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    After the April and May earthquakes hit Nepal this year, they have been severely devastated. In observation of the destruction that led to a widespread need of clean water and medical attention, WaterStep and Normalyte have teamed up to delivery as much disaster relief as they can. WaterStep is a local non-profit organization that brings water purifiers, filtration systems, and health education to countries in need in order to create their own clean water. Normalyte is a local organization that has created an oral rehydration salt formula, based off of the new WHO (World Health Organization) formula, to combat dehydration in a more effective manner, providing the electrolytes and glucose with the water without the excess sugars and preservatives.

    I spoke with Mark Hogg, Founder and CEO of WaterStep, and Sam Lee, Founder and Creator of Normalyte, to discuss their work with the Nepal relief effort. Normalyte operations are based inside WaterStep’s international headquarters. Lee stated that this is the first time that WaterStep and Normalyte are partnering to send products together for a common cause. As Hogg and Lee emphasized, their mission statements are aligned with a common goal: to help people.

    Lee explained that in fall of 2014 Normalyte had built a relationship with Project Hope, an NGO (non-governmental organization) that brings essential medical relief to places of need worldwide, after they worked together in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. Consequently, Normalyte is again, working with Project Hope to donate thousands of Normalyte products to Nepal. However, this time, Lee has brought WaterStep onto this effort to introduce what the water purifiers can do and how important it is to send these two products together. This past Monday (June 1st), Normalyte had donated and shipped out 17,000 packets of Normalyte in addition to one water purifier, donated by WaterStep, to Project Hope working in to Nepal.

    Not only did Lee involve WaterStep with his work with Project Hope, but Hogg has also involved Normalyte with WaterStep’s networks in Nepal. Next week, week of June 15th, WaterStep and Normalyte will be sending out 100 water purifiers and hundreds of Normalyte packets to be used throughout seven regions in Nepal. Additionally, WaterStep will be sending a team of volunteers to set up a training center in Nepal at the end of June to teach other NGO’s working in disaster areas how to use the equipment at their stationed sites in those regions in Nepal. Hogg emphasized that they are able to send all of these water purifier systems thanks to the generous donations of the public. Funds are still needed, and they are still accepting donations on their site.

    Lee and Hogg repeatedly explained how their partnership is a match made in heaven. In regards to disaster areas, WaterStep comes in and makes water safe, and then Normalyte goes into the water to create an efficient, healthy rehydration solution. Lee stated that Normalyte wouldn’t be useful if the water is unsafe to drink, and so, it relies on WaterStep to create that safe water. Lee reiterated that WaterStep and Normalyte have a “synergistic relationship” that can positively impact the world. These local, Louisvillian companies are “affecting people worldwide, making a difference, and saving lives,” and Nepal is only the first of many future combined relief efforts.

    By working together, WaterStep and Normalyte can both continue to grow, and thereby, maintain their capabilities to help people on a global level. WaterStep and Normalyte are always interested in any help, whether it is donations and volunteers for WaterStep or volunteers and interns for Normalyte. Visit their sites, WaterStep and Normalyte, for more information on what they do, how you can help, and how you can become involved.

     

    Photo Courtesy of Irena Tran and Mark Hogg

     

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    About Irena Tran

    I studied Art at UofL and now physical therapy at Bellarmine University. I love art, sports, and good food. I'm always looking for something new to try and new concepts to photograph!

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