One of the most inspiring and important charitable initiatives by a fragrance brand kicks off this month. Giorgio Armani’s Acqua for Life, a campaign that aims to provide safe drinking water in Africa, Latin America and Asia, will assist hundreds of communities in drought-striken parts of the planet through the sale of Acqua di Gioia and Acqua di Gio bottles. The aquatic-themed scents will come with limited edition sleeves with an intricate illustration that depicts the importance of clean water to our communities. But more importantly, each sale will provide 100 litres of safe drinking water to children, every year, for 10 years. It’s a cause close to Mr. Armani’s heart.
This is the fourth consecutive year Armani has partnered with Green Cross to roll-out sustainable drinking water systems in aqua-scarce communities. The 2014 program will include the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka for the first time. Funds raised will pay for water pumps, wells, and rainwater harvesting systems in more than 60 communities and schools in Ghana, Bolivia, Mexico and China. The cumulative effect will be about 150 million litres of water per year.
“Green Cross and Giorgio Armani are ensuring thousands of people have access to water, the most vital natural resource on the planet,” says Marie-Laure Vercambre, Director of GCI’s Water for Life and Peace programme. “We are delighted to continue this partnership in 2014, and excited to expand to Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Acqua for Life helps GCI and Giorgio Armani work towards our join ambitions to ensure people all over the world have access to sustainable sources of safe drinking water.”
One of the most interesting parts of the program is GCI’s Smart Water for Green Schools project, which has been installing water systems in schools and communities living in water poverty in Africa, Latin America and Asia since 2010. In water-scarce communities, it is often the role of school-aged children to fetch water from distant, often unsafe, water sources, forcing their absence from class, and also posing health and security concerns. The latter is also true for women, who are traditionally responsible for collecting water for their families. This programme has literally helped increase school enrolment, particularly in Ghana. Oprah Winfrey has been a keen advocate for promoting education for girls in South Africa. She’s said that the key to strengthening communities and neighbourhoods is through education.
In Sri Lanka, the remote village of Pulawala, in the Eastern Province district of Amara, is home to about 1,000 people, who face severe water shortages during the April-October dry season. During this period, people – routinely children – must walk 10-15 kilometres to fetch water for their families. Last year, Acqua for Life installed mechanized boreholes to provide water to residents of the Aboabo slum, in Ghana’s second largest city of Kumasi.
GCI was founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization advocating and working globally to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty, eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. It is head-quartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Giorgio Armani Acqua for Life Acqua di Gioia, 100 ml, retails for $76, and the Acqua for Life Acqua di Gio for him, 100 ml, retails for $99. Twitter hashtag: #acquaforlife2014