Darrel Larson is a man with a passion for people and a heart for the poor. He has been involved in the nonprofit world for many years and has spent a large portion of his life serving the needs of others. Darrel has been a crucial component in the exciting changes that have occurred in Fiji in regards to clean water and water education.
Darrel spent eight years as the country director with Amor Ministries, a non profit organization that builds houses in impoverished areas of Mexico. He served on Amor’s appropriate technologies team researching clean water filters, solar powered lighting, and composting toilets. In 2006 Darrel was offered a pastor position with Newbreak church and embarked on a new stage of his career and his life. At the brink of this new phase of his life, Darrel was looking to start a new project where he could make a tangible difference in the world and solve a global issue. Larson wanted to apply his previous background of data collection and surveying to a system of delivery for a water filtration project. Darrel decided to focus on bringing clean water to the millions of people around the globe who do not have access. The major challenge of his new project was to identify a specific location where he could begin this project. After much research, Darrel felt Fiji would be a great place to begin. Fiji has a tremendous need for water filtration; almost 50% of the Fijian population do not have access to clean water. Furthermore, the country of Fiji is relatively small and the prospect of solving an entire country’s water problems was tangible. Fiji was very welcoming and open to his ideas and Darrel began to prepare for his first trip to Fiji.
Darrel’s first trip to Fiji was in August 2008. He went to meet with the Fijian Government and to survey the need for clean water. He had originally planned on using a BioSand filtration system that is commonly used by other organizations; however, the filtration system is cumbersome, labor intensive, and costly. Two weeks before his first trip to Fiji, a company released a new top-of-the-line water filter called the Point One Filter. Darrel brought two of the new water filters with him to Fiji and after performing water testing and analysis on the new water filter, was convinced that this filter was going to be the most effective tool for accomplishing his mission of solving water issues.
After the August trip, Darrel felt that it was tangible to solve Fiji’s entire water problem using the Point One filter and decided to start a nonprofit organization called Give Clean Water, based out of San Diego, California. Give Clean Water was the first organization to use this filter in international development projects.
The first official Give Clean Water trip was in October 2008, through which the organization’s volunteers donated and installed over 300 water filters in Fiji. What makes Give Clean Water stand out is its focus on impact analysis using data collection and follow up visitations. Give Clean Water is dedicated to ensuring its work in Fiji is valid and backed with tangible, evident results.
Darrel Larson currently serves as Give Clean Water’s board chair, and is the missions pastor of Newbreak Church in San Diego, California.