Our Story

We are regular every day folks, just like you. We have a day job with great corporations, 3 kids from a blended family, daily chores and all the rest!

Running in Cambodia.

In 2009, Nathalie’s goal was to run a half marathon. Jeff wanted to see if he could run and how far after finally giving up smoking. So Nathalie ended up running the Ultimate XC 58km and Vermont Ultra 50k. Jeff did both and was a solo finisher in the Canadian Death Race.

While in Cambodia in 2008, Jeff became aware of the fact that clean drinking water is not as available as you might think. Wells are dug in many areas to help provide access to drinkable water but even then, the water can be undrinkable.

The impact of not having potable water goes beyond the availability of water itself. Bottled water is in some cases a necessity however in a larger scope it creates very distinct issues.

    One is unnecessary trash. The rural areas simply do not have the resources or infrastructure to deal with the empty plastic containers that scatter the road and countryside. In most cases these bottles end up in either the local waterway or in fires used to dispose of other waste, thus creating a larger environmental impact.
The second challenge is monetary. In rural areas, attempting to live on bottled water is simply not possible. Every bottle purchased, takes valuable resources away from the very limited funds a family has available.

Turning to non-potable water as many are forced to do, comes with a the very real risk of disease and death. Articles appear on a regular basis telling of people dying in villages due to sickness caused by drinking unfit water....

After a long run during the summer, they started talking about how important water was to their running and ‘what if we could provide just one family with access to reliable, clean, drinking water without having to buy bottled water.
They doubted they could change the world, but one life, that was something they might be able to do.

In January of 2010 , Nathalie and Jeff traveled  to Cambodia and ran  from  the temples of Angkor Wat to Preah Vihear, a temple on the hotly  contested  border  between Cambodia and Thailand, a distance of more than 200 kilometers. A journey that last lasted only 5 ½ days but set in motion what may be a lifetime adventure.
As a result of donations raised for Running Cambodia, One Filter One Family was able to provide one deep water will in Phum Pyam, Svay Leu district Siem Reap province, which is supporting several families. Four additional wells were installed in the village of Kbal Kropeu, Puok district and five bio-sand filters have been installed in the village of Pong Ro, Kantreang commune, Bakong district, Siem Reap province.  

One Filter, One Family has become their little project, a dream really. “It has and continues to come true because of the support from wonderful group of  friends and family who drop their coins  in the ‘Fear change’ growler that sits on our kitchen counter…..and from people we have yet to meet!”

                      Running Cambodia V2, The Mekong Edition

    One Filter One Family has a simple goal. Provide clean drinking water to people in rural areas.
    The goal for The Mekong Edition  is to do more, much more! It will be a stretch but the goal is to raise enough money to provide wells and bio-sand filters for an entire village!

Donation $
    Where does the money donated go? Being a small non profit, One Filter One Family guarantees all monies donated will be used to provide wells and bio-sand filters to the rural areas selected. Once again the focus will be on the Siem Reap province of Cambodia. One Filter One Family does not use monies donated for the purposes of travel, logistics,food or lodging. Those funds are provide directly by Jeff Dean and Nathalie Samson.

The run
    Beginning in early January 2011, Jeff and Nathalie will travel to Phnom Penh Cambodia, collect any last minute supplies and travel overland to an area north of Stung Treng, along the Mekong River, bordering Laos and Cambodia. The run will take place over the next ten days, following the Mekong River along the Mekong Discovery Trail, to Kratie, home of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. Jeff and Nathalie will be relying on the local villages for food and accommodations. Along the way they will filter their drinking water from wells or the Mekong River.

    Once leaving Kratie, the route will continue south along the Mekong, passing through larger cities eventually reaching Phnom Penh and the final stretch of the run. From Phnom Penh Jeff and Nathalie will make their way to the final destination of Kaoh Kok, a small town near the border with Vietnam. Total time and distance are actually unknown but the best estimate is that they will cover somewhere near 500 kilometers over 10 consecutive days of running....

How you can help
    Donate! One is all it takes! One dollar, one donation, one mention to another person, just one...all that adds up to providing families with access to clean, drinkable water.

    Donating not your thing or you are not able to, you can still help! We will be launching the new travel blog (http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/One-Filter-One-Family/), sign up and follow along, maybe even have a laugh! 

    If you're into Facebook, join our group (One Filter One Family). Each small act helps.....

Nathalie and Jeff