ACCESS WATER TEAM
Born: 1955 | Minnesota, USA
THIRSTY for girls and women to follow their dreams, creating access to our potential and power as individuals.
Ann Bancroft is one of the world´s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women, girls and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Through her various roles as an explorer, educator and sought-after speaker, Bancroft believes that, by sharing stories related to her dreams of outdoor adventure, she can help inspire a global audience to pursue their individual dreams.
Born: 1953 | Bærum, Norway
THIRSTY for an international dialogue between youth, creating access to a way for people to make a difference in the world.
Liv (pronounced ‘leave’) Arnesen’s rich life experiences, both on and off the ice, have made her an internationally recognized leader and role model for women and girls. A self-proclaimed ‘keen’ but not fanatical outdoors enthusiast, Arnesen is most interested in the development of adults and children. Through her diverse roles as a polar explorer, educator and motivational leader, Arnesen inspires others to reach beyond their normal boundaries and achieve their dreams by sharing her own stories about exploring the most remote places on earth.
Born: 1970 | Haifa, Israel
Thirsty for multicultural connection, creating access to empathy and equality.
Olfat is proud to be both Palestinian and Israeli. She gets influence from both cultures. Her roots are Palestinian, but she was born and raised in Israel. As an Arab in Israel, Olfat often felt like she was living in conflict. She faced discrimination from both Jewish and Arab societies as she struggled to find her place. That experience fueled her to lead outdoor adventures to promote peace between Jews and Arabs through outdoor adventures. Olfat is the Program Manager at Beit Gaefen – an Arab-Jewish Center in Haifa. One of her projects involves leading an annual student expedition to the Alps. Olfat was born and raised in Haifa, Israel, where she lives today. As an outstanding young volleyball player, she joined the Israeli National Women’s Team, as its only Arab member. She has been involved in several projects promoting peaceful co-existence between Jewish and Arab youth in Israel. She has also led and facilitated numerous multicultural and multi-ethnic groups of various ages in wide-ranging projects and initiatives.
Born: 1988 | Yunnan, China
THIRSTY for a sustainable future, creating access to a global community and international cooperation around water.
With a bachelor’s degree and four master’s degrees, JiaoJiao is thirsty for knowledge and solutions about global economics, land management, and a sustainable future. She believes that the sustainability of life depends on the sustainability of our water resources. As a soon-to-be mother, JiaoJiao works to invest in and empower younger generations, our future leaders, to build a better tomorrow. To create that sustainable future, JiaoJiao applies her academic background and expertise to the real world as an economist for Ernst & Young. She is also a mountaineer and a fierce outdoors woman. In 2008, she climbed mountain Haba in Yunnan Province (5,296 meters). In 2010, she was the first woman to climb Mt. Anemagen, a highly technical mountain that requires advanced mountaineering skills. She and her husband, Wen Xu, organize and lead expeditions for scientists in the mountains and to glacial areas to study climate change. She joined the Access Water team on the Ganges River in 2015, organized the team’s visit to the Yangtze River in China in 2016, and is looking forward to learning more about the Mississippi River in 2019.
Born: 1989 | Mumbai, India
THIRSTY for a revolution, creating access to a change that comes from within.
In 2009, Krushnaa Patil became the youngest Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest at 19 years old. From there, she went on to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Krushnaa is a mountaineer, a dancer, a cyclist, a dog-lover, and a changemaker. Whether it is climbing the tallest peaks in the world, cycling over 5,000 kilometers on the east and west coasts of India, or traveling over 700 kilometers through the Andes Mountains on horseback, Krushnaa strives to make an impact on the world with every one of her expeditions. She is currently working with Global Shapers in Mumbai to build a toilet out of trash and plastic bottles. Her company, Yellow Frog Adventures, brings outdoor adventures to larger audiences through social media. She shares that, in the wilderness, we are not men or women, Indian or Chinese. We are just humans who need to work together to survive. Krushnaa lives and breathes that message in her day to day life, inspiring people in India and around the world to work collaboratively on global water issues.
ANA MARÍA ATIENZA
Born: 1977 | Tucumán, Argentina
THIRSTY for a global network, creating access to international water issues and solutions for Latin American people.
Ana Maria is a creative and relentless communicator for justice. She feels the weight of our past, present, and future decisions and strives to create a better world, one day at a time. Ana María is a graphic designer and documentary filmmaker. She exercises her talents and expresses her values as a project manager with the Latin American Center for Development and Participatory Communication, a non-profit foundation that promotes sustainable development in rural areas. In 2010, she founded O-IRSE, The Human Rights Observatory of Tucumán Women’s Prison, to share powerful stories of incarcerated women and their struggle for justice through theater and art. She joined the Access Water team in 2017 and her first expedition (ever!) will take place on the Mississippi River in 2018.
MONICAH NKINA SAIRO
Born: 1986 | Nairobi, Kenya
THIRSTY for a transformation of communities world-wide, creating access to sustainable ecosystem management and water resources.
Monicah is Maasai, an ambassador of Kenya, and lives in a semi-arid region where her village's livelihood is solely dependent on livestock. She was one of the first women in her village to obtain a college degree and has continued her education with a focus on development and water. Access to clean water is vital for the Maasai youth to attend school, the empowerment of women in the villages, and the sustainability of the culture, traditions, and economy in Kenya. She partnered with her uncle to start a school to teach children about ecosystem management and water resources. In Kenya, 5,000 children die every year as a result of poor water sanitation and she's tackling on the issue of water sanitation in hopes to decrease the mortality rate. She joined Access Water in 2017 and looks forward to weave together the struggles and successes from around the world to better understand the big picture of our changing natural, social, and political environments.