Water for Life

TBC, Cambodia

Description of Assignment

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Water for Life addresses gaps in rural communities’ water ecosystem through the implementation of clean water technology, along with hygiene lessons.

Water for Life is our direct-service clean water programme which addresses gaps in rural communities’ water ecosystem.  We employ different types of clean water technology, such as bio-sand water filters, tube wells and membrane water filters, to best suit the needs of each community. Our goal? To reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases, improve hygiene and sanitation conditions, enhance livelihood opportunities and improve overall well-being. 

Our very first installation of Water for Life was launched in 2010 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. With the help of 430 SIVs, over 17,000 Cambodian villagers have benefited from having over 2,600 bio-sand filters installed in their homes. The project was supported by Deutsche Bank and Ngee Ann Development, and implemented in partnership with Water for Cambodia and Angkor Hospital for Children. 

Three other Water for Life projects, in Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar, continue to bring access to clean water to thousands of friends overseas. We have also worked with scores of volunteers to share skills on literacy training and education on basic hygiene with hundreds of our friends in the villages.

In Cambodia, we work in partnership with Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd and the Sao Sary Foundation to provide more than 20,000 friends in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, with easy access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation facilities through the installation of bio-sand water filters, borehole wells and latrines. Watch video here.

Learn how to build and install a Bio-Sand filter here.

In Indonesia, we work with the Metro for Children charity to bring clean water to 50,000 school-going children and adults through the installation of more than 200 membrane water filters in over 100 participating schools and communities in Lamongan.

Learn how to install a membrane water filter here.

In Myanmar, we collaborate with Mingalar Myanmar, Keppel Land and Red Cross to improve access to clean water for over 7000 people in rural communities along the Ayeyarwady Delta (also called the Irrawaddy Delta). The region was severely affected by Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and we have been working to restore access to clean drinking water and improve healthcare by installing tube wells, refurbishing community health centres and training medical staff at these centres. Watch video here.


All volunteers are required to finance their own volunteer trips, including airfare, accommodation, travel insurance, local transport and meals.

Volunteers must be:

  • Singapore citizens, PR or foreigners holding a work or study visa who are residing in Singapore
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Medically fit for overseas travel involving manual work
  • Adaptable and willing to serve
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity
  • Have an open mind and interest in learning about different cultures
  • Have a sense of humility and friendliness, with the desire to serve the local community
  • Teamwork and able to gain trust and build good rapport with fellow volunteers, local partners and community leaders, in order to work efficiently together to achieve the objectives of the project

Support Provided

The SIF will make all the necessary arrangements for you for the trip. We will also conduct a pre-departure briefing and relevant training to equip and better prepare volunteers for the volunteer trip. An SIF staff or a team-leader will also provide on-site assistance during the volunteer trip.

A team co-ordinator will be appointed for every volunteer group to liaise with an SIF staff to coordinate the volunteer trip. The team co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring the required forms are duly completed and submitted, as well as coordinating the travel plans and arranging logistics for team. An SIF staff will be available throughout for consultation.

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