Saran Kaba Jones is a Liberian social entrepreneur who has become an international figure with her advocation for clean water.
Jones is the Founder of FACE Africa , an award winning social enterprise working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities in Liberia.
She fled her country at the age of 8 with her family in the wake of a devastating
civil war which lasted for over a decade.
Jones returned home in 2008, she was unprepared for the damages caused by civil war in her country.
“I had seen it on TV, but seeing kids on the street, selling snacks to support their families instead of going to school, that made it real,” she says.
The young innovator felt the need to change the circumstances in her community.
In early 2008, she launched FACE Africa. with the goal of providing educational opportunities to children and young adults in Liberia and other war-torn countries.
“I went thinking education was the solution, but when I talked to people, it was water, water, water,” says Kaba Jones.
“I wanted to do something internationally that would help people, and specifically my native Liberia – I just never knew what.”
In October 2009, with a $10,000 grant from the Davis Project for Peace, a Vermont-based charity, she began
implementing her first clean water project in Barnesville, Liberia.
The project involved the installation of a water purification system capable of producing up to 20,000 liters of drinking water per day and currently supplies
over 600 residents with clean drinking water.
Exactly one year later, she broke ground on a water and sanitation
project in a small rural community called Joezohn with no access to safe drinking water or sanitation facilities.
The project was implemented in partnership with Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization based in Ireland, and funded with the help of a $20,000 grant she received from the Chase Community Giving Program.
Her Organization, FACE Africa, has built 50 systems over the past seven years—and every single one of them is still in use today.
“First I had to listen to what people wanted,” she says.
“Then I had to figure out how to make those systems last.”
Her goal is simple, to enable clean, safe drinking water flowing in Liberia.
She says: “In Liberia alone, millions of people do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. At FACE Africa, we believe that providing clean and safe drinking water is the
first step to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. We have an ambitious yet simple goal: clean, safe drinking
water for EVERY SINGLE person in Liberia!”