Blood: Water Mission recruits students to provide clean water in Africa

Blood: Water Mission

By Kendra Loh

The Blood: Water Mission, a non-profit organization based in Nashville, is recruiting young and passionate, college students to join their effort to provide clean water and a HIV-free society for Africans.

This faith-based organization strives to empower the local African community to combat issues by partnering with them and sending funds for clean water and health care to more than 1,300 communities in Africa.

Blood: Water Mission was founded by the members of the Grammy Award-winning band Jars of Clay, after its members traveled to Africa in 2004 and realized the water and HIV/AIDS crisis in the area.

The band also saw the vital link between living with AIDS and the need for clean water in the community.

After coming back from Africa, band members partnered with Jena Nardella, a 22-year-old college student from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, and founded the Blood: Water Mission.

“The way we engage people is by grassroots movements so information is being spread by word-of-mouth in a local community in America,” said Michael Dean, manager of volunteer engagement in Blood: Water Mission.

“The community then responds by creating volunteer-led and community-driven events, for example things like benefits concerts or 5Ks that will help fund the cause of the mission,” Dean said.

Blood: Water Mission encourages the local community to raise funds and organize events to help increase awareness for clean water and clean, HIV-free blood for African communities.

“We partner with existing and locally-run organizations in Africa and they apply for funding to help resolve issues, after that the amount and help needed is sent to them by Blood: Water Missions,” Dean said. “It is really about making the local Africans the heroes in their community.”

Dean emphasized the need of college students to be involved in the effort and to start their own campus chapter for the cause.

“A campus chapter is basically a group of students that are passionate about the HIV/AIDS and clean water crisis in Africa and wants to partner with Blood: Water Mission to help raise awareness and money through creative social actions,” Dean said.

Some of the events held by college students on campuses nationwide include 5K runs, golf tournaments and benefit concerts.

“Blood: Water was founded by a college student, and this shows that you really do not have to be out of college to do great things for the community,” Dean said.

Dean added that God can use passion to create a significant change in a community.

Since Blood: Water Mission started in 2004, more than 800,000 people in Africa have benefitted from the clean water project and 40,000 or more people were tested for HIV/AIDS in the newly-situated clinics in Africa.

Some of the countries that have received help are Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Rwanda.


Students who are interested can visit the mission’s website,, or send an email to to find more information on how to be involved, apply to be an intern or to make a donation to the cause.