will. Too many communities do not have the permanent school structures necessary to promote basic hygiene. As a result, the current havoc that is impacting our lives in the United States is a constant reality for our partner communities who do not have the essential safeguards needed to avoid infectious diseases. This constant and harsh reality is why we strengthen communities by installing wells and helping to build schools.

As I write, we have a drilling team in the Garongo Department of Eastern Burkina Faso, putting in a well for a community of over 1,000 people that currently have no naturally filtered water source. Established in 1975 by a group of migrating farmers, the community has relied on a local river for their watering needs, including agriculture, bathing, and drinking. In the next few weeks, they will join the over 30,000 other community members we have increased access to clean water for over the past five years. With your continued support, we can do more.

We recognize the hardship many are experiencing right now, and we wish you and your family safety and good health.  Eventually, we are confident this moment will pass, because we have the education to understand the recommendations, and we have the infrastructure to keep ourselves as safe as possible. For that, we are fortunate. Which brings me to the fourth truth: 4) Clean water and education are fundamental human rights. One well and one school at a time, we will continue working to realize this truth.

 With great respect,



Chad Zibelman
CEO, The Sonder Project

(Thanks to the support of our Founding Partner, 360 Blue, 100% of your Donation goes towards our Programs)

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