Helping start up factories and workshops to make low cost and easy to use ceramic water filters is one focus of the Potters for Peace effort. These filters are today made in 50+ factories set up by PfP in 30+ countries, remove 99+% of impurities from drinking water and are used by 4 million to produce inexpensive, potable, palatable water. Pottery is found in every culture and country; its familiarity as well as the filter’s convenience and low cost to users makes it a very successful tool in the fight against poor sanitation and poor health – and death – due to waterborne disease. So serious are these problems in the developing world,
the UN had made it a goal to halve the number of those without access to clean drinking water by 2015; a member of the World Health Organization’s network for safe water, PfP committed its efforts toward reaching this goal. According to the UN-water GLASS 2014 report, this target was reached years ahead of schedule with 2.3 billion gaining access to improved drinking water.
The Potters for Peace program makes this a sustainable effort by helping these factories and workshops to be as independent as possible and provide guidelines, recommendations and marketing plans in English, Spanish and French on their website to any party interested in producing these filters. For those who open a factory with PfP assistance, they are taught all the knowledge and skills needed to start up, produce these live-saving filters and at the same time, provide decent pay to employees. PfP factories/workshops are also kept involved in research and development. PfP does not profit from these factories; it facilitates and educates.
And if that weren’t enough…! Via education, travel and scholarship, Potters for Peace’s second major effort is to help Nicaraguan potters preserve their traditions and make a fair living from their craft. Programs (“brigades”) sponsored by PFP are set up to bring rural potters from different regions and neighboring countries together to share their skills and learn from each other; scholarships have been provided for new artisans, bringing young generations to the old traditions, and provided to experienced potters as well, broadening their skills so that they can increase their income. PFP aids them as well by subsidizing equipment such as wheels and fuel efficient kilns and by strategizing in marketing. These potters make traditional bowls, containers, pitchers, cups, etc. – all products whose use helps reduce the very serious problem of plastic waste.
PfP crafts(wo)men also make ceramic water filters for clean drinking water!