Calgary-based global water charity gets a boost

David O'Brien and Geoffrey Cumming will be giving up to $6 million each in CAWST's matching fundraising campaign.

Geoff Cumming, left, CAWST CEO Shauna Curry, centre, and David O’Brien, right.

Two businessmen and philanthropists are providing a multi-million dollar boost to a Calgary-based global water charity.

CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, has announced significant gifts from David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will see all new donations matched, up to $12 million.

Both will be giving up to $6 million in the matching campaign.

“CAWST is addressing one of humanity’s biggest issues. I had the privilege of seeing the enormous leverage of this small, but mighty charity over the past 14 years. In 2017, I visited East Africa and witnessed how CAWST’s model is so effective and scalable,” said O’Brien, CAWST chairman and major donor, in a news release. “This match campaign will change lives.”

“CAWST is notable for its can-do, entrepreneurial, spirit of innovation attitude. The high purpose of its mission and the professionalism of its people is what drew me to this organization,” said Cumming. “CAWST is tackling a critical global need and this unique international charity and professional engineering entity is making significant progress addressing clean water and sanitation in developing countries.”

CAWST is a not-for-profit engineering consultancy that provides practical training to organizations in developing countries on household water and sanitation solutions.

It was founded in 2001.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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