Numi Tea’s Foundation Launches New Initiative to Provide Clean Drinking Water to Displaced Ukrainians

Cover image courtesy of the Numi Foundation

Numi Organic Tea, founded in 1999 in Oakland, Calif., by brother-and-sister team Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani, has always had a mission not only to share the healing and transformative power of tea with the world, but also to help make that world a little better.

This aim is what led them to create the Numi Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote human rights by helping as many people as possible to satisfy their basic human needs.

One of their most successful projects is Together for H2OPE, a nonprofit program born in 2016 with the aim of bringing clean and safe drinking water to tea-farming communities around the world. After successfully implementing this program in Madagascar, India, and South Africa, the Numi Foundation recently announced the latest and most urgent activation of the program: Together for H2OPE: Ukraine.

For this effort, the the Numi Foundation joined forces with Waves For Water, a guerrilla-style humanitarian aid organization that has been helping to implement clean-water solutions in remote communities since its founding in 2009 by professional surfer Jon Rose, and MPOWERD, a B Corp on a mission to transform lives by creating sustainable, thoughtfully designed and affordable products. With the help of those partners, the Numi Foundation’s plan is to raise $1 million to provide clean, safe drinking water, as well as lights and charging devices, to 550,000 displaced Ukrainians who are currently suffering from the devastation caused by the Russian invasion.

A volunteer for Together for H2OPE: Ukraine stockpiles water for displaced Ukrainians. Photo courtesy of Together for H2OPE.

The idea is to distribute 22,000 water filters (each of which has the potential to provide 1 million gallons of clean water, enough to supply a family of five for up to 20 years), while at the same time providing solar-powered lights and portable charging units to help Ukrainian families charge their mobile devices to stay connected to both loved ones and essential services.

Many players stepped up to help with this project. Waves for Water’s Clean Water Corps—a task force made up entirely of military veterans—is already in action, providing necessary support in tackling waterborne disease, while the MPOWERD partnership is providing the technology needed to provide these Ukrainians with access to both light and energy.

The Numi Foundation’s Together for H2OPE program has successfully provided clean-water access to communities in Madagascar, India, and as pictured here, South Africa. Photo courtesy of Numi Tea.

Emad “Gianni” Ballack, a restaurant owner and entrepreneur based in Kyiv, Ukraine, is also helping with the mission by delivering water filters, light, and water to those who would otherwise fall through the cracks. At the same time, the national governments in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova are joining forces to do their part in this goal as well.

Last but not least, thousands of people from all over the world are contributing, not only by donating money but also by buying tea: Numi has committed to giving a portion of all sales to help fund the Together for H2OPE program.

Palates of water for the Together for H2OPE funded in part by Numi Foundation.
The Together for H2OPE: Ukraine program, which was designed to provide clean drinking water for displaced Ukrainians, was spearheaded by the Numi Foundation. Photo courtesy of the Numi Foundation.

The pilot program, implemented by Waves for Water and funded by the Numi Foundation, was a huge success, providing water filters for more than 15,000 Ukrainians.

But this is only the beginning. Phase two of the Together for H2OPE: Ukraine program, which launched in July and runs through the end of September, aims to reach the final goal of $1 million in an effort to provide funding for 22,000 water systems, which would provide access to clean water for 550,000 people, while at the same time give them access to light and energy.

Considering that there are currently around 6 million displaced people in Ukraine—people who cannot access clean water and whose basic needs are compromised—the efforts of the Together for H2OPE: Ukraine program may seem like just the beginning of the vast support this group needs. But it matters now more than ever, and provides a glimpse of what’s possible when people come together for the sake of others.

For information about how to get involved and/or donate to the Together for H2OPE: Ukraine program, follow this link.


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.

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