You would like to support Viva con Agua and/ or our projects? - Well you just found the right place to do so! You want to fight with us for a world without thirst? As a young organisation we are happy …
Telling the story of Viva con Agua Nederland would not be complete without how Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli e.V., our mother organisation, came to life. Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli was registered and acknowledged as a non-profit organisation in 2006. A year before, the founder, former FC St. Pauli professional football player Benjamin Adrion, went on a training camp on Cuba, where he first witnessed the dimension of the lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation first hand. With this motivation and partnered up with the German Welthungerhilfe he then initiated Viva con Agua in Germany.
In 2012, the founder of Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli was invited to the Social Entrepreneurship Conference in Maastricht by one of the prospective founders of VcA NL. Lukas, David and Philippe (the three founders of VcA NL) sat in the audience and were fascinated by the keynote of Benjamin Adrion. As VcA just expanded to Switzerland and Austria, the capacity for founding another organisation in the Netherlands was low, which is why the three decided to organise parties and donate all the profit to VcA de Sankt Pauli. Visitors of these parties started to get into conversations on the streets of Maastricht, as they recognised each other’s Love Shirts which were handed out at the parties. As a community started to form, Lukas, David and Philippe decided to start a foundation with the creative name ‘Love Foundation,’ which was meant to keep on organising parties and donate profits to Viva con Agua.
A few years later in 2015, capacity for a Dutch Viva con Agua existed and Lukas, David and Philippe approached a lawyer to register Viva con Agua Nederland. For this official meeting Micha Fritz from the German organisation, also joined. Viva con Agua Nederland was founded.
On the 1st of December 2019, we had the pleasure of hosting Malawian national treasure Code Sangala. In Malawi, In 2017 and 2018, two social art galleries were organised by Viva con Agua Nederland in Maastricht. The Millerntor Gallery Maastricht 2017, still under the name of it’s bigger sister in Hamburg, was the first social art gallery by Viva con Agua organised in the Netherlands and hosted several international artists, while offering a cultural and musical side program.
In 2018, the gallery was renamed to Waterhouse Gallery and hosted some of the known artists within the network, as well as new ones. The art galleries are a big part of the work of Viva con Agua Nederland, as we are able to prove that ‘Art creates Water’.
In 2019 two students got to know each other at the global network meeting of Viva con Agua and found out that both of them study in Groningen. A few months later in September of 2019, they founded the Viva con Agua crew in Groningen, which soon grew into a crew of around 15-20 active supporters. Some of the first events of the VcA Groningen crew were a cooperation with the Groningen techno collective Temple at one of their parties, as well as a Viva con Agua concert with a musician from Malawi and instrumentalists from Groningen.
The year 2020 was meant to be the revival year of the Waterhouse Gallery. With a motivated team, finished project plan and curated art works, however, the Covid pandemic stalled our dream of making the Waterhouse Gallery happen in Groningen. Nonetheless, with all the creative minds within the team an idea came up to organize an art gallery in conformity with the Covid measures. So, in November 2020 the Waterhouse Gallery channeled opened up. Visitors could walk a route around the city center of Groningen with stops at windows of Groningen’s kindest citizens, where artworks from artists within the VcA NL network were exhibited. Although the actual plan of hosting a big gallery with cultural and musical programs had not been possible, the Waterhouse Gallery channeled gave hope and motivation to all the supporters and artists in times in which the cultural sector had to suffer tremendously.
After 6 years of establishing Viva con Agua Nederland as an organisation, the three founding members followed their own interesting projects which also meant leaving behind Maastricht and the Netherlands as a whole. Therefore, a new team of motivated volunteers from Groningen officially took over the board of Viva con Agua Nederland. Lena, Lissy, Annika, Sal and Rouven, who have been in close contact with the three founders for the sake of knowledge exchange and support, are developing new ideas in order to increase the reach of Viva con Agua within the Netherlands. So, be excited for future projects, collaborations and enjoy this very new website.