When Lifewater International approached us to assist them with their latest safe water and sanitation projects in Uganda in 2013, little did we know that ask would start us on a six-year adventure of helping give over 18,000 people life-changing water and education, but also be a life-changing experience for all involved. So much so, we decided to invest more than our design skills, but our hearts as well.
In 2013, we traveled to Uganda to see firsthand how this client was making an impact in one of the most marginalized places in the world. We would soon discover that it made an impact on us as well.
The Wheels4Water logo and overall brand was created to adapt to each years theme of the ride and specific area it is was supporting. This allowed flexibility and freshness to each new ride's promotion and story.
Images from the field of people served through this program! To get more insight on our last trip to see the work and meet the people please go here
Part of our grassroots strategy was to give presentations anywhere we could and to create items people could buy, such as a yearly ride poster, with 100 percent of that purchase going directly to serve.
Digital media has been an integral component of Wheels4Water's storytelling from the very beginning, providing an opportunity to share a consistent message with key audiences. We designed a flexible website experience that could be customized and adjusted to reflect each year's branding, while maintaining a visually aligned look from year to year.
Images that shared facts, training, status of the year, and introduced supporters to the people actually being served have led to exceeding our goals every year and creating millions of impressions.
Oh, and we had to ride, too, often 90-100+ mile days, but it was all worth it. To see images from the 2019 ride, go here
Wheels4Water was built on community, so between 2016–2019, local cycling communities have joined us in our fundraising efforts. Wheels4Water has imagined and executed new ways for anyone to make a tangible difference in the fight against the global water crisis using only bicycles, a passionate community, storytelling, and a heart for doing good. Wheels4Water tells the story of a global crisis in a way that touches people’s hearts and gives them an experience at a deeper level than just opening their wallets. This initiative has given Rule29 ongoing opportunities to speak around the country, and we have also created activation points at various design conferences (such as cycling rides and water walks, which help participants experience what life in developing countries such as Africa feels like). All of this increases awareness and impact.
As the returning “Official Cause” of HOW Design Live in 2019 (also the cause in 2015 and 2017), Wheels4Water invited conference attendees to make a life-changing impact in the lives of people in the Kaliro District of Uganda, after first giving them access to virtual and hands-on experiences and exclusive merchandise. The goal? Raise support to help several hundred Ugandans get safe water and sanitation for life, and create the most memorable HOW conference to date.
Here are just a few samples of environments created for the W4W Initiative over the six years. To see the 2017 HOW show go here
and the 2019 go here
This gallery show was one of three we installed to feature the work and impact of Wheels4Water. It highlighted a sampling of the work and messaging Rule29 and our partners created for the cause, combining fundraising best practices into a well-defined design strategy. Viewers were able to walk away with an understanding of how they, too, can make an impact and gain a new perspective on the need for clean water. See the show at Notre Dame here.