Saving Lives through Safe Water


About World Help Foundation (WHF)

WHF's Vision and Mission

Sites Worldwide

Meet the Founder

Meet the Directors

Meet the Staff and Volunteers

Financial Report



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The World Help Foundation and Its Mission

Founded in 1995, the World Help Foundation (WHF) is a publicly supported 501(c)3 charity.  WHF's vision is to see a significant increase in access to clean water and sanitation facilities in rural areas around the world, sustaining life and dramatically improving health.  In order to realize this vision, WHF's mission is to prevent death and disease by providing safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene education through  public education and developmental and relief programs.  To carry out the integrated program globally, WHF partners with in-country host groups including Rotary, churches, non-profits, water and sanitation contractors, and technical institutions to assess needs and, if local expertise is available, to jointly recommend solutions.  WHF's Technical Team reviews the site requirements and recommended solutions coming in from the field, then specifies solutions, and finally requests proposals for the needed components or pre-engineered systems from a range of suppliers.  With our local counterparts, WHF selects the most appropriate solution given the site conditions and users capacity to sustain the improvement.  WHF is now beginning to plan for integrated water, sanitation and hygiene education programming. 


WHF keeps abreast of technological advances, particularly those that ensure robust equipment that is easy to maintain on the ground and is cost effective.  WHF  works together with the lead local host group to see that the water (and, later, sanitation) solutions are properly installed and maintained, and that the essential hygiene education messages are effective. 


WHF aims at prototyping a small scale disaster relief water treatment unit that is expected to make a major contribution to the work of many relief agencies.  Relief agencies interested in forming a consortium for this purpose are invited to discuss this with us.  We would review small scale solutions already in use as to their limitations and strengths, and together raise the funds necessary to develop a line of equipment that meets the varied needs found in different types of disasters.  Any party, public or private, interested in the consortium may contact WHF's Executive Director, Harvey Sellner at or by telephoning at 203-426 6548.


Death from waterborne diseases is one of the most serious and pervasive problems facing humanity.  Without water, young children die in a few days, adults whose systems are compromised by poor health, in several days.  Millions die from contaminated water every year.  Some diseases do not cause death but cause unimaginable suffering and debilitation. With the range of solutions provided by WHFs faucet purification units, whole facility units and community tower systems, safe water is available to rural clinics, small hospitals, orphanages, schools, community centers, and public access points in villages. WHF's operational approach has been to create awareness of the problem, educate others about solutions, to assist local communities, conduct research and establish projects to resolve water problems which vary from site to site. 


WHF is dedicated to decreasing the incidence of mortality and prevalence of debilitating disease by directly implementing projects, and by supporting the relief work of other non-profit organizations.  For examples of relief collaboration, in coordination with AmeriCares in El Salvador, the WHF brought aid to victims of a devastating earthquake.  In February of 2000, the WHF brought its water purification systems to Venezuela, in response to a mudslide disaster, which took the lives of well over 30,000 men, women and children. In conjunction with local rotary clubs and Rotary International, WHF responded to the needs of Banda Aceh in Indonesia after the devastating tsunami.  While several relief organizations provided food, clothing and medical supplies, the WHF provided water – the most crucial element of survival.  The lessons learned from these two efforts have been valuable in the upgrading of our disaster relief purification/filtration system. WHF looks forward to further collaboration with major relief agencies to take this prototype into the field for testing and then to get it into the hands those responsible for disaster preparedness worldwide.


WHF has established an on-going program in Ghana where drinking water is among the worst worldwide. Collaborating with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health and Rotary International, WHF is placing over 100 WHF purifiers in clinics and schools in the 11 regions of the country.  Three community water systems that provide for extended distribution have been completed.  WHF is prepared to collaborate with partners who are already aggressively attacking `dirty water death and disease' as well as those just joining this battle.  It will take strategic planning and good communications to advance this global cause.  Partners interested in working together are encouraged to contact WHF.  Together we can, indeed, get the job done! 


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Sites Worldwide

To date, we have installed Point-of-Use (POU) water purification systems in Armenia, Columbia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Somalia.   WHF has fielded Disaster Relief Units for water purification and filtration in response to mudslides in Venezuela and an earthquake in El Salvador.  In 2004, WHF provided a prototype of a solar-battery back up POU; a piece of equipment that is going to be extremely useful in many areas of the world.  The power generated was sufficient to operate a small refrigerator, useful for maintaining the vaccine cold chain.  Currently, WHF is preparing to field permanent equipment in Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya and Mexico.  We are presently arranging with implementing agencies to place the disaster relief equipment in areas devastated by the recent tsunami.  WHF intends to expand strategically in countries where there is the political will and security for universal coverage while still responding to sponsor-host groups capable of ensuring project sustainability, including proper follow-up, and, ideally, replication - and while remaining ready for rapid disaster response deployment.



Meet The Founder

Harvey Sellner, President and Founder of the World Help Foundation, is a graduate of Michigan State University and a former Aerospace engineer.  During his career, Sellner's work included research and development, probes to the Moon and Mars, Hubble Space and X-ray telescopes.  As an inventor, he was an originator of one of the most powerful techniques for water purification using ultra-violet light, that of "bracketing UV".  Sellner started the WHF because he believed that this technology and others should be accessible to people suffering and dying in underdeveloped countries and disaster areas around the world.


"No one deserves to die for the lack of safe water," says Harvey Sellner.


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Meet the Directors

Cathleen Colon-Emeric, MD, Humanitarian, Research Staff of Duke Medical Center.

Edward Osterman, MS, President, Engineer, President of Essco International (retired).

Calla Sellner, MA, Secretary/Treasurer, School Administrator (retired).

Mary K. Tauras (Kathy), BS Education, MSPH.

Harvey Sellner, MS, Executive Director of World Help Foundation

Michael Apostol, MBA, President of Petrus, Inc. 


World Help Foundation is currently expanding its Board of Directors.  Our charity is now accepting applications for Board positions from those with the hearts and minds for service.  Selection criteria includes philanthropic or other funding connections, international relief and development experience, technological expertise, and Board management skills.  The motto of our Board is `give, get or go (into the field to work)'!  Come and ENJOY!


Meet the Operations Staff and Voluteers, and WHF's Advisory Group

Operations/Technical Team: Nelson (Skip) Roberts, Team Leader; Kent Carpenter, Vendor Relations; Kevin O'Neill, Website Management; Terry Medlin, Jacqueline Knight, Water Quality Testing

Advisory Group and Friends of WHF: Mike James, Human Assets Support; J. Randy Walker, Organizational Development (6 Sigma) and Supply Chain Management; Ken Ventresca, Supply Chain Management; Ken Erdman, Engineering; William O'Neil, Engineering; Robert Sturgess, Assembly

Program: Bob and Linda Conlan, Hygiene Education

Office: Calla Sellner


Contact Information


Financial Report

The World Help Foundation financial report is available upon request.  It is summarized in the Annual Report.

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