Safe water and sanitation are basic human rights!

Construction for Change (CfC) has openings for volunteers with plumbing and electrical backgrounds who are looking to give of their time and expertise in exchange for a once in a life time experience as a CfC Project Manager serving in under-resourced communities across the globe.

“Our goal is to build safe, sustainable infrastructure for nonprofits across the world.  We partner with other non-profit organizations worldwide that are addressing gaps in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity, but lack the construction knowledge and financial resources to invest in the infrastructure needed to expand or improve their services. By providing quality infrastructure, we empower communities to create opportunity, improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, and help to break the cycle of poverty.”


These two projects are representative of some of the  types of projects that have recently benefitted from the services of volunteer plumbers connecting with Construction for Change:

Sierra Leone :

“We are working with partner organization, Partners in Health (PIH), to assist in making many improvements to an important regional hospital that will be PIH’s hub in SL. Ideal candidates have knowledge of water systems, sanitation, some electrical and basic building structures. We are looking for someone who can help the Operations and Clinical teams get things done in the face of many obstacles. Timeframe is a minimum of 6-12 months, would consider a shorter time period for someone who would have an impact. This role is critical to PIH’s program and mission in West Africa. All living travel and living expenses are paid for by CfC & its partner organizations.”



Project Manager(s) needed to oversee construction of a water systems project in Haiti.

CFC Haiti solar

cfc - haiti - st boniface hospitalThis  project may take as long as a year to complete, depending on the volunteer(s).  Overhauling a water system including conversion from diesel to solar power, for St. Boniface Hospital, and the Fond des Blancs community. Individuals with experience in plumbing and electrical are desired, previous experience in project management not required. Transportation, lodging, food, and insurance is provided.

For more info on these projects and others:

Please add your name to the Plumbers Without Borders’ volunteer database, by signing in and creating a profile.


Thank you!


Your plumbing and mechanical skills could help improve the lives of these beautiful children, who became orphans when the ebola virus took their parents.

They currently have to fetch water by hand from a nearby well, and would greatly benefit from the installation of a solar water pump. While the orphanage searches for a suitable pump kit, orphenage_2hopefully to be donated, they would love to hear from you if you could potentially help them with the installation and training to maintain.

Please sign up as a potential volunteer, or sign-in if you already have an account, and let us know that you would like to connect with this orphanage.


These Haitian siblings ― residents of Pierre Payen, Haiti ― are beaming with pride. They were the first.

The first home in Friendship Village with no flying insects spreading dangerous diseases to their family.

Also, the first residents in their village to live free from a latrine stench pervading their living quarters.

The first family in Haiti to have a revolutionary SaTo sanitary toilet pan installed in their home. And have their quality of life forever improved. On July 11, 2014, this Haitian banana harvester, Edline, and her family became owners of the first SaTo hygienic toilet pan installed in the Western Hemisphere.

The open latrine (left) allowed flying insects to come into contact with human waste and spread disease to the family. The American Standard SaTo toilet pan (right), shown with its proud owner, seals off the latrine to keep the home healthier and safer.
The open latrine (left) allowed flying insects to come into contact with human waste and spread disease to the family. The American Standard SaTo toilet pan (right), shown with its proud owner, seals off the latrine to keep the home healthier and safer.

The SaTo sanitary toilet pan was invented by plumbing manufacturer American Standard Brands initially for use in rural Bangladesh. It closes off pit latrines from the open air, reducing the transmission of disease via air-borne insects. Here in this village in Haiti, half a world away from Bangladesh, the SaTo toilet pan serves the same purpose.

With several small children, this household ― located 90 miles outside the island nation’s capital of Port o Prince ― was in desperate need of an improved sanitation device. Like most residents, this family was using an open latrine when going to the bathroom. Located inside their home, the latrine emitted an unpleasant odor while allowing insects to easily come into contact with the human waste. This led to the spread of disease from the pathogens transmitted from the insects to the family members.

Friendship Village ― built to give shelter to Haitian earthquake victims ― was the site of the first SaTo sanitary toilet pan installed in Haiti to prevent the spread of disease through insects' contact with human waste in open pit latrines.
Friendship Village ― built to give shelter to Haitian earthquake victims ― was the site of the first SaTo sanitary toilet pan installed in Haiti to prevent the spread of disease through insects’ contact with human waste in open pit latrines.

Nearly all of the villagers attended this historic SaTo installation. It symbolized an important step forward in improving sanitation in a nation still reconstructing two years after this devastating natural disaster. Aside from learning about the SaTo pan’s benefits, residents were educated on basic plumbing tips. They were instructed how to keep all open sewer lines tightly capped and extend the latrine vent well above the roof line of their homes.This initial SaTo pan was installed by American Standard’s Jim McHale, Ph.D., who serves as the Company’s global sanitation products business unit leader. McHale accompanied volunteers from Plumbers Without Borders to Haiti in July 2014 to determine if the SaTo pans would be useful in improving sanitation facilities in that country. He visited with 40 families in Friendship Village, a community developed and built by NGO Food for the Poor to provide shelter for the victims of the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

In 2014, American Standard will be donating more than 7,900 SaTo pans for use in homes, schools and tent cities in Haiti. Food for the Poor will assist with the pan distribution to villages throughout the nation. This effort will help Haiti’s residents rebuild with safer sanitation facilities and an improved quality of life, one SaTo at a time.

