About Us

The Humanity4Water Awards began as a small seed in 2007, started by myself and hubby Chief Olu Derrick Lewis.  It all began with  a serene  walk we took through the sacred Osun Grove in Nigeria, a World Heritage site. We were inspired by her  whispering grace, beauty and mirror of powerful collective action for the sake of healed earth and  unified loving humanity.  We reflected on our own self sacrifices and joys in helping to co-create an earth our children could inherit. It was deep in the stillness of praying one night that we received a strong quiet message that we were sure came from the guardian and Mother of the Grove,that we should begin an an award that honors  planet heroes. Their work was to be an inspiration to us all. In fact, many of our award ceremonies are not big and glamorous but often created in the form of a party for children, where they can  celebrate and learn from planet heroes, while they contemplate what gifts they can nurture to to uplift, help and sustain our Mother Earth, Waters and all of life.

I believe, like so many others, that you are all our future. It is my deep wish that you all will realize you are special and pow




Humanit4Water Awards 2014

The Category of Compassion: Local Mothers

IMG_0764This year we honored the Mother Principle, through lifting up the work of women who work tirelessly  in local communities. They  included: Mrs. Dr. Stella Williams (Founder, Total United Family Outreach Program), County Council Woman Charlene Mc Griff (Founder, Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault), Council Woman Linda Blackmon-Brace (Founder,  Michael Blackmon Foundation), Theresa Funderburke (Co-Founder, Kenaki Studios).


The Category of Commitment2Action: Linda Tucker, Founder of Global White Lion Protection Fund

WhiteLion1No one can tell Linda’s  story like Linda. But we will try. After being rescued by a Tsonga Medicine Woman who was the head of the Lion Clan in South Africa, Linda gave up a career in international fashion and marketing and dedicated her life to looking after the endangered white lions. Once she made the commitment to protec the white lions, Linda founded the Global White Lion Protection Foundation. In South African culture white lions are said to appear when the world in in danger of extinction and need the message to return back to the sacred. They are also the protectors of the Nile Meridian line and the balance of the world waters. We believe Linda’s story exemplifies real courage and commitment to looking after our earth and waters. Click here for website Global White Lion Protection Foundations


The Category of Commitment2Action Through Creativity: Linda Hogan, Writer

Linda_Hogan101-300x351Linda Hogan is a powerful and poignant writer who has won numerous writing awards and was shortlisted for the Pullitz prize. Her writing is refreshing and many remind us of our many connections to the earth and walking in a sacred manner. Hogan’s nonfiction includes a respected collection of essays on environment, Dwellings, A Spiritual History of the Land; and The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir. In addition, she has, with Brenda Peterson, written Sightings, The Mysterious Journey of the Gray Whale for National Geographic Books, and edited several anthologies on nature and spirituality. She has written the script, Everything Has a Spirit, a PBS documentary on American Indian Religious Freedom. Hogan was inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame in 2007 for her writing. Click here for website Linda Hogan


Humanity4Water (H4W) Awards 2013 Awardees

archibishopThe Category of Compassion: His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew

His All Holiness, BARTHOLOMEW, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor of the 2,000 year-old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew the Apostle. As a citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds. He works to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox communities, such as in former Yugoslavia, and is supportive of peace building measures to diffuse global conflict in the region. He is also known for his work for Earth care and is called the “Green Patriarch”.

We believe His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew powerfully demonstrates the principle of creating a compassionate world, along with many of our other awardees for his year.

Click here for Website  Click Here: Read His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew beautiful Humanity4Water acceptance letter


Swamiji Pujya and Michael Slaby with their Humanity4Water Awards in Picture with OmileyeThe Category of Love & Gratitude: H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, spiritual leader, founder of the Ganga Action Group, and one of the core founding members of the UNICEF Global Interfaith WASH Alliance is a phenomenal light spirit who works to protect the Mother Ganga River, her people and the sacred ways.  He was present at the UN to receive his award. Omi quoted a beautiful quote from his biography which seems to sum up everything that Pujya Swami (as he is affectionately known) is about. The quote read, “if you want to become a torchbearer of change become a flowing river of love.” We feel that Pujya Swamiji demonstrates the principle of the power of love in action. Click Here for Website Ganga Action.org


Jacob Soetendorp offers comments after receiving the Humanity4Water Award during the IWASH Conference at the UNThe Category of Love & Gratitude, Rabbi Awrham Soendorp, founder of the Soentendorp Institute of Human Values is an award winning human rights advocate, lecturer, writer, environmental activist and champion of civil society worldwide who is active in a wide variety of progressive, humanitarian, and interfaith organizations and initiatives. He is a gifted graceful bridge builder who brings together the hearts and minds of people from all over the world into one common committed goal – beautiful waters and a sustained peaceful earth. He is one of the core founding members of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance announced at the UN this September, and one of major partners of the UN’s Wings of Water Conference which took place at the Hague Peace Palace on World Water Day, 2013. He was present to receive his Humanity4Water Award at the UN. Omi said that when he hugged her she could feel the compassion of a million heart beats flowing through him.  Click Her for Website www.soetendorpinstitute.org


