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Christian entrepreneur gets place on Forbes 30 under 30 list

Wed 24 Jan 2018
By Cara Bentley

A Christian who co-founded a charity which decides which towns in the world still need toilets has won a place on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list.

The list brings together young people who are bringing innovation to their specific industry.

John Archer helped co-found Gather - pooling information already available on sanitation worldwide onto a virtual map so communities which are in most need of toilets are reached.

John and his co-founder Lindsey Noakes found out an hour before the Forbes launch party that they were on the list but still don't know who nominated them.

"We would love to find out who nominated us!" John Archer said.

Describing their project he explained: "We are using data to get toilets to people who need them the most in emerging cities around the world"

"We access the data the sanitation sector already collects, we then take it, we analyse it and from that data we work out: where are the gaps? Where are there places and cities across the world where there's absolutely sanitation provision at all? And then we let the major sanitation funders know that's where they need to be directing their funding."

John Archer said his faith helps motivate him: "I've always been inspired by women and men throughout history who have really taken the call for justice seriously and have decided to apply their brains, their skills, their networks to try and work out: how can we not just help those who are in situations of poverty but completely transform the sit around them so that's no longer the case for future generations?"

John Archer said lack of toilets are often in areas of massive over-crowding with very little education and can lead to cholera and girls not attending school if there isn't provision once they've started their period.

Speaking of how being a Christian keeps him going he said: "Having a faith, it gives you confidence to hold on to hope even when the work is challenging…you can rest assured that it's not all entirely on your shoulders."

Listen to the full interview with John Archer, speaking to Premier's Cara Bentley, here:

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