Pump Aid was delighted to partner with women’s luxury clothing designer and retailer Eileen Fisher during Earth Month 2018 to raise awareness about the lack of access to safe drinking water in Malawi and the way in which Pump Aid’s Beyond Water programme is challenging the status quo.
Materials promoting Pump Aid were on display throughout April and, on each Saturday, a Pump Aid representative was present in the selected London Eileen Fisher shop to run a stall and to talk to staff and customers about our work.
Eileen Fisher’s stated mission is to make ethical, timeless clothes designed to work together, wear effortlessly and be part of responsible lifecycle. From this perspective, the socially conscious brand invites every woman to express her own style. Eileen Fisher is a great advocate for women, so the fact that women in 25 countries of sub-Saharan Africa are spending 16 million hours each day fetching water (Unicef, 2016) was a good reason to support Pump Aid’s efforts to break the cycle of water and sanitation poverty.
And how could anyone fail to be drawn to the fantastic story of Maria – one of the most successful entrepreneurs we have trained – and her transformation from midwife to mechanic: motivated by a desire to give new mothers and babies the best chances in life, it is sobering to reflect on the fact that she feels able to make a bigger difference repairing abandoned community pumps than as a medical professional!
Visitors to each shop were given the opportunity to participate in a prize draw to win a £50 Eileen Fisher voucher by answering our question about the distance walked each week to fetch water in Malawi which proved to be a great way of engaging with people. And we were able to tell customers about the difference that Pump Aid is making at pre-schools in Malawi, 75% of which have no safe water or sanitation facilities.
We look forward to working with Eileen Fisher and her wonderfully warm and friendly staff again soon.