Gary White Named Skoll Social Entrepreneur

WaterPartners executive director and co-founder, Gary White, has been selected to join the community of Skoll social entrepreneurs. The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship carries with it an award of $765,000 for WaterPartners to help reach more people with access to clean water and sanitation through WaterPartners' WaterCredit Initiative and innovative online community-building efforts.

The award is presented by the Skoll Foundation to recognize the most innovative and sustainable approaches to resolving the world's most urgent social issues. The Skoll Foundation was created by eBay's first president, Jeff Skoll. White joins a prestigious global network of Skoll entrepreneurs, now numbering 72 and representing 59 organizations, who are working around the world on issues including tolerance and human rights, health, economic and social equity, peace and security, institutional responsibility, and environmental sustainability.

White will be presented the award by Skoll Foundation Chairman Jeff Skoll, Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg, and special guest 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. R. K. Pachauri, at a ceremony on March 26 at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford in England. White will be participating in the three-day World Forum along with over 700 attendees from the global social entrepreneurship community.

"In these tough times, it's particularly important to recognize those exemplary organizations that tackle the world's most pressing social and economic challenges and deliver real change," said Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "We're pleased to welcome Gary White to the community of Skoll social entrepreneurs. WaterPartners International is supporting systemic change in the area of access to clean water and proper sanitation. Its innovative approach will bring great new ideas and new points of leverage into the ecosystem of Skoll social entrepreneurs working around the globe to create a world in which we all want to live."

"I'm honored that WaterPartners has received this award from the Skoll Foundation and excited to see its impact on the people we serve," said White. "Access to affordable credit, which is the goal of our WaterCredit Initiative, will empower millions of people to obtain safe water and sanitation. In order to meet the needs of the nearly one billion people currently living without access to safe water and 2.6 billion without sanitation, we must affect large-scale, system change - access to affordable credit is one of the best ways to do this."

Nearly two decades ago, White co-founded the U.S.-based nonprofit organization WaterPartners to address the global water crisis in a new, sustainable way. Since that time, WaterPartners' innovations in programs and financing have led the way in tackling the global water crisis. WaterPartners' WaterCredit Initiative catalyzes small loans to individuals and communities who otherwise do not have access to credit for water and sanitation purposes. Currently, WaterCredit is offered in India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ghana. Last year alone, WaterPartners' WaterCredit and grant programs empowered more than 142,000 people in Africa, South Asia and Latin America to achieve access to clean water and sanitation.

About the Skoll Foundation The Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by eBay's first president, Jeff Skoll, to promote his vision of a more peaceful and prosperous world. Today, the Skoll Foundation advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs - individuals dedicated to innovative, bottom-up solutions that transform unequal and unjust social, environmental and economic systems.

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is the foundation's flagship program. There are currently 59 organizations represented by 72 remarkable social entrepreneurs in the program, working individually and together across regions, countries and continents to deliver positive, sustainable change. The Skoll Foundation connects social entrepreneurs and other partners in the field via an online community at and through the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The foundation also celebrates social entrepreneurs by telling their stories through partnerships with the PBS Foundation and the Sundance Institute, with the goal of promoting large-scale public awareness of social entrepreneurship.

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About WaterPartners WaterPartners is a nonprofit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Founded in 1990, WaterPartners works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success. Its microfinance-based WaterCredit Initiative is pioneering sustainable giving in the sector.

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