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Q & A With The Founder of OpBlue

We are so excited to introduce you to our good friend Jack Wilson, who founded the Charity Opblue. Jack is based in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, and ever since Salty Aura started we have been watching Opblue come to life. Since day one, Salty Aura has funded over one hundred filter systems, with eighty filters currently in action providing hundreds of people with clean safe drinking water every day. Filtration systems have been provided to a mixture of households, schools and community centres in Kenya and Indonesia. The work that Opblue are doing is truly life changing and we cant wait to share more about it. 

Pictured above is Jade, Jack & Jake, founders of Salty Aura (Jade & Jake) and Opblue (Jack). Holding one of the Opblue Sawyer water filters. 

For those who don't know, what is Opblue and what do they do?

Opblue is a registered Australian Charity, dedicated to providing relief to those effected by the clean water crisis. We do this by implementing strong, short term solutions to families, communities and schools. With the use of Sawyer Filtration Systems, a simple, easy yet effective gravity fed system, these portable filters simple attach to a bucket or tank, and can provide clean drinking water for up to 5 years reaching up to 100 people per filter. 

What pushed you to start the charity OpBlue?

Inspired by the beautiful children of Huruma Children’s home, Nairobi, Kenya. The joy and motivation shining from Huruma is life changing, our initial steps to founding the project were taken well before this trip, but the project looked a little different back then, focusing on the plastic pollution crisis. I learnt so much about myself in Africa, and the project slowly grew into a platform orientated around the clean water crisis. The cards we have been dealt with in Australia, clean water, education, a roof over our head, motivates us to give back to the country that gives us so much hope.

We are fortunate enough in live in an area where clean water literally falls from the sky, yet over 800 million people in this world lack access without means of filtration. With children left the most venerable to waterborne diseases, and woman left to carry the burden of finding clean water, this crisis is locking communities in rural developing countries into poverty for generations. 

Access to safe drinking water is a stepping stone to change for areas as such, a game changer providing clean water not only to drink or cook, but to improve hygiene and sanitation. With access to clean water, a ripple effect begins, healthier children means more time in school, and men and woman at work, growing a stronger foundation to build a positive future in areas which all seemed a lost.

What countries are you providing water filters to?
To date, OpBlue has funded hundreds of systems in a mixture of households, communities and schools throughout Kenya, and more recently Indonesia. Currently, we are focusing on slum areas, where there is a strong and dire need for these systems as such.
What do you envision for the future of OpBlue?

Currently, we use 20L - 30L buckets attached to the Sawyer Filtration Systems, but in recent weeks, we have been working on a project we call a 'Community System". These Community Systems use a larger 700L - 1000L tank attached to 4 filters, placed in the middle of a community. In correlation with bucket filters, dependant on the dynamic of the community, our reach can be broadened to reach more of those in these areas without access to safe drinking water. 

Pushing forward, we have a few projects in the works, tying in disaster response and recovery, but we will keep those cards close to our chest until the time is right.

What other projects are on the horizon for yourself? We would love to hear more about Willow & Goose, and what the motive is behind that?
Willow & Goose Wines is a dream which grew from the devastation my family faced after the Cuddle Creek Bushfire. For me, this label is much more than a business venture, but my home, tragically lost, in a bottle. The philosophy behind the label being a platform marketed towards a young, hardworking, adventurous crowd, with a portion of each bottle funding a particular cause. 
With 2021 Willow & Goose Pinot Noir hitting the shelves late August, a portion of its profit will fund OpBlue, wine for change in a sense. It's an exciting venture which has fruited some incredibly great tales thus far.
Lastly, what are your 3 top places you have travelled to in Aus?
I have been very fortunate in my life to have had the opportunity to travel so much of Aus, but my top 3 would have the be:
  1. The Kimberly's, Western Australia
  2. Flinders Ranges, South Australia 
  3. Northern Tropical North Queensland

Donate Here 

If you would love to support Op Blue, we would be so so grateful if you left a donation through here 

Jack has now established a strong team in Kenya, who can now distribute up to 300 filters a month, changing thousands of lives. Every donation helps achieve this goal, and its even better knowing they operate with a business model, committing 100% of donations towards their cause. 

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