Swamiji Pujya and Michael Slaby with their Humanity4Water Awards in Picture with OmileyeThe Category of Love & Gratitude, Michael Slaby, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Coordinator Manager at the Soentendorp Institute of Human Values, is the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance Manager, and also works with the Soetendorp Institute. A forward thinking compassionate forward thinking bridge-builder he demonstrates the principle of commitment behind the scenes. Behind the UNICEF Global Interfaith WASH Alliance launch at the UN, the UN Wings of Water Conference at the Hague Peace Palace – he is often one of the major masterminds. We salute him as an example of the principle of the graceful commitment it takes to heal the world.  Click Her for Website www.soetendorpinstitute.org


barefootcollege_bunkerroyThe Category of Love & Gratitude, Sanji Bunker, founder of the Barefoot College India,  after conducting a survey of water supplies in 100 drought prone areas, Roy established the Social Work and Research Centre in 1972. Its mission soon changed from a focus on water and irrigation to empowerment and sustainability. The programs focused on siting water pumps near villages and training the local population to maintain them without dependence on outside mechanics, providing training as paramedics for local medical treatment, and on solar power to decrease dependence and time spent on kerosene lighting. He was recognized in 2010 in Time for the programs of the college which have trained more than 3 million people in skills including solar engineers who are grandmothers, teachers, midwives, weavers, architects and doctors. We believe that Sanjit represents the principle – reach for the sky anything is possible. Click Here for Website www.barefootcollege.org


christer-fredriksson-pilgrim-pouring-holy-water-into-river-ganges_i-G-55-5545-TF4LG00ZThe Category of Love & Gratitude,  The Ecumenical Water Network was formed to make a Christian witness heard in the present debate on water issues, to raise the awareness of the churches on the urgency of the concern, to engage as an ecumenical community in common action at all levels. The organization is an international network of churches and Christian organizations. The Secretariat of the Ecumenical Water Network is located at the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Click here to learn more about our participant organizations, the EWN Steering Group, and the EWN Secretariat.We believe they embrace the noble principle of deep earth care. Click Here for Website www.water.oikoumene.org



Matti, 10, Humanity4Water polar bear awardee at UN wihMadilynn (Matti) Maretoli, 10, impressed us through her heartfelt efforts that raised M $5,600 for a well in Africa this summer after reading the book “I Walk for Water,” by Lindsey Andrews. The book is about a boy in Africa who walks long distances for water. She illustrates the what the Humanity4Water Polar Bear category is really about – ordinary kids inspiring others to action through the works they do to protect the waters and earth. She illustrates the principle that anyone can make a major contribution to a peaceful sustained earth/waters if they have the heart to do so. Omi said it was a pleasure giving Matti her award at the UN. She deserved it. Click Here for Website






Humanity4Water (H4W) Awardees 2012

In 2012 we were pleased and humble to announce our Humanity4Water Awardees 2012. The Humanity4Water 2012 Awards theme was – Healing our Mother Waters and Earth through Sacred Wisdom and the arts.  We believe that the following awardees who were honored and accepted the award have exemplified this.

 The Category of Compassion  : The International Council of 13 Indigenous  Grandmothers represents cultures from all walks of life. They are a healing pot of Earth and Sacred Wsdom which they share globally for the benefit of the next Seven Generations.  Blessings. www.grandmotherscouncil.org



The Category of Committment2Action Through Sacred Music: Jonny Lipford,  A gifted Young  Native American Contemporary Flutist,  inspires us each to be in sacred balance with ourselves, waters, and planet. He has inspired many with his extraordinary talent and ability to move the mind, body and spirit with his skillful use of the flute. His music playing is said to reflect the wisdom and maturity of his soul. www.fluteoutsidethebox.com





The Category of Committment2Action Through Sacred Dance: Banafsheh  Sayyad, Dynamic  Iranian-born Banafsheh communicates the universal messages of Mysticism, love and a higher connection in a passionate yet fluid, meditative way, an interplay between trance and directed movement. She moves us all to reconnect with that which is sacred in all things inspiring us to self & Planet transformation .www.namah.net





Humanity4Water Awardees 2008-2011

wangariSome of the following who received and accepted the Humanity4Water Awards 2007-2012 include President Obama, Vice President Al Gore, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Amma (The Hugging Saint), Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Wangari Maathai (Green Belt Movement), Ted Danson (OCEANA), Louie Psihoyos (Ocean Preservation Society, Academy Award Winner for “The Cove”),  Captain Paul Watson (Co-Founder of Green Peace, and Founder of Sea Shepherds)  Dr. Jeremy Narby (Author and leading Anthropologist), along with many more.

Click the following link  to see more details:H4W_Awardees_ v2_2008 – 2011. Also enjoy the collage of Humanity4Water (H4W) Award 2008-2011  Heroes below: