MWA Board Welcomes Eastern Congo Initiative as Newest Member of Alliance

  • Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) joins Millennium Water Alliance as its 20th member, bringing a decade of experience in water security and advocacy for sustainable and localized solutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Founded by Ben Affleck and Whitney Williams, ECI supports diverse Congolese initiatives, including female and youth entrepreneurship and justice for sexual violence survivors, contributing over $10.8 million to local projects.
  • MWA’s Global Impact Enhanced: With the addition of ECI, MWA strengthens its global reach in over 100 countries, leveraging ECI’s unique approaches to service delivery and advocacy for better water security, sanitation, and hygiene practices.

November 30, 2023, Washington, DC – The Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the addition of the Eastern Congo Initiative as the 20th member of the Alliance.

MWA members must meet a set of criteria and be approved by the Board for membership. The Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) has been working to improve water security through an innovative social enterprise model in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for almost 10 years through its subsidiary, Asili.  ECI is also a strong voice of advocacy for the sector.

Asili, co-designed with mothers from the South Kivu region of DRC, focuses on building financially self-sustaining systems based on pricing that local communities can genuinely afford.

“We are eager to learn from larger organizations with greater capacity and geographic footprint on how we can expand our services and scale our model. We also look forward to building relationships with decision makers to further our advocacy efforts promoting localization and sustainable business models.”

Abraham Leno, Executive Director, Eastern Congo Initiative

ECI was founded in 2010 by Ben Affleck and Whitney Williams to support local Congolese organizations and advocate for localization of aid. Through partnerships with local organizations, ECI supports female and youth entrepreneurship, transitional justice initiatives, reintegration of survivors of sexual violence, agricultural associations and savings groups, and other initiatives.  Since 2010, ECI has distributed more than $10.8 million to local organizations and has leveraged hundreds of millions more.

ECI has also advocated to the US Congress for localization of aid and to raise awareness of the conflict situation in the DRC.

“ECI brings an innovative service delivery and business model to the MWA community and has proven results for new ways of working through private enterprise and localization efforts that will be key to the future of the sector.  We are excited for how ECI’s expertise and voice will strengthen the alliance”

Keith Wright, Executive Director, Millennium Water Alliance

The Millennium Water Alliance, founded in 2012, is one of the world’s leading collaborations in the sector, supporting its members through shared learning, convening on best practices and technology, and advocacy to governments and other stakeholders for greater investment in global water security, sanitation, and hygiene.

MWA’s member organizations work in more than 100 countries around the world to bring safe drinking water, better sanitation, and improved hygiene practices to more than 50 million people every year. See a full list of members here and more information on our leading U.S. and global advocacy for water, sanitation, and hygiene and our field and member programs here.

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