Two sisters transformed the craft of origami into a way to bring clean water to the world. The sisters are 9 and 11 years old.
Isabelle and Katherine Adams are the co-presidents of Paper for Water, a nonprofit that sells paper-folded ornaments to raise money to create clean water wells in under-resourced countries. So far, their craft raised over $650,000 for 70 wells. Meet them in the video below.
The idea to use origami came about in 2011 from their father. Adams, who is half Japanese, learned the art in his youth and wanted to teach it to his daughters. They were quick studies. Adams, in an interview with the Huffington Post said the following:
“[Origami] started piling up around the house so [the girls] decided to have an event at Starbucks and sell ornaments to raise money for a water well.”
Back in November of 2011, the girls’ goal was to raise $500 to help partially fund a well in Ethiopia. Donations poured in and the origami ornaments sold out within one night. Encouraged, they made more. Just a month later, the sisters had raised over $10,000. They were on a roll.
The organization partners with Living Water International to identify well locations and who gets the help. Adams elaborated on how they operate.
“And then a significant amount of health and sanitation training occurs,” Adams said. “Retraining the community and providing them with the equipment necessary to make these changes is essential.”
So far, Paper for Water has helped build wells in Kenya, Liberia, India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mexico, Uganda, Peru and Zimbabwe. Recently, the sisters visited a well they helped to fund on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and held an origami workshop.
“If everyone in this world helps a little, it all adds up to a lot,” Isabelle told Good News Network. “Folding origami is an easy way for people of any age to help change the world.”
About 40 percent of the funds Paper for Water raises comes in exchange for origami ornaments, with the rest coming from outside partners and matching donors.
They Bring Clean Water to the World Through Origami
Meet Isabelle and Katherine Adams
To make a donation or get involved, check out the group’s website.