One Drop and RBC unveil innovative water project in India

19 Sep

Toronto, ONE DROP and RBC recently announced a new and innovative
initiative, Project India, that will educate and improve access to safe drinking water and
sanitation in Orissa, one of India’s poorest states. Project India will be funded by a $1.1 million
grant provided by RBC. Guy Laliberté, Chair of ONE DROP and Founder of Cirque du Soleil®,
and Gordon M. Nixon, President and CEO of RBC were on hand for the announcement made
at LA SOIRÉE ONE DROP under the big top of Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM™ at the Toronto Port
Lands on September 7.

“ONE DROP is acting as an agent of change by joining forces with the RBC Blue Water
Project® and other local organizations to improve the living conditions and reduce poverty in
India. This initiative, based on a social arts and popular education program, aims to encourage
communities to adopt responsible behaviour and help preserve the vital resource of water,”
explained Guy Laliberté, ONE DROP.

Project India will partner with local organizations such as Gram Vikas, a non-governmental
organization that has been working with poor and marginalized rural communities in Orissa
since 1979. Gram Vikas will take the technical lead on the project, working with local residents
to establish community-managed water supply and sanitation facilities. In addition, ONE DROP
will collaborate with local organizations such as the Bakul Foundation, to create an arts and
education program intended to provide lasting behavioural change with residents and in the
community at large. The RBC Blue Water Project will fully fund the implementation of the arts
and education component of Project India.

“India has some of the world’s most water-stressed regions, and on behalf of all of our
clients from India, RBC is proud to be able to support such a worthy project,” said Gord
Nixon, RBC. “As a Canadian organization, we’re conscious of how challenging it can be to
select the best overseas projects for funding, especially with an issue as complex as water.
We’re confident that the collaboration between ONE DROP and such reputable and efficient
organizations who are already working on the ground in Orissa can make a real difference.”

The funding announced is part of the RBC Blue Water Project’s 10-year, $10 million
commitment to ONE DROP for a range of on-the-ground water projects and awareness
programs around the world. Since becoming the founding corporate partner of ONE DROP in
2007, RBC has committed $1.5 million for a watershed protection and conservation project in
Honduras, and $1 million to help restore small hydraulic and sanitation infrastructures in Haiti
as well as raise awareness about the importance of sound water management through an arts
program.

The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year, $50 million philanthropic commitment to supporting
organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water in Canada and
abroad. Since 2007, RBC has committed more than $28 million in single and multi-year grants
to over 400 organizations.

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