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One Drop Foundation's 2021 Impact Report

In 2021, we turned water into action

Guy Laliberté

When I founded the One Drop Foundation, one thing was clear. Almost every issue facing the world had one element in common: water. Water is the basis of life—and lack of sustainable access to safe water, the basis of so many life-threatening challenges.

Guy Laliberté

Founder of the One Drop Foundation, Cirque du Soleil, and Lune Rouge

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When I witness the commitment of our employees and partners, and the heartfelt testimonies from people impacted by our projects, I see all we are capable of, and how we meet and exceed goals set for ourselves and the world. I also see how it is vital that we address water issues in Canada and around the world.

Jean-Louis Dufresne

Chief Executive Officer at the One Drop Foundation

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Impact of Water & Art

Water powers life. Social art empowers communities.

The outcomes of addressing water-related challenges go far beyond water access (SDG 6). The ripple effect of water contributes to many sustainable development goals (SDGs), notably to good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education and gender equality (SDGs 4 and 5), the reduction of inequalities (SDG 10), and climate action (SDG 13). It also highlights the potential for positive multisector partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).

Retelling the story of water

A·B·C for Sustainability™ - A Systems Change Model

The One Drop Foundation believes that people—especially women and youth—are at the heart of changing their communities, and we support initiatives that promote change through collective action and improving and sustaining the health and well-being of the most vulnerable. Its systems-based model is at the intersection of three complementary outcomes:

Increasing ACCESS TO WATER, sanitation, and hygiene through improved local infrastructure and governance.

Harnessing art and co-creation to inspire and sustain new BEHAVIOURS around water, sanitation, and hygiene through the One Drop Foundation’s Social Art For Behaviour Change™ (SABC) approach.

Empowering entrepreneurs and strengthening local economies, with a focus on women, to secure sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene ressources, and CAPITAL.

Transformational change in how water-related services are provided around the world requires more than just building infrastructure. We must evoke human feeling to invoke real human change.

The ONE DROP™ name and logo, A·B·C for Sustainability™, and Social Art for Behaviour Change™ are trademarks owned by the One Drop Foundation.
© 2022 The One Drop Foundation. All rights reserved.

The power of art to empower communities

Social Art for Behaviour Change™ — An approach that triggers emotions

Water and art—and the emotions they trigger in people and communities—are necessary for sustainable change. At the One Drop Foundation, we ensure sustainable access to safe water all around the world through art and emotions. We see art as a tool that speaks to the heart, helping break down barriers and change deeply rooted behaviours for healthier ones.

In 2021, with our partners, we have empowered youth, women, and girls to become Leaders of Change in their communities through co-designed artistic processes eliciting an emotional response. Art and artists as catalysts of social change are at the centre of the One Drop Foundation’s Social Art for Behaviour Change approach for sustainable projects, recognizing the fundamental role that emotions play in human decision-making.

Through creative and participative processes, and working with local artists and art forms, social art interventions are adapted to local contexts and always put people and emotions first. Through their imagination and creativity, the artists generate a fun and enabling environment, translating complex and often taboo issues into accessible formats that inspire, activate, and sustain change. They bridge the art with the non-art and, in so doing, become the mediators of individual and collective change.

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The Power of Art | One Drop Foundation

2021 Impact At A Glance

People impacted since 2007


as of december 31, 2021*


once our current projects will be completed

By reaching participants with better water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for their households, health care facilities (HCF), or schools and engaging them in Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) interventions, we impact the living conditions that allow for their empowerment and sustainable development.

*In 2021, we impacted 442,588 people; in 2020, 291,600 people; and in 2019, 394,000.





Latin America and the Caribbean










People impacted since 2007 per region

People impacted in 2021 per region

Impact for the

805,407 people

have better wash services at their health care facility*

Population-wide handwashing rates have increased by

24 percentage points

in some of our projects after just two years

58,128 people

have better wash services at their school**

170,894 members of vulnerable communities

have been involved with SABC in 2021 alone to empower them to lead their own social change

1,081,943 people

have better access to water services for their households, making many of them more resilient to extreme weather events***

Each $1

donated to the One Drop Foundation

unlocks $7

in actual funding and it all goes directly to our water mission, worldwide****

*Cumulative up to the end of 2021; 90,150 people in 2021

**Cumulative up to the end of 2021; 14,509 people in 2021

***Cumulative up to the end of 2021; 139,603 people in 2021

****Reference: The total value of the portfolio of projects to which the One Drop Foundation contributed in 2021


1.9 million deaths

could have been prevented with adequate wash in 2016*

Preventing infectious diseases through hygienic practices and having access to clean water, soap, and decent toilets can save lives.

