Sede De Vencer (Thirsty For Winning)



The Sede De Vencer (Thirsty for Winning) campaign marches ever forward. So far 820 million liters of clean water have been guaranteed to those most in need throughout Brasil. In Port Alegre, Ramon Volkart and his two boys, Guilhermo and Bernardo, have been hard at work, already distributing over 150 water filter systems |

Across the Margin Article



This is a great article written by Michael Shields about Waves For Water as a result of the W4W event/partnership with The Meatball Shop.

Take me to the article:  Across the Margin

or read it here…

It was over plates of escabeche de pescado and sancocho and lechona, prepared with graceful competency by chefs including Daniel Talde (Talde), Nick Anderer (Maialino), and Gavin Kaysen (Cafe Boulud), where I first heard about Waves For Water. It’s funny how things works sometimes. As I gorged upon plate after decadent plate, paired with impossibly dry burgundy’s and delicate petit chablis’, I came face to face with a problem so rampant and distressing, yet so contradictory to the indulgent position I currently found myself in. Yet it was at this charity dinner, surrounded by chefs, food enthusiasts, writers and philanthropists, where I first learned about a man and an organization that was taking a practical approach to a daunting problem, the lack of clean drinking water for millions of people around the globe.

Water For Waves is the contrivance of Jon Rose, a retired World Championship Tour surfer who in his travels searching for that ultimate rush, found something else entirely. In September of 2009 while embarking on a surfing trip in Indonesia, Jon found himself sailing towards the island of Sumatra. With him he carried ten water filters that he planned to gift to the rural communities he happened upon. On route, his boat began to tremble, a slight inconvenience to him, but so much more to the communities along the shore. When Jon arrived on land, he realized quickly that the vibration he felt at sea was an echo of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which had spawned a massive tsunami that killed over 1,000 people and left more than 100,000 homeless in the city of Padang. As Jon traipsed through the wreckage and surveyed the destruction, he sought out people in need of the filters he had brought, many that they were. It was in these agonizing and highly affecting moments, that Jon came to realize what his life’s work was to be.

While clean drinking water is something that so many of us take for granted, thousands upon thousands of people around the globe die daily due to consuming foul and polluted water. In fact, according to, more than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. And 780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people1. These are incredibly frightening statistics, ones that become even more troublesome to ignore when this doesn’t have to be the case. The technologies exist to assist those without access to water in the developing world, they just do not have the means to acquire it. Something Jon saw clear as day in his travels.

As it turns out, Jon’s inspiration wasn’t drawn from his world travels alone. Jon’s father, Jack Rose, is the founder of an organization called “Rain Catcher,” a nonprofit group which helps educate villages in Africa on how to catch and filter rainwater. Keeping this in mind, Jon reflected on all the regions he and his fellow surfers had traveled to, often impoverished lands where they would catch their thrills yet “leave the land no better than how we found it.” It was time to give back.

Although the idea was conceptualized with surfers in mind, those who will never find themselves crouched in the heart of a perfect tube can also aid in bringing this ambitious plan to fruition. Individuals, not handcuffed by the distribution complications many bureaucracies face in philanthropic aid programs, making a difference while doing something that brings them so much joy in the first place – this is the dream. This is guerilla humanitarians at its finest. This is Waves for Water.

As the meal commenced, and Jon’s charity raised over $20,000 dollars towards the implementation of technologies that will allow hundreds of thousands of people in impoverished nations access to clean water, I began to imagine myself preparing for a trip to some far away land. One with sandy white beaches as far as the eye can see that slowly roll into an ocean flickering with the glow of blue hues only Mother Nature, in all her glory, could compose. As I finish packing away the last few provisions into my carry-all, I resolutely reach for a handful of portable water filters. A fervent smile sweeps across my face as I envision the difference they would make to so many. This was the dream Jon Rose once had. And one that we can all share in.

W4W Featured in The Surfer’s Journal



We’re really excited to see our founder Jon Rose featured in The Surfer’s Journal. The article by Chris Dixon, walks you through Jon’s story, his inspiration to start Waves For Water, and his journey to bring clean water to the world.

