FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is E.P.I.C. a 501c3 charity?
Yes, E.P.I.C. is recognized as a 501C3 non-profit organization through the state of New York. All donations are therefore tax-deductible, and gift receipts for donations are available upon request.
Where does the money donated to E.P.I.C. go?
100% of the money donated to E.P.I.C. through this site goes directly to the drilling of clean water wells, and the development of the villages where the wells have been drilled. Administrative costs and travel expenses are funded through the Fellowship Program, corporate sponsorship and partnerships with larger companies. If your company is interested in making financial and/or physical donations to E.P.I.C., or if you have any information about grants that we may be eligible for, please contact us at . All of the projects that are taken on by E.P.I.C. are made possible because of people like you, people who are inspired to do something E.P.I.C., and for that, we are extremely grateful.
Why start your own organization instead of raising money for an already existing organization?
Since many non-profit organizations today have very high administrative costs, we decided that the best way to ensure that 100% of all personal donations received would go directly to the cause, would be to do it ourselves! This way we can guarantee that if you donate (for example) $100, all 100 of it will be spent on providing clean water and assistance in community growth to a developing village. We couldn't guarantee that if we raised money for another organization that we were not in close contact with. We have also learned so much from starting our own organization, and feel very blessed to have experienced all that we have from the day we started until now!
How does E.P.I.C. support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
By drilling clean water wells and supporting with community growth and development in villages that do not have access to clean, E.P.I.C. is contributing to at least 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set forward by The United Nations.
One of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is to, "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all" (SDG 6). E.P.I.C.'s work directly supports this goal, by providing clean water to communities who do not have access to it, as well as supporting with proper Hygiene and Sanitation practices in each of the villages where a clean water well is provided.
SDG 5 is to "Achieve gender equality, and empower all women and girls." Since women and girls are responsible for collecting water for their households, if they no longer have to walk such long distances to collect the water, then that means that girls are more likely to attend school, and women are able to start small businesses to help support their families. Rape incidents are also less likely, considering the walk for water is no longer done late at night or along narrow pathways in the dark. We typically drill the well at the local school, so it is easy for most of the community to access.
Having the well at the school also means that education improves, because the children are no longer dehydrated during their classes. This supports SDG 4, which seeks to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all." E.P.I.C. also teaches a Leadership Program to the older students in each of the villages, preparing them for life after school.
Some schools use the water from the well to make porridge for the children, or to water gardens on the school grounds, where they grow food for the children and teachers to eat. This supports Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is to "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Having access to clean water also helps provide Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), as the community is no longer at risk of contracting water borne diseases, or suffering from other illnesses associated with not having access to enough safe water to drink. Women and girls are better able to stay clean during their menstrual cycles as well, because they can wash themselves with clean water from the well.
By hiring people in the local communities to drill and maintain the wells, as well as work on further community growth and development, E.P.I.C. is also contributing to SDG 8, which is to "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all." This also contributes to SDG 11, which seeks to build "Sustainable Cities and Communities," by making "cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable."
All of this contributes to SDG 10, which calls for "Reduced Inequalities, within and among countries," as well as working towards Sustainable Development Goal 1, which is to "End poverty in all its forms everywhere," and SDG 17, which seeks to find "Partnerships for the Goals."
What makes E.P.I.C. different from a lot of the other existing organizations supplying clean water to the developing world already?
Instead of merely assuming the needs of a community, E.P.I.C. employs a hands-on approach by spending time within each village and discussing the best methods of water aid with the local people, before implementing each well. This encourages community involvement, and promotes sustainability, since the local people are more likely to participate in the maintenance of the well if they are involved in the process of planning, installation, and proper upkeep.
E.P.I.C. also stays on top of the newest developments in the water industry by constantly applying new, reliable, sustainable and cost effective methods to its Ripple Project. E.P.I.C. employs local people to install and maintain the wells being provided. This allows E.P.I.C. to install more wells by keeping the costs low and also contributes to the local economy, and sustainability of the wells, due to local training and involvement.
