The Thirst Project

663 million.

The number of people without the access to safe drinking water

8 college students.

Turned $70 into $1700 and founded the world’s largest youth water organization

On Tuesday March 1st Phi Sigma Sigma and the American Marketing Association joined together to welcome representatives from The Thirst Project to SJU.  Many students came out, making this Thirst’s highest attended college presentation!

The Thirst Project started in 2008 when 19-year-old Seth Maxwell had three consecutive days that forever changed his life. It began by a friend telling him about the global water crisis over coffee. The next day he saw a movie about poverty in developing countries, and on day three when he went to church the pastor talked about missions specifically focused on the need for clean and safe water.

Not knowing what to do next as a young, broke college student, Seth decided to gather his friends and just tell the story of the global water crisis. Together the group pulled together all of their money, $70, bought 1,000 bottles of water, and handed them out on Hollywood Boulevard. They talked to over 1,000 people and almost everyone that took a bottle of water gave back. This group of 19 year olds raised awareness, and turned $70 into $1700, which was used to fund the first rehabilitation of a freshwater well.

Since then The Thirst Project was asked to do different speaking events at schools where they raised $12,000 in just one month. Even though there are many different water organizations Thirst realized that there was no one educating students, the generation that is the driving force behind this movement.

By educating students from middle, high school, and college campuses, Thirst’s goal is to inspire individuals in order to take action in any way they can. In seven years they have raised over $8 million and provided over 280,000 people with safe, clean water.


Why: Waterborne diseases kill more children every single year than AIDS, Malaria, and all world violence combined. By providing a community with safe drinking water, disease rates can drop up to 88%, and child mortality rates can drop up to 90%.


Where: Swaziland has the single-highest-density population of HIV/AIDS in the world, and even if you have access to medical treatment, but are still forced to drink dirty water, the diseases in the water will actually kill you faster than AIDS itself. Thirst is currently in 13 countries, but this is happening all over the world.


How: The Thirst Project made a goal, to provide access to safe, clean drinking water to all people in the country of Swaziland by 2022. They are working with the Swaziland Government in order to reach 100% coverage. In order to help, Thirst hopes to raise $50 million in 10 years, very ambitious, but very attainable with the help of YOU.


The Thirst Project is on all social media, so make sure to check out their inspiring posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and be sure to follow their road warriors through Snapchat! Their website, is always being updated with new witty write ups and inspiring videos, so check out what’s new!