We fund projects that aim at improving access to water, sanitation, and handwashing for households, health care facilities, and schools. Using our Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach, we collaborate with partners to address water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) behaviours, such as handwashing with soap and water among health care workers.

With water and art, our projects can bring about better health and well-being. In 2021, together with our partners we:

  • Reduced the maternal and neonatal mortality rates by an average of 40 and 17 fewer deaths per 100,000 births respectively in three districts in Malawi by the end of the InPATH project.**
  • Reached 10 health care facilities in the PRISMA 2 project and 8 in the Saniya So+ project with better WASH services.
  • Reached 37,461 people in the Sheohar 2 project with better water services for their households.
  • Reached 22,731 people in the Beseya Blon project with SABC activities addressing handwashing with soap and water, latrine use, and patient bed cleaning.

Haiti, Mali, and Burkina Faso were affected by significant political instability in 2021. Despite this, our work continued, and we learned that, through SABC, project participants found a way to have fun, express themselves, and gain trust in their health care system by being empowered to lead their own change.

*Safe water, better health. World Health Organization. Geneva: s.n., 2019, License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
**The maternal mortality rate changed from 130 deaths per 100,000 live births at baseline (2017-2019) to 91 at end line (2021). The neonatal mortality rate changed from 26 deaths per 100,000 live births at the baseline to 9 at the end line.

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"Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are essential—to prevent and control infections, to guarantee quality of care, to respect the dignity and human rights of anyone who needs medical care, and also of the health workers themselves."

Madam Fabiola Yáñez

First Lady of Argentina

Health workers, finalists in a participatory song contest about hygiene at work. Des prestataires de soins, finalistes d’un concours de chant participatif sur l’hygiène au travail.

Health workers, finalists in a participatory song contest about hygiene at work2, PRISMA 2 project, Arbonite (Haiti).

Population-wide handwashing rates increased by

24 percentage points

in some of our projects after two years.

378,021 people

impacted in 2021 by the aforementioned projects (223,404 people in 2020).

3 projects

in 2021 supported local soap production.

77 health care facilities

gained better wash in all One Drop projects up to the end of 2021 (20 HCF in 2021, 28 in 2020).

Investment in the aforementioned projects represents


of our 2021 international program investment (US$2,075,453 out of US$7,992,252).

The story of a doctor who changed lives through poetry

Even when a health care facility has access to supplies and infrastructure, and staff know appropriate hand hygiene behaviours, some 61% of health workers still do not practise them.* 

This endangers not only health workers, but entire communities.

“As health workers, we have a part to play in the battle for behaviour changes." -Dr Ouedraogo

For a group of health workers in Banfora, Burkina Faso, this had to change.

Two billion people worldwide depend on health care facilities that do not have clean water, soap, nor toilets.**

Hygiene and sanitation practices such as handwashing with water and soap, safe storage of drinking water, and latrine use and maintenance are at the heart of the One Drop Foundation’s Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach. In the commune of Banfora, Burkina Faso, slam poetry was one of the disciplines chosen by the Saniya So+ project to promote these hygiene and sanitation practices. Through a workshop facilitated by executing partner Espace Culturel Gambidi (ECG), 12 health workers embraced our social art approach and co-created slam poems to raise awareness for good practices within their health care facility and their community.

After learning the technique behind writing slam texts, participants collectively wrote two slam texts on handwashing with water and soap, as well as on the proper use and regular maintenance of sanitary facilities. Dr. Ouedraogo is a slam artist himself and provided technical support during this creative process. He reflects on the experience: “Social art enables us to share knowledge and ideas, and to see ourselves. You know that art has an important role to play in lives, and culture has an important role to play in lives, because a people without a culture is a people that is lost—and life without water is a life that is lost.

Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and information is not enough to shift human behaviour; people must be convinced that they have a critical role to play, and they require frequent reminders to stay motivated and maintain the behaviours that protect them and others against diseases.

Through social art, we can communicate messages that trigger a more emotional response, which is more powerful in influencing people’s decisions and promoting lasting behaviour change.

For health workers in Banfora, appropriating the One Drop Foundation’s social art techniques allowed them to raise awareness about the uses of water within health care facilities to improve hygiene practices, making a real difference in the health and well-being of their community.

*WHO, Health care without avoidable infections. The critical role of infection prevention and control, 2016.
**WHO and Unicef, JMP, WASH in health care facilities: Global baseline report, 2019.

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By 2025, the One Drop Foundation and its partners will have changed the story of more than

2,7 million

people worldwide.

Let's keep changing tomorrow.


200 million


When water is not close to home, the burden of fetching it most often falls to women and children, especially girls. This reduces their available time for education, economic opportunities, or other developments. In 2021 alone, the households of approximately 70,000 women and girls gained better access to water thanks to the One Drop Foundation’s projects.