Rather than simply selecting a location, drilling a well, and leaving the location, E.P.I.C. ensures that an extensive amount of follow-up is done in each community. This guarantees the best use, proper maintenance and sustainability of each well. By educating the people about things such as proper hygiene and sanitation methods, and clean, safe collection and storage of the water, E.P.I.C. not only provides the necessary access to clean water, but makes certain the proper use and handling of the water as well.
Through constant research, E.P.I.C. stays ahead of the environmental changes that are likely to affect the world's water sources, which could interfere with the installation of clean water wells, if not properly addressed. E.P.I.C. uses environmentally friendly means to install all wells, so as not to contribute to the dangerous amount of environmental degradation happening throughout the world today. Most importantly, E.P.I.C. maintains a grass-roots foundation by approaching every endeavor in a personal and empathetic way.
How far do people in the developing world have to walk (on average) for water on any given day?
When we visited Tanzania in the summer of 2007, we walked with one local woman for 4 miles (there and back) to collect water from the village's only source (a dirty river). This distance is one that is typically walked by many women and children in developing countries to collect enough water for their families. Sometimes the trip is made 4-5 times a day, meaning that the children often miss school as a result of it, and the women are unable to maintain successful businesses, due to a lack of time. In addition to that, the water they are collecting is often polluted, meaning that those who drink it could catch a number of diseases, which have the potential to kill if not properly treated.
What can I do to help?
If you would like to join us in Tanzania, please fill out an application to be considered for our E.P.I.C. Fellowship Program. Because E.P.I.C. is a movement of consciousness, awareness, and proactive spirit, the more help we can get, the easier it is for us to take action. We therefore encourage you to offer not only monetary gifts, but also your time, talent, or voice in whatever way you feel would contribute positively to our vision. You can donate to E.P.I.C. directly, or offer us your time by putting together your own E.P.I.C. fundraiser. You could also use your voice to raise awareness and empower people in your community by starting your own chapter of E.P.I.C. For more information on how you can help, feel free to contact us!
Why does E.P.I.C. support communities in Africa when there are so many problems facing people here in America?
Our work with E.P.I.C. is global. While our main focus is currently on community growth and development in Tanzania, the mission of E.P.I.C. is to galvanize other Everyday People Initiating Change all around the world. We have E.P.I.C. Fellows in The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Europe, and the Caribbean. Each of our E.P.I.C. Fellows are working within their personal surroundings to better the world around them. Our decision to focus the majority of our attention and funding to Tanzania for the time being, is because after our first trip there, we realized that so many people did not have access to the basic human need of clean water. We didn't feel capable of moving on from providing support to that cause, until every village that we are able to visit has access to clean water. There is still A LOT more work to be done, and we won't stop until we get there.
How can I go to Tanzania?
Click on COME TO TANZANIA in the Menu, and fill out an application to be considered our Fellowship Program.
Can I donate clothing, food or other goods to send to Tanzania?
While we greatly appreciate your generosity, E.P.I.C. does not accept gift-in-hand donations at this time, as shipping and taxes become quite an expensive issue when working overseas. We are regretful that at present we cannot accept such donations, but appreciate any and all efforts made to aid the people of Tanzania, and to support the movement of E.P.I.C., and we hope to be able to accept such gifts in the future.
What if I'm planning an event that I want E.P.I.C. to be a part of?
If you are planning an event that you feel E.P.I.C. could be involved in, please contact us at . E.P.I.C. welcomes partnerships with existing organizations, as well as encourages schools and individuals to take an active role in our movement by putting together their own fundraising events. If you have any questions about your fundraising efforts, or need ideas about where to start, please contact us at .
What if I want E.P.I.C. to come speak at my school, college or youth group?
Through our Active Awareness Program, we travel to different schools, and share our experiences in Tanzania with each class, encouraging the students to recognize the advantages of their own circumstances, and to look further into ways that they can contribute to either E.P.I.C., or any other cause that personally speaks to them and promotes positive change. Video footage from our trips made to Tanzania is shown at the schools, as well as the floor being opened up to any questions that the students may have. Some of the schools that have already welcomed and housed these talks are, Pepperdine University (Malibu, California), Hunter College CUNY (New York), Vineland Elementary, and Margate Middle School (both in New Jersey). We also plan on working with as many high schools as possible nation-wide in the near future.