In an effort to raise awareness about the lack of clean drinking water around the world thousands of restaurants across the United States participated in the UNICEF Tap Project during World Water Week 2011 (March 20-26). This year the initiative will focus efforts on Togo, the Central African Republic, and Vietnam.
In 2007, the UNICEF Tap Project was born in New York City based on a simple,tangible and easy-to-implement concept: restaurants would ask their patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free, and all funds raised would support UNICEF's efforts to bring clean and accessible water to millions of children around the world.
The money raised will be used to support UNICEF's clean water programs. UNICEF works in more than 90 countries to improve access to safe water and sanitation in schools and communities, and to promote safe hygiene practices. Over the past 16 years, more than a billion people have gained access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities thanks to the efforts of UNICEF and its partners.
In alignment with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, UNICEF is working with its partners to reduce the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation by 50% by 2015, which will also save children at risk from waterborne illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths. Just 1$ raised through UNICEF Tap Project can provide a child with safe water for 40 days. This number is incredible as nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water and almost half of them are children.
The simple act of washing a child's face with clean water can prevent debilitating diseases-like blinding trachoma, an infectious eye disease that spreads from child to child. The world's leading cause of preventable blindness, blinding trachoma is endemic in 57 countries, with 1.2 billion people living in trachoma-endemic areas, primarily in the poorest communities in the developing world-meaning millions of children without access to clean water are at risk of becoming blind from trachoma.
In alignment with the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, UNICEF is working with its partners to reduce the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation by 50% by 2015, which will also save children at risk from waterborne illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths. Every day, 4,100 children die from waterborne illnesses, and UNICEF is committed to doing whatever it takes to make that number zero.
The project has raised $2.7 million since 2007 by asking customers to pay $1 for their tap water with their meals. In addition, they've also enlisted some Hollywood support and launched a luxury water bottle line called "Celebrity Tap" and for a $5 donation you can be entered in a raffle to win the personal tap water from the homes of stars like Selena Gomez, Adrian Greiner, Taylor Swift, and Robin Williams. The sweepstakes will continue through April 30.
Giorgio Armani Fragrances is a part of the project, returning as the national sponsor of the Tap Project under the banner of Acqua for Life. For the month of March, a dollar was donated to the United States Unicef fund for certain purchases of two Armani scents, Acqua di Gio for Men and Acqua di Gioia for Women.
The Armani fragrances will also donate a dollar, up to $250,000, each time a user of Facebook declares that he or she "likes" the fragrances' Facebook page devoted to the Tap Project. Their is even an iPhone application that lets users try and walk as far as they can without letting the drop of water slide off the screen. Once consumers carry the drop, users can like the campaign on Facebook and Giorgio Armani will donate to support the project.