After founding an organization that supports orphanages, Ken was working in Kenya providing a much needed well for a children's home. But even after the well was drilled, he found that children were still getting sick. After checking the well several times, he discovered that the source of the problem was that the "drinking fountain" at school was a stagnate pond. He thought, "What can we give the kids to take to school with them so they have clean water?" From this, the WATERisLIFE filtration straws were born, and in 2009 WATERisLIFE was created. Ken is the heart behind WATERisLIFE. He shares our mission locally and globally, inspiring others to serve and make a difference in the lives of others.
Growing up in arid Arizona, crazy enough, water has always been a central theme of Mark's life. Mark, a graduate of Arizona State University with an M.S. in Marine Biology, spent many years as a marine biologist in Southern California. Mark creates and implements strategic water solution and sanitation programs for WATERisLIFE. His technical skills and his master field implementation experience guides WATERisLIFE to create strong impact, short and long-term. Mark manages the daily operations to meet WiL core values; and ensures WATERisLIFE creates the most effective global impact with all donor investments. Mark travels the globe developing relationships and implementing integrated water and sanitation projects, all while supporting his daughters, two competitive swimmers! With Mark, it can sometimes be all about the water!
Kori directs our global hygiene education curriculum and teaching programs. She ensures that hygiene education is paired with short and long-term water solutions to make the learning process in each community impactful. Kori and her family reside just outside of Phoenix, working to bring Hygiene Programs integrated into school and community programs globally. Kori is a mother to four, an RN and an on-staff leader at her church. Health and Hygiene are her business!
Iddrisu carries a B.A. in Integrated Development Studies, with an emphasis in Social and Development Admin. Iddrisu was the President of Student Leadership during his school tenure and a recipient of the World Trust Foundation Young Leader Award. Iddrisu has been integral in the development of community-driven integrated water, sanitation and hygiene programs in northern Ghana, working in partnership with WATERisLIFE since 2010. Iddrisu has a passion and drive to help his community and his country. He is one of Ghana's young leaders to keep an eye on, and we are honored to have him steering our work in Ghana.
First and foremost, Evans is a very proud father. His work with WATERisLIFE began in the beginning, when the WiL Founder dug a well for the Maisha International Orphanage in Kenya. Evans has been integral in the development of our integrated WASH work in East Africa since 2009 and enjoys singing - loudly - to his tunes as we work!
With her photography background blended with her creative and digital passion - Savannah loves to share WATERisLIFE imagery and stories on social media. Savannah enjoys creating art, capturing photos, has a bearded dragon and loves art events. Savannah slays photos for quality and most impact. She's the WATERisLIFE Photoslayer! Bringing stories to life thru photos is what inspires Savannah on her goal to travel with WATERisLIFE to help provide clean water, hygiene and sanitation to people who need it most. Check her out saviiphotography on tumblr
From keeping records and our Field Teams organized, to her support on our Field Trip projects, Cayman's critical thinking and attention to detail keep our Field teams doing what they do best - making the greatest impact. She has been working with WATERisLIFE for over 4 years and loves serving others with her gifts and talents. Cayman is a competitive swimmer, excels in school, has killer math skills and plays classical guitar - and of course enjoys spending time with Miley, her French bulldog.
Mahek is a dedicated and inspiring young volunteer with WATERisLIFE. She began her passion by delivering WATERisLIFE Filter Straws and teaching hygiene education to children in India. Mahek uses her skills, her patience and her awesome sense of humor to support and keep the Operations Team in check! Mahek loves committing her time to continue to help bring clean water where needed, and help more children all over our world.
Mauricio Fernandez is a seventeen year-old student from Monterrey, Mexico who is currently a junior in the American School Foundation of Monterrey. Coming from a position of privilege, he constantly heard inspiring stories about people, sometimes kids, just like him who were making a positive change in their communities. What struck him most often was the fact he constantly found himself thinking, what’s stopping me? It was then when he decided he would put his natural talent as a leader and relentless pursuit of justice to good use. Since then, he’s worked with WATERisLIFE founder Ken Surritte for the past year to create Water Is Life México and help diminish the risk millions of Mexicans have of drinking contaminated water and improve hygiene and sanitation in communities who live in isolation.
Photography by Trisha Madrid Photography & Savii Photography