SaTo™ is a registered trademark of American Standard Brands.

Source: SaTo Stories: SaTo Toilet Pan Brings Safe Sanitation to Rural Haiti

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — In an early 20th century advertisement from American Standard Brands, a proud plumber holding a pipe wrench stands below a slogan that reads “The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation.” Now a five-year old, Seattle-based non-profit called Plumbers Without Borders (PWB) wants to update that truism for the 21st century.

“We want to be able to say that the plumber protects the health of the world,” said Domenico DiGregorio, a retired plumbing industry pro who is the organization’s co-founder and president. “As the world marked the 13th annual World Toilet Day in November, we wanted to see how this relatively young organization is working to raise awareness.”

Read the full article over at

Debra Judge Silber, of Fine Homebuilding Magazine, recently sat down with Fred Schilling for an insightful interview about his work and altruistic efforts. Fred is a VP of Plumbers Without Borders and has made a name for himself as not only a master plumber but also as caring individual who is not afraid to get his hands dirty for the greater good.

He’s plumbed luxury homes, commercial buildings, and a water park. Now he’s bringing clean water—and the skills needed to keep it flowing—to Haiti.

Read the full interview

One day after working at the site of the KFDCO (Kidney Failure Dialysis Charity Clinic), presently under construction in Addis Ababa, I noticed a large sign displaying a plumbing product training session at the entrance to the Ghion Hotel where I was staying while working with the construction crew.

I thought it would be interesting to partake and learn at this training session, as the IPS pipe and fittings was the preferred product of choice for the conditioned water recirculation loop to the kidney dialysis machines in the new clinic. After a warm welcome by all, I participated in the training along with the KFDCO Administrator Alemayehu Workshet…true to form plumbers do ask the same questions the world over…

[slideshow_deploy id=’166′]

Read Dom’s letter about his trip

Fred Schilling returns to an improving but still tenuous situation in island nation struggling to bounce back from natural disaster.
As Haiti struggles to recover from the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and devastated much of the nation’s infrastructure, the effort continues to provide residents there with safe drinking water.

Last May, plumber Fred Schilling spent a week in Haiti teaching plumbing workshops and helping students from Haiti Tec install a water-purification system from start to finish. The system had been designed and donated by Water World Partners, a student group at Seattle University.

Read the full article

Returning from a life-changing journey to Ethiopia, along with a diverse team of volunteer doctors, and medical professionals from the Seattle Anesthesia Outreach (SAO), Fred Volkers and Domenico DiGregorio embarked on the initial phase of implementing several plumbing infrastructure improvements in local medical facilities.
As we described in our last post, the unthinkable conditions at Black Lion hospital in Addis Ababa, as well as the urgent need for a Dialysis facility in a nearby hospital, captured our attention, both from a human standpoint, but especially as plumbers….we knew we could make a difference.

Standing face-to-face with many hopeful dialysis patients, who we knew would die without this life-saving equipment, our quest was clear and our resolve strengthened.

Thanks to Fred Volkers and Stirrett Johnsen Mechanical Contractors (Seattle), arrangements are underway for procuring the equipment needed to build and set up a shipping container-ized dialysis facility, which can be installed (plug & play) upon arrival to Ethiopia.

Read Dom’s letter about his trip

Volunteer Plumbers will be joining a diverse team of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, dialysis specialists and other professionals headed to Ethiopia in support of a great Seattle grass-roots organization, the Seattle Anesthesia Outreach group. The patients of Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa have already benefited greatly from their previous trips, and await their return with happy anticipation.

[slideshow_deploy id=’148′]

Read our recent announcement

It may not be the most glamorous job, but it’s certainly one of the most important: bringing in the water and moving out the waste. “Plumbers Without Borders” are bringing basic needs to people in need around the world and doing a dirty job for free.

Fred Schilling donates his time and considerable expertise to help Haitian people obtain safe, clean drinking water.

In nearly four decades as a plumber, there isn’t much that Fred Schilling hasn’t seen. Since beginning his career with the U.S. military and becoming one of south Florida’s youngest-ever Certified Master Plumbers in 1976 with a perfect 100 percent on the exam, Schilling estimates that he has been involved in about 800 construction projects over 36 years, including virtually every type of large-scale project imaginable. This includes, schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers and even Six Flags Atlantis, which when build in the early 1980s was the world’s largest water theme park.

His latest endeavor, however, could be his most daunting – and rewarding – yet: helping bring clean, safe drinking water to the people of Haiti.

Read the full article