our eyes on the World Cup: Cote D’Ivoire + Honduras

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It seems everyone is tracking the World Cup, game by game — and the fever hasn’t missed our NYC office.

Our staff is rooting for two teams that are still in: Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Honduras. charity: water has been working in both countries since 2008, funding rehabilitations and new construction of freshwater wells. Here’s a little background on why:

honduras

Honduras.

Honduras is consistently ranked as one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere; almost two-thirds of its population live below the poverty line. The government hopes to improve conditions in coming years, but right now, more than a million people currently lack safe water sources. charity: water has brought clean water to 22,500 people in Honduras in the last two years.

honduras

Cote D’Ivoire.

The country‚Äôs five-year civil war ended in 2007 but political tension and instability have remained. Infant and under-five mortality rates are among the highest in the world and violence against (and using) children is rampant. Our partners here, the International Rescue Committee started assisting displaced families with health services and education in 2003. In two years, charity: water has served about 47,500 people with clean, safe water in Cote D’Ivoire.

Today, Cote D’Ivoire takes on North Korea. While they’re expected to win, the team will not likely make it past the weekend, since Portugal has the advantage on goals. We’re still cheering for them anyway (and playing the game on our projector at our office as we work!).

We’re pretty inspired by their Ivorian team captain, Didier Drogba, who is known for using his star athlete status to wage peace. In the last World Cup, after Cote D’Ivoire’s win against Germany in the finals, he asked for disarmament in his home country on national television — and within a week, a peace process had taken shape. Read the story here.

This time around, he’s playing injured after breaking his arm in a warm-up game, but still holding up strong. And as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, he’s also sponsoring Kick Out Poverty, an initiative to raise awareness about the eight UN Millennium Development Goals. Here’s the trailer for Kick Out Poverty:

charity: water has its own soccer fan using the World Cup for activism — Kevin Coster of Virginia Beach, Va., has started a mycharity: water campaign called Kick Poverty. He’s trying to juggle a soccer ball with 20,000 touches by the time the World Cup wraps up (he’s 2,459-strong so far), and he’s taking pledges per touch. 100% of the money he raises will fund freshwater projects. Here’s Kevin’s short video explaining his idea (we love it):

start campaign

We asked Kevin if Drogba was his inspiration — here’s his response:

Although I do know of Didier Drogba, I didn’t hear about the Kick Out Poverty campaign until about a week ago. Kick Poverty [my campaign] was an idea I had about two years ago. I wanted to do something simple, tying soccer to fundraising. Juggling the soccer ball was just a natural fit to match an action with a donation.

In the same breath, I would love to have Didier and Zidane put some touches on the ball for KickPoverty and team up for an ultimate fundraising challenge!

So would we! In the mean time, we’ll keep up with his campaign progress here. And we’ll be watching both the Cote D’Ivoire and Honduras games on a projector at the office while we… ahem… work at the same time.

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