At 5:15 p.m. on September 9, 2009, Jon Rose bobbed atop a surfboard at Lance’s Left in the Mentawai Islands. The 31-year-old Laguna Beach pro surfer was getting in an evening session with his best friend Jordan Tappis, a Los Angeles record executive. The next day they planned to continue on to Padang, and then Bali, for more surf.  To read full article, click here:

Sede de Vencer – Greetings from Brasil!

Jon Rose, Neymar Jr, and his father during press conference


There has always been a big correlation between sport and W4W and there probably always will be…

Probably due to my personal background, I will probably always see things through some sort of a sport based lens – it’s how I relate and begin to problem solve. Because a game, a trick, or any athletic feat is just a series of problems/challenges that need to be solved or over come…

That said, we recently developed a partnership here in Brasil, with Soccer phenom – Neymar Jr (and his institute – Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr.), which will result in 85,000 people getting access to clean water. We named the project “Sede de Vencer”, which means “Thirsty for Winning” in Portuguese… the whole project really is based around sport and water. Kicking off this month, following Neymar and the Brasilian National Team during the Confederations Cup, the program will address the clean water needs for those living in under-served areas of the 5 cities that will host the games of the Cup: Brasília (DF), Salvador (BA), Fortaleza (CE), Belo Horizonte (MG) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ).


The main philosophy behind W4W has always been – go do what you love and help along the way… well that’s exactly what this is! Neymar Jr is going out there and doing what he loves – soccer… and at the same time, through our program, he’s helping all the communities he passes through. It really is a great example of our model at work. Ultimately, we designed this model with hopes that it could be plugged into all walks of life – not just surfers, or adventurous travelers… but also soccer players, musicians, clothing manufacturers, chefs, and film makers to name a few… really anyone who is traversing the world for whatever reason.

The idea is that whoever you are and where ever you’re going, you can always do your part. Especially if the platform is simple and easy… and in this case it is. The need for clean water is EVERYWHERE… 1 in 6 people do not have access to potable water. So no matter a persons background or current walk of life, their ability to bring something as simple as a portable water filter to the next place they work or visit, is right there in front of them… and the measurable impact they can have as a result is also waiting there, ready to be realized.

This project is symbolic… and truly a milestone for us as an organization and for me personally. It obviously speaks directly to the clean water needs here in Brasil, but in such a specific way – by coinciding with something EVERYONE here loves – soccer. This is a concept that, I believe, can be replicated through almost every other genre of life. It’s exciting to think of the other ways we could apply this same model – musicians going on a world tour helping all the cities they pass through… or a clothier helping all the the villages around the factories that manufacture their garments. It’s a plug and play model and this Sede de Vencer project is a shining example of that. I also want to say special thanks to BaruelHurley H2O, and Loducca for getting behind this project… for whom without, this never would have happened.

Images from the press conference with Neymar Jr and the favela community we helped in Brasila a couple days ago – the first city in our five city tour with the Confederations Cup.

Brasila Brasila_2

Here is the link to the project video -

Next stop, Fortaleza! More to come…

Much love…


W4W Partners with Local Org IBS



Waves For Water is partnering with local Org, IBS (Instituto Brasil Solidario), to help distribute water filters through their community programs. The most recent was in North Eastern Brazil where access to potable water is virtually non-existent.

Brazil_01 Brazil_02 Brazil_03 Brazil_04

Wall Street Journal // The Giving Truck

GOING THE DISTANCE | From left, Sam Talbot, Jon Rose, Robert McKinley and Mike Diamond in the Rockaways, New York


Wall Street Journal | By Alex French

AFTER HURRICANE SANDY transformed New York City’s Rockaway peninsula into a pile of rubble and debris last October, the coastal enclave experienced an outpouring of support from police, firefighters and private citizens looking to lend a hand.

Together they brought contractor bags and cleaning supplies, helped residents gut and renovate their homes and delivered bottles of water and food to nearby apartment buildings. But as the months since the superstorm continued to pass, that outpouring inevitably diminished—even as conditions in many corners of Rockaway remain unimproved.

One constant in the neighborhood is Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck, an old beat-up food truck that’s been offering hot, free meals—up to 500 a day—to residents five days a week since Sandy.

WARMING TREND | From left: Talbot, Diamond and McKinley tending to grilled chicken.