Limited access to toilets close to home can put women at risk of gender-based violence. In 2021 alone, close to 22,000 women and girls gained access to better toilets at home thanks to all our projects. Limited access to toilets in schools can affect girls’ education if they must stay home during menstruation. By the end of 2021, the Boond projet, in India, had improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in 39 schools**, including single-sex toilets. However, as other sociocultural or economic barriers often exist, reducing infrastructural barriers to education and gender equality alone is insufficient.

In 2021, the SCOFI project, in Mali, designed a community mobilization strategy to break down harmful gender-based barriers in schools for adolescent girls. Designing it involved multiple stakeholders, including adolescent girls with disabilities, parents, school staff, displaced people’s representative, and social artists. These stakeholders validated the strategy through a playful and participatory workshop that favoured their interest in, ownership over, and understanding of the new project.

*UNICEF. Collecting water is often a colossal waste of time for women and girls. [Online] 2016.
**Schools and early childhood centres.

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"Women, because of pregnancy and menstruation, have particular needs for hygiene, sanitation, and for being able to wash. When those aren't provided, there are problems."

Barbara Schreiner

Executive Director at the Water Integrity Network

Participants at a show about gender-based violence. Participants à un spectacle sur la violence basée sur le genre.

Participants at a show about gender-based violence.

967 people

impacted in 2021 by the aforementioned projects (3,724 people in 2020).

7 projects

in 2021 supported women-led entrepreneurial activities.

318 schools

gained better WASH in all projects up to the end of 2021 (35 schools in 2021, 88 in 2020).

3 projects

in 2021 addressed menstrual hygiene through SABC or awareness-raising.

Investment in the Boond and SCOFI projects represents


of our 2021 international program investment (US$488,709 out of US$7,992,252).

The story of Bintou, a woman inspiring change in Mali

In Mali, only 73.8% of girls are enrolled in primary basic education, compared to 85.8% of boys. When it comes to secondary education, enrolment plummets, with only 15% of Malian girls and 21% of Malian boys attending.*

Even if schools in Mali had more inclusive infrastructure, such as gender-specific washrooms, existing social norms would still be a barrier to young girls’ education.

This is why women like Bintou are making their voices heard.

Poor access to water hurts girls' education.

The SCOFI project in Mali focuses on boosting girls’ enrolment and addressing systemic hurdles to the sustainable management of sanitary facilities in schools. Alongside its partner, the Centre Culturel Kôrè (CCK), the One Drop Foundation continues to roll out its unique Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach in schools across the Ségou region. As a counselor for CCK, Bintou Soumbounou hosts group discussions at “teen clubs” where she discusses gender-related barriers, menstrual hygiene management, and the concepts of gender and women’s empowerment.

As Bintou explains, “There are social pressures here in Mali, the weight of tradition and gender variables... But as soon as someone tries to explain that gender is a source of complementarity and mutual aid between men and women, something that helps build the community and the country we cohabitate in, they [people in the community] begin to understand.

Bintou notices that, little by little, teenagers are starting to take ownership of social art techniques and can facilitate conversations amongst themselves.

Social art opens the door to conversations, emotions, and awakenings around deep-seated individual views. “I see participants getting curious, attentive, and excited. They’re awestruck by the social art approach, which they find to be quite innovative and directly connected to their stories.

Through stories that are rooted in local culture, Bintou and the “teen clubs” spread messages that reach the community at large, inspiring people to create a more inclusive environment that will respond to girls’ educational and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related needs.

It’s time we all acknowledge art and behaviour change as critical components of sustainable water access projects, and access to water as essential to fostering education, gender equality, and ultimately, to creating a better world.

*UNICEF, Education,

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By 2025, the One Drop Foundation and its partners will have changed the story of more than

2,7 million

people worldwide.

Let's keep changing tomorrow.


76% Inuit


To reduce inequalities around the world, we must begin by acknowledging the disparities that affect First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in Canada. Poorer health, inadequate housing, lower levels of income and education, and drinking water advisories are just a few of the inequalities that disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples.

Since 2017, we have co-financed the Pirursiivik project in the Inuit community of Inukjuak, a project that’s implemented by Makivik Corporation. The project aims to improve the community’s health sustainably by increasing access to fresh local produce, creating local business opportunities, and mobilizing the community around healthy nutrition and water-related issues through social art.

As the final year of the project, 2021 gave way to its biggest success: the commitment of local organization Sirivik to take over the operation and management of the hydroponic container and the management of the Pirursiiniq Nunavimmi app, designed to facilitate the scaling of knowledgesharing about food production and nutrition in arctic environments.**

Land-based social art activities enabled engagement and decision-making within and among the community. As recommended by elders and youth, these activities created opportunities for intergenerational learning, weaving Inuit traditions and modern-day practices. In particular, the identification guide, “The Traditional Plants of Inukjuak,” was created in 2021 through social art by local knowledge keepers.

Moving forward, we wish to build on this project’s learnings by addressing the lack of water access in Indigenous communities through empowering youth with the power of social art and digital technologies, and engaging with multi-level stakeholders to look towards sustainable solutions.

*According to Statistics Canada's 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 2021, Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy.
**Under development in 2021 and to be launched in mid-2022.

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"We need to call for equality being the floor, not the ceiling."

Cindy Blackstock

Executive Director at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

Des leaders du projet transplantent les semis dans le conteneur hydroponique. Project leaders transplanting seedlings in the hydroponic container.

Project leaders transplanting seedlings in the hydroponic container.

14% of Inukjuak's population

have consumed fresh produce from the hydroponic container.*


Educational Package

and a film were designed with the first social circus troupe in Nunavik, Tupiq A.C.T., to stimulate youth discussions around nutrition.

1,048 bunches of leafy greens,

including mountain sorrel (Qunguliit), were produced during the first eight weeks.

4 jobs

were created to operate the hydroponic container.

Investment in the Pirursiivik project represents


of our 2021 international program investment (US$389,604 out of US$7,992,252).

*Many more have experimented with growing vegetables in Nunavik through various workshops, two hydroponic towers at the school, and seven cold frames around the community.

The story of Michael and community empowerment

In many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, food poverty and restricted access to healthy food alternatives are leading to nutritionally deficient diets. In northern communities like Inukjuak, Nunavik, Québec, lack of access to affordable, healthy food, and safe water is a serious issue for thousands of people.

Now, through social art, community members are making their voices heard.

Indigenous peoples are the youngest and fastest-growing segment of Canada's population, yet they do not enjoy the same benefits as other Canadians.

Implemented by Makivik Corporation, the Pirursiivik project is a community-led initiative that promotes healthy choices around water and nutrition through a greenhouse and a social art program. Tupiq A.C.T., a multidisciplinary troupe of young Inuit artists, facilitated circus workshops for youth in the community. Michael, a young man from a neighbouring community, bumped into the troupe while attending his first semester of a cooking course in Inukjuak. Michael understood the importance of healthy nutrition, and social art gave him a way to share it with others.

With the Pirursiivik project, we did shows in Inukjuak. Our message was to eat healthy, eat more vegetables, fruits, and traditional foods, to be in good shape, and to lead a healthy lifestyle.” - Michael, young man from a neighbouring community

Michael recalls the experience as being very rewarding, and that it inspired positive changes among some of his classmates who attended the shows, as well as within himself.

I stopped eating junk food. (…) I don’t even eat sugar anymore, I quit exactly four years ago.” says Michael.

Social art activities based on Inuit culture and art are not only entertaining and fun, but also provide opportunities for shared learning and discussion about traditional foods, nutrition, and the importance of clean water.

It has to be a good show for sure. You have to be very creative with the show, have some comedy in it and make a point at the same time, so it can have an impact on younger audiences.” says Michael.

Pirursiivik means “a place to grow” in Inuktitut. To empower Indigenous youth and ensure their well-being, we must not only address the inequalities that hinder their development, but also the drivers of positive change in their communities. Through water and art, we can build a better, more equal future.

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By 2025, the One Drop Foundation and its partners will have changed the story of more than

2,7 million

people worldwide.

Let's keep changing tomorrow.


Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people


Human-induced climate change brings more frequent and intense weather events. An important risk for achieving SDG6**, climate-related hazards disproportionately affect communities with low capacity to cope and adapt. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services provision is threatened when droughts dry up water sources, floods contaminate them, and storms damage infrastructure. These events adversely affect water security, food security, health, livelihoods, gender equality, education, economic inequalities, and more.

By improving sustainable access to WASH services, the One Drop Foundation’s projects aim to make clean water available at all times, especially in times of climate related disasters. However, infrastructure focused efforts alone are not sufficient and often remain vulnerable to the destructive force of floods, fires, storms, and rising sea levels. To ensure disaster risk reduction measures are in place to rapidly recover WASH services, climate resilience efforts must be integrated with permanent local institutions. For the Rajasthan project, in India, aligning efforts between the elected local bodies, the Water Resource Department, and the Engineering Department was an important building block towards ensuring that good water governance remains self-sustained.

Healthier people are better able to cope with climate disasters. Also, by promoting safe practices with Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC), our projects aim to reduce exposure to chemical contamination and waterborne diseases, both of which can be aggravated during droughts or floods.

