Mission, Goals and Targets
We're a volunteer-based charity inspired by Jesus to help people obtain the safe water they need to survive.
Why We Exist
Lifewater exists because someone -- usually a child -- is dying every 20 seconds from drinking unsafe water!
Our Strategy
It's simple: Volunteers train African and Haitian teams to drill wells and complete other water projects. Generous donors make it affordable for poor villagers.
Board Members and Staff
Learn about our board members, part-time staff, and important aspects of our governance policies and procedures.
Lessons We've Learned
Read about real-life situations that have helped us to refine our strategy.
Jim Gehrels
Jim Gehrels, Lifewater's co-founder, did not let blindness dim his vision for safe water for millions of people in Africa and Haiti.
Frequently Asked Questions

Our vision

Lifewater Canada was founded in 1995, and became a Registered Canadian Charity in 1997, on the certainty that all lives are of equal value in God's eyes, and must be in our eyes too.


DSC00094.JPG 3 MBWe are passionately driven to save as many lives as possible.


Our vision is a world where the place you are born does not determine whether you live or die. Together we can get there, one drop at a time!


Lifewater Canada was founded in 1995 by Jim Gehrels, Glenn Stronks, and several other volunteers who were convinced that being Christian is far more than just going to church on Sunday.

When people ask: "Why did you provide our village with the equipment and training we needed to get safe water?", we say it is because we are inspired by Jesus' dedication to serving others.


In our experience, the compassion that Canadians feel for those walking miles to draw water from a stagnant swamp reflects the same compassion Jesus showed for the poor and oppressed. Our desire is to provide people with a lifetime of adequate quantities of safe water, thanks to donors who come from many walks of life and many faiths.


We strive for consistency between our beliefs and our actions by:

  • Regarding all people as being created equal
  • Speaking and acting honestly
  • Ensuring that donations are used for the purpose for which they were given
  • Holding ourselves openly accountable before God and our donors for all that we do

We envision a world in which children do not get sick and die because they have no safe drinking water; a world where girls, who would otherwise have to walk miles to find water for their families, can spend their time in school, receiving the same educational opportunities as boys.

We also envision a world in which all people are treated equally, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, family status, race, culture, ethnic or national origin, religious beliefs, age, political affiliation, or other characteristics. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy explains this commitment in detail.


Our donors and sponsors


We are deeply grateful to the ordinary people, foundations, businesses, civic groups, churches, and schools in Canada, the United States, and Europe making an extraordinary difference in this world through Lifewater. They are saving countless lives by making badly needed water and sanitation projects affordable to the rural poor in Africa and Haiti.


Why invest in Lifewater Canada?


We are uniquely positioned to enable you to invest in cost-effective compassionate relief because we:

  • Consistently keep our overhead costs below 10%
  • Have a proven record since 1995, giving more than six million people safe water so far!
  • We help people regardless of their race, religion, gender or political views
  • Link donations to specific projects; when projects are completed, Lifewater provides sponsors with GPS coordinates, photos, correspondence from the beneficiaries, and technical project details 
  • Build capacity by forming, training, and equipping registered non-profits overseas that are managed and staffed by local people
  • Have developed a multi-phase approach to mobilizing communities to ensure long-term project maintenance
  • Post financial information and newsletters online to promote transparency.
  • Follow a proven framework for fiscal responsibility
  • Provide free well-drilling training materials for anyone to use; we want to help as many people as possible, and believe that true empowerment comes from sharing knowledge!
Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!






457 Heather Crescent
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1
+1 807-622-4848

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