“We arrived in Tokyo on April 5th. What we encountered upon first light will be ingrained in my memory forever. Apocalyptic is the only word that comes to mind… There was not a soul in sight… just complete utter devastation… tanker ships in the middle of roads…”

– Jon Rose, Founder, Waves for Water

After the April 2011 tsunami in Japan, aid workers from Waves for Water distributed more than 100 Sawyer filters to those in need.

We quickly determined that the best candidates for our program were the little neighborhoods that were right along the edge of where the tsunami waters stopped. These people have houses that are still standing yet they have no water, plumbing, or electricity.

In one case, we saw an elderly woman washing clothes by hand in her driveway. We explained our mission and then offered her family a system. She looked at us and started to cry. She asked us, why her…? Why her family? What did they do to deserve this help? It was at this moment that my original intuition about finding pockets of people that, for some reason were being overlooked, was validated. It is these touching moments that symbolize everything we do and why we do it.


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