In 2021, we also co-financed Telomiova, in Madagascar, a climate resilience-focused project, which aims to sustain the provision of WASH services in a highly climate-vulnerable region.

*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2022, Climate Change 2022 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Summary for Policy Makers.
**SDG 6: Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

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"Water and sanitation offer resilient opportunities for addressing climate."

Catarina De Albuquerque

CEO at Sanitation and Water for All

Members of a water user group in Rajasthan in front of the solar-powered water supply scheme. Membres d’un groupe d’utilisateurs du système d’approvisionnement en eau à énergie solaire au Rajasthan.

Members of a water user group in Rajasthan in front of the solar-powered water supply scheme.

16,043 people

impacted in 2021 by the aforementioned projects* (42,295 people in 2020).

20 groundwater recharge structures

and 38 rainwater harveting systems built during the Rajasthan project have increased resilience for drought-prone communities.

Investment in projects Rajasthan and Telomiova represents


of our 2021 international program investment (US$627,754 out of US$7,992,252).

*Results from Rajasthan, as Telomiova was under design.

The story of artists inspiring change

In India, while the groundwater resources are already under stress, climate change is adding to the strain, posing a major threat to hundreds of millions of people who are dealing with water scarcity. In South Rajasthan, groundwater exploitation has led to higher concentrations of fluoride in groundwater, something that many people are unaware of, and which poses a major threat to their health.

This is why Indian artists are leading a breakthrough in climate adaptation.

India is home to 16% of the world's population but only holds 4% of the world's freshwater resources.* Today, it is one of the countries most affected by climate change.**

As part of the Rajasthan project in India, implemented by the Centre for microfinance (CmF), artists like Nand Lal are adopting the One Drop Foundation’s Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach to raise awareness around the issue of fluoride contamination, helping mitigate risks of exposure to this harmful element that is present in groundwater.

Although there is no medicine to cure fluorosis, through our show we inform and mobilize community members to improve their dietary habits and conduct regular testing of their water sources.” - Nand Lal, artist

Developed around the context of South Rajasthan, the script involves local artists who sing songs, perform theatre, dance, and create puppet shows, and engage in other art forms such as Gavri. These performances have received a very positive response from community members, who recognize the health benefits that come from fetching water from a safe source for drinking and cooking.

Before, we were not informed, and no one cared about the problem. Now, I have clearly understood that we should drink safe water and eat healthy to become strong and live a healthy life.” - Kiki Bai, project participant

Social art activities are helping the community identify safe and unsafe water sources and motivating them to only use water from safe sources. They are also helping communities understand how they can adopt healthy behaviours around water in their daily lives and initiating the process of doing so.

I believe that through the medium of art, be it in any form say—dance, music, nukkad natak, puppet show—any kind of message can be easily conveyed (…), make its impression in the mind of a person, and inspire them to adopt behaviours promptly.” - Nand Lal, artist

Access to clean water is vital to climate resilience, and social art can help communities better understand these challenges, develop ways to support each other, and adapt to new realities.

*World Bank. Addressing groundwater depletion: Lessons from India, the world's largest user of groundwater, 2021.

Read more

By 2025, the One Drop Foundation and its partners will have changed the story of more than

2,7 million

people worldwide

Let's keep changing tomorrow.


The capital investment required to achieve the water, sanitation, and hygiene SDGs* 

amounts to about three times the current investment levels**

Collaboration is one of One Drop Foundation’s values, and creating innovative partnerships is a key approach to our mission. By co-financing our projects, we can scale and accelerate their reach. By working with local community leaders, local artists, and government officials, we enable self-sustaining outcomes.

All our projects are built on partnerships that enhance the synergy of various efforts. In 2021, in alignment with SDG 17, the Lazos de Agua Program in Latin America:

  • Mobilized financial resources from multiple stakeholders, including governments at various levels, from five countries, five NGOs, hundreds of participant communities, a multi-lateral bank (IDB), and two other international foundations (FEMSA Foundation and the Coca-Cola Foundation).
  • Enabled the exchange of knowledge and expertise by participating in conferences like SIWI World Water Week and facilitating communities of practice with professionals from five countries, including artists, project managers, Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) coordinators, microfinance institutions, and monitoring and evaluation experts.
  • Continued building capacity for five implementing organizations, 70 local artists, 83 water user committees, 138 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and 1,372 community leaders.
  • Engaged 47,800 community members across five countries with SABC, contributing to successful behavioural outcomes.

Launched in 2016, the Lazos de Agua Program with its five projects has been the One Drop Foundation’s flagship program for implementing our A·B·C for Sustainability model and SABC approach. With 2022 being its last year of implementation, we are building on the success of the program to scale up in a second phase by capitalizing on all the results obtained, capacity built, and lessons learned.

*Targets 6.1 and 6.2
**Hutton, Guy and Mili Varughese. The Costs of Meeting the 2020 Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Summary Report, World Bank, 2016.

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"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

Multiple stakeholders and participants from the Lazos de Agua Program reunited in Guatemala (April 2019). Plusieurs parties prenantes et participants du programme Lazos de Agua réunis au Guatemala (avril 2019).

Multiple stakeholders and participants from the Lazos de Agua Program reunited in Guatemala (April 2019).

47,309 people

impacted by Lazos de Agua in 2021 with both wash and SABC.

875 MSMEs

supplying wash goods and services received entrepreneurship training since 2016 (138 in 2021).

260 water user committees

received training to operate and maintain water services since 2016 (83 in 2021).

3,744 community members

were trained as leaders of change, including youth and teachers, since 2016 (2,636 women and 1,108 men).

Investment in Lazos de Agua represents


of our 2021 international program investment (US$2,935,615 out of US$7.992,252).

The story of a mayor's call to action for sustainable change

Waslala is a remote region in central Nicaragua. Most of its 65,000 residents, who live in rural villages outside the city centre, lack access to even the most basic human needs, including clean water and sanitation.* Jermán Vargas, mayor of Waslala, was well-aware of this issue: “The water consumed by the people of Waslala was dirty, murky water. It was not fit for consumption.

Waslala's mayor sought to make a difference for thousands of people.

For rural communities like Waslala, Nicaragua, support from local and international partners can change the lives of thousands of people.

The mayor’s dream of ensuring lasting access to clean water and sanitation was shared by local and international organizations, who came together to build a new, innovative water treatment plant and engage community members using One Drop Foundation’s Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach. With financial support from Medicor Foundation and Latter-day Saint Charities, implementing partners (One Drop Foundation and WaterAid) worked in close collaboration with the municipal government of Waslala and Agua para el Pueblo Honduras, enhancing expertise, knowledge transfer, and technical assistance.

By carrying out theatrical tours of the play Tranquilo Tranquilino and co-creating a mosaic mural, this ecosystem of partners, Leaders of Change, and community members were able to raise awareness around the importance of paying the water tariff, which would ensure the sustainability of the project.

We are going to have treated water, good water, quality water, which we didn’t have before. For the first time in the history of Waslala, we are going to have a plant with this quality of water.” - Jermán Vargas, mayor of Waslala

Through interventions tailored to the context of each Lazos de Agua project, the One Drop Foundation’s SABC approach was able to facilitate spaces for reflection and mobilize people towards the adoption of healthy practices related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). In Nicaragua, SABC interventions enabled communities to take ownership of their projects, such as the water treatment plant, and thus contribute to its sustainability.

Mosaic murals, the theatres, all of this helps to change the mentality of the community that has to make the project sustainable. Everyone pays for their water, for what they spend, and then also makes good use of the water service.” - Jermán Vargas, mayor of Waslala

Today, nearly 4,000 people from seven neighbourhoods in Waslala have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. The SDGs can only be met if we work together, through international partnerships and social art activities that enable lasting change.

*Wateraid. Water for Waslala.

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By 2015, the One Drop Foundation and its partners will have changed the story of more than

2,7 million

people worldwide.

Let's keep changing tomorrow.

Impactful Fundraising

Paris, France

On November 19, 2021, La Cuvée One Drop took place in Paris, France. Orchestrated in collaboration with Ducasse Paris and the multidisciplinary auction house Artcurial, this prestigious charity event was co-chaired by Guy Laliberté, Laurent Dassault, and Alain Ducasse, and hosted by singer Garou. The initiative featured a daytime auction of fine wines, spirits, and extraordinary experiences, a prestigious evening auction, and a sublime gala dinner designed by Alain Ducasse and his teams. This exceptional evening united many great collectors, producers, philanthropists, culinary artisans, and epicureans around a vital cause: access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. Together, the auctions had a combined 109 lots, including 33 flagship lots—most of which were unique and extremely rare, from private collections. Other featured items were cases and bottles of fine wines, vintage champagnes, and a wide range of spirits.

The One Drop Foundation would like to thank Guy Laliberté, Laurent Dassault, Alain Ducasse, Garou, Artcurial, and Hillebrand for their unwavering support, as well as Caves Carrières, le Domaine Jean Grivot, Champagne Barons de Rothschild, Domaine Faiveley, and Lalique, who played an important role in the success of the auction, not to mention our generous donors, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Poker Little One for One Drop

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

In November 2021, the 8th annual Little One for One Drop, a charity poker tournament with a $1,000 entry fee and a suggested contribution of $111 to the One Drop Foundation, was held as part of the 52nd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP). The event took place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. As in previous years, thousands of players participated for the chance to win the US$396,445 grand prize, which was eventually awarded to Scott Ball, earning him his second WSOP bracelet.

Winter One Drop Land

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

December 2021 marked the return of the One Drop Foundation’s philanthropic events in Las Vegas with the Winter One Drop Land event. The event featured an exclusive cocktail party at The Mansion at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino with a selection of gourmet dishes curated by Joel Robuchon, as well as premium wines and spirits courtesy of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Both a silent auction and a live auction were held, with guests bidding on unique lots.

The event was an opportunity to announce a contribution of $20,000 to benefit two local Las Vegas water charities: WaterStart Channels for Water Innovation and the Southern Nevada Water Authority Youth Conservation Council.


Online Campaign

Our online campaign has worked to touch the hearts of many. Because water affects us all.

With the help of our matching partners, we raised more than $50,000, actively painting a brighter future for everyone.

Working as one, we elevated Leaders of Change within their communities, motivated partners and key stakeholders alike to share, join, and reshare our impactful campaign. Inspiring thousands of followers, Paint a Brighter Future has leveraged the power of community engagement in the face of digital transformation. Making a big splash, this campaign has spurred enthusiastic support from both public and individual donors, converting it into a major milestone in the foundation’s history. Through our virtual campaign, we brought sustainable access to safe water to the forefront of current issues needing action.



With the help and continued support of our partner and our very generous matching donor, we have turned water into action.

This campaign also raised public awareness on water issues around the globe. Thank you to all of our partners who shared our campaign across digital platforms.

Together, we will continue to paint a brighter future!

In 18 countries across Europe and Asia

For the third year in a row, METRO AG and the One Drop Foundation joined forces to tackle the issue of water access in India, one of the world’s most water-stressed regions.

In a joint effort to empower people to build a better future, METRO AG and One Drop have established a three-year partnership starting in 2018—as part of a broader METRO Water Initiative— which includes a yearly 2-week in-store campaign at METRO AG wholesale stores in Europe and Asia. For World Water Day, a percentage of sales from selected products were used to fund projects in the districts of Sheohar, Gaya, and Madhubani, in India.

Together, METRO AG, its participating suppliers, and the One Drop Foundation are taking a major step towards a positive and sustainable future for all.

Montreal, Canada

In an effort to alleviate water stress in regions affected by the global water crisis and improve safe water and sanitation access, Ovivo and the One Drop Foundation inaugurated an impactful and innovative partnership in 2021.

As two like-minded, Canada-based organizations, Ovivo and One Drop worked together to promote the value of safe and accessible water, starting with an employee-centric program with an objective to increase awareness and engagement around global waterrelated challenges that have an impact on health, education, and human and economic development.

“We believe that One Drop’s United Nations-recognized innovative creativity and unique Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) approach will inspire, activate, and sustain healthy practices that are conducive to improved hygiene and effective water service management.”
says Marc Barbeau, President and CEO of Ovivo. 

Both organizations believe this new partnership can inspire other leaders—both inside and outside Ovivo’s ecosystem—to partner with the One Drop Foundation and make the world a better place.

In 2021, more than 250 employees participated in One Drop Foundation-Ovivo collective impact information sessions.

Financial Highlights

Guy Laliberté's financial commitment to the One Drop Foundation covers all of our administration expenditures.

2021 generated funds


2021 project funding


Thank You

Together, we unite art and water to create a lasting change

At the One Drop Foundation, our mission goes further than access to water. Our focus is SDG 6, ensuring water and sanitation for all—but its ripple effects benefit multiple SDGs, including SDG 3, ensuring health and wellbeing for all, and SDG 10, reducing inequality worldwide. Also SDG 13, which combats climate change impacts. Ensuring sustainable access to sanitation facilities also has direct impacts on SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and SDG 4, about inclusive and equitable quality education for all. For any real change to occur in the world, everyone everywhere needs equitable access to water.

But perhaps most important to our work—and to your role in it—is SDG 17, whose aim is to strengthen international partnerships for sustainable development. Because when the goals are important, the only way to reach them is by working together.

These goals, while challenging, are vital, and they’re something we can accomplish side by side. Through working together. Through a creative and artistic mindset. Because art is what triggers emotions, and emotions are what can create real and sustainable change.

Yet 20 percent of the world’s population does not have water at home. Let’s work towards changing that and continue to grow the power of art to benefit sustainable development. Let’s partner together and make a real difference for millions of people worldwide.

We are profoundly grateful to all our valued donors, esteemed partners, and renowned ambassadors for supporting the One Drop Foundation and joining us in turning water into action in 2021 and for the future.

