Saran Kaba Jones: Empowering Communities Through Clean Water and Education

Saran Kaba Jones, a social entrepreneur and clean water advocate, has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Her journey began in Liberia, but her impact extends far beyond its borders. Born in Liberia, Saran left her homeland at the tender age of eight, just before the country was engulfed in civil war. As the daughter of a career diplomat, she spent her formative years in various countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France, and Cyprus. In 1999, she moved to the United States, but her heart remained connected to Liberia.

In 2009, Saran founded FACE Africa, a non-profit organization with a powerful mission: to strengthen water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities. FACE Africa’s interventions have impacted over half a million lives through community-based WASH programs. FACE Africa’s approach is rooted in local solutions. They empower community residents by providing extensive training in health, hygiene, financial management, and maintenance. Saran believes that sustainable change begins at the grassroots level, and she actively involves community members in decision-making processes.

Saran is passionate about reducing gender inequality. FACE Africa ensures that at least half of their WASH Committees and staff are women. Additionally, the organization focuses on education, empowering women and girls through skills training and access to safe drinking water. Saran’s tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed. She is a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a board member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group West/Center Africa. The Guardian UK recognized her as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers, alongside Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and President Joyce Banda of Malawi.

In 2012, Saran received the Longines/Town&Country “Women Who Make A Difference” Award for her work with FACE Africa. She was also listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa. Her impact extends beyond accolades; it reaches the hearts and lives of those who now have access to clean water and improved sanitation. Saran is a sought-after speaker on topics such as water infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and gender equality. She has graced panels at prestigious institutions like the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, MIT, and the African Union. Her workshops on entrepreneurship resonate globally, inspiring others to create positive change.