Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have announced they’ve donated $500,000 donation to Water First Education & Training.
Established in 2009 as Tin Roof Global, Water First is a Canada-based charity that focuses on providing Indigenous communities with sustainable access to safe, clean water by training young people to become certified water operators and environmental technicians. The non-profit was created in response to the disparities to clean water access in Canada. Across the country, 15% of First Nation communities are under a drinking water advisory.
“Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right,” Reynolds, who was born and raised in Canada, said in a statement on Thursday. “Canada is home to over 20% of the planet’s freshwater — an abundance that’s envied around the world. There’s absolutely no reason Indigenous communities should not have access to safe, clean water. All the individuals involved, whether they are operating water systems or monitoring their local water bodies, are critical. We appreciate Water First’s focus on supporting young, Indigenous adults to become certified water operators and environmental technicians. These folks are helping to ensure sustainable access to safe, clean water locally, now and for the future. Blake and I are thrilled to support this important work.”
The couple’s donation will provide resources to the charity’s Drinking Water Program, which provides training to young indigenous people to become water treatment plant operators and environmental water science technicians. The donation will also be used for Water First’s initiatives to teach indigenous youth about water science.
“From our first conversation with Ryan, his genuine interest in supporting education and training opportunities for young Indigenous adults and youth has been clear,” Water First executive director and founder John Millar said in a statement. “Many Indigenous community partners are reaching out to Water First to explore options to strengthen local technical capacity in the water field. Ryan and Blake’s tremendous support will significantly increase Water First’s ability to offer hands-on skills training to more Indigenous youth and young adults from coast to coast to coast. We are proud to support the steps Indigenous communities are taking to address local water challenges independently and for the long term.”