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The list below is a glimpse of the visionary community we have the privilege of counting on.

Guy Laliberté


Kevin O'Leary

Rosenbaum Family Foundation

AREA15 • Bolton Food Spa • Bombardier Inc. • Brian Kunec • Carla Redmond • Clear Skies Foundation • CVL Cosmetics North America Inc • Daniel Negreanu (via • David Coulthard • Davis Marksbury • Donald Ziraldo • Enjoy Sharing SAS • Guusto Gifts Inc. • Howard Horowitz • Iamgold Corporation • Jackie Stewart • Kateri Da Silva • Laurent Dassault • Malik Youyou • Desjardins Group • Nissan Mosapor • Rory Kaplan • Tao Jones Charitable Foundation • The Fitzhenry Family Foundation • Uranium Energy


Blake, Cassels & Graydon S.E.N.C.R.L./s.r.l • Champagne Barons de Rothschild • Caves Carrière • Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Lalique • Château Rieussec • Château Mouton Rothschild • Garival Inc. and Robert Blain • Cognac Hardy • Destinations by Design • Ducasse Paris • Encore • Éric Carrière • Eve Faiveley • Frédéric Mairesse • Gérard Margeon • Hillebrand • Laurie Matheson • Luc Dabadie • Fayza Lamari and Kylian Mbappé • Mathilde Grivot • Romanée-Conti • Silvio Denz • Sting and Trudie Styler, and more.


Current Executing Partners

Centre Culturel Gambidi • Centre for microFinance • Cowater International Inc. • Espace Culturel Gambidi • Fundación Moisés Bertoni • Fundación PLAN • Helvetas • Living Water International • Makivik Corporation • Santé Monde (previously CCISD) • WaterAid America • WaterAid Canada • WaterAid India • WaterAid Mali • Water For People


Aarambh • Agencia de Comunicaciones del Pacífico – ACOP • Akshara Arts • Andres Avelino Cox Molina • Ashish Ghosh • Atelier Ribambelle • Aurora Villareal • Bakul Foundation • Bochin Teatro • Calipso • Centre Culturel Koré • Centre Pen • Christian Moreno • Crear en Libertad • Duyerling del Carmen Rios y Cristopher Mendoza • Earth Matters • El Bosque • El Cantaro • Espace Culturel Gambidi • Funarte • Fundacion Todo por el Cine A.C. • Jakaira • Jessica Alvarez • Kamruk Swayam Sevi Sansthan • La chambre d’écriture • Lalu Ram and group • Leopoldo Vazquez • Machincuepa Circo Social A.C • Maestros Del Entretenimiento • Moteur • Mujeres Creativas Lapta Yula • Nand Lal and group • Nanha Dia Kala Manch • Natya Chetana • Nobert Joseph • Orion Group • Pablo Duran • Porandu • Ramlal Bhatt • Red de muralistas Tetagua • Shri Krishan Kala Manch • Soyeto • Tekoha • The Performers • Tiliches del Baúl • Traca Traca • Tupiq A.C.T. • Uday Kumar • Vilas Janve • Wadner Peyizan • Wanky y Lady

Photo credits: Heidy Cabrera, Fundación Moisés Bertoni, Orion Group, Kore Design, Cody Arthur, Raïsa Mirza, Julio Piatti, and Khannagi Khanna.


One Drop Foundation works in collaboration with financial partners, major brands, international NGOs, and local organizations to connect water and art throughout our projects and put together impactful fundraising initiatives. Having strong, engaged partners is a key element that helps us contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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2021 Board of Directors

The One Drop Foundation’s Board of Directors is composed of recognized leaders from both the business and philanthropic communities, all of whom are strongly committed to the cause of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for all. They volunteer their time to advance this mission. Board members cover a vast range of expertise and provide advice, guidance, and counsel to the One Drop Foundation’s executive management team on a number of policies and strategic matters. They ensure that the One Drop Foundation rigorously applies best practices of good governance in compliance with the principles of accountability, integrity, equity, and transparency.

Board of directors

Guy Laliberté

Founder of One Drop, Cirque du Soleil, and Lune Rouge

France Chrétien Desmarais

Vice-Chair of the Board

Robert Blain
Jonathan Tétrault
Filippo Marchino
Jerry Nadal
Kateri Da Silva

2021 Executive Management Team

Jean-Louis Dufresne

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Clowery

Chief Philanthropy and Corporate Development Officer

Véronique Doyon

Chief Program Officer

Sandra Hector

Director, Talent Management

André Léger

Chief Financial Officer

Alexandre Meunier

Chief Marketing and Events Officer

Sofia Ruggiero

Legal Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Together, let's continue turning water into action

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