On a frigid January day, the food truck’s four founders buzz with activity: Former Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot, currently a chef, author and TV personality, grills chicken thighs; Robert McKinley, creator of Ruschmeyer’s and Montauk’s Surf Lodge, chops the piping hot meat; Jon Rose, founder of Waves for Water, a nonprofit that provides clean drinking water to impoverished communities, runs refills of rice, beans and chicken to the tables where Mike Diamond—better known as Mike D of the Beastie Boys, and now an occasional curator and self-described “Brooklyn dad and wannabe surf bum”—ladles out food. A line of Rockaway residents forms, snaking down the block away from the butane-warmed buffet. “A lot of people here don’t know where their next hot meal is coming from,” says Diamond, who, along with the other Plate Lunch founders, has already given away more than 20,000 free meals. “We see the same people every day,” McKinley adds, pointing out a woman carrying a plastic bag for takeout. “They’ve come to count on it.”

McKinley and Diamond, two old Montauk surfing pals, arrived at the idea for Plate Lunch after driving out to volunteer the weekend after Sandy. While there was no shortage of supplies or personnel, they identified a desperate need for hot food. So Talbot, another friend and surfing aficionado, who’d been the executive chef at the Surf Lodge, came with trays of provisions, feeding both the newly homeless as well as responders. A week later, he was standing on the corner of 45th and Beach Channel Drive, cooking food on a massive grill. McKinley pushed the idea one step further, renting an old Swiss Chalet truck from a man in Tennessee. Just 11 days after the storm, the ad hoc program was fully operational.

Since then, the Plate Lunch team has raised over $200,000 to pay for food and the services of two full-time employees to run operations. And while they serve the same thing every day—marinated chicken with black beans, veggies and rice—the meal is filling and healthy.

Plate Lunch will give food away for free until the summer, when the truck will become a key player in a plan to teach Rockaway kids business and nutrition skills. They have plans to open a community garden—maintained by local school children—where the vegetables grown will be sold at a farm stand, also to be staffed by locals. All of the proceeds will go back into the garden.


Mike Diamond

On that January afternoon, with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees, summer seems years away. The reggae tune “Dreadlock Holiday” blasts out of a nearby speaker, warming the afternoon air. Diamond dances in place as he fills up containers with piping hot chicken thighs. “The best thing about this is that it lifts people’s mood,” Diamond says. “At times like these, a little bit of hope, a little bit of happiness, it goes a long way.”


Riding The Wave



Philanthropy undergoes a sea change
thanks to Jack and Jon Rose.

Philanthropy needn’t come from riches. A groundswell of ingenuity, innovation, and execution will do just fine. Take the deluge of difference Jack and Jon Rose have made through Jon’s nonprofit, Waves For Water, in providing access to clean H2O to 7.5 million people in 15 countries in only three years’all by digging or restoring wells and delivering portable, inexpensive filters and rain-catchment systems to places where Evian and Perrier aren’t on the menu.
Call it the new age of Aquarius, or as Jon dubs it, “social entrepreneurism,” and “guerilla humanitarianism.” Nor does giving have to hurt. “That old model of you have to drop everything and join the Peace Corp is no longer true,” says Jon, who before founding Waves For Water in 2009 was a professional surfer for 13 years, traveling the far reaches of the world in an Endless Summer quest for the next great ride. “Our whole philosophy is do what you love and help along the way,” says Jon.
That imparts a key tenant taught by his father, Jack, a surfer as well as a ski bum for 10 years “before Jon was born,” who then became a purveyor of joint adventure. “We were up and down the coast in a VW van. I grew up that way, too,” says Jack, whom his son calls “a skilled problem solver who has the ability to innovate by making things simpler.”
To wit, while sitting at his drafting table one rainy day, Jack decided to design an inexpensive apparatus to collect falling rainwater. In short order, he started RainCatcher, a nonprofit that teaches villagers in Africa and other parts of the world how to catch and filter rainwater. “I went to Africa, helped set up a system, came back to California, worked and saved for a year, then did it again,” he explains.
Coincidentally, not long after, Jon was on the surf circuit when, en route to Bali, a devastating earthquake hit Padang (the capital of West Sumatra). “It was a crash course in disaster relief; it changed everything for me,” he says. Thus was Waves For Water born, and thus did the Roses join forces completely. “We complement each other,” says Jack, who has since left RainCatcher to work with Jon full time. “I’m more internal, he’s better at external.” Besides, says Jon, “How cool is it to work with your dad?”


And see video at: