Can you believe the mission that has provided clean water and sanitation to nearly 1 million people in Asia and Africa started with a song?
Gemma Bulos is a multi-award winning social entrepreneur and water activist, singer, international speaker, producer and educator.
singer | performer
As a pre-school teacher who was not on her regular 8:50am train to the World Trade Center on September 11, Gemma Bulos, witnessed a global community united through tragedy. In response, she wrote “WE RISE”, a rousing anthem that celebrates water as a metaphor for peace and unity in action. She left her life, gave away all her belongings and with her backpack, guitar and meager savings, began traveling around the world to launch the unprecedented Million Voice Choir. She journeyed to over 30 countries with the message ‘it takes a single drop of water’ inviting people to recognize how powerful they are - to realize that their every thought, word and action will ripple out and affect those around them. And to use their power for good.
On September 21, 2004, in celebration of the UN International Day of Peace, peaceful voices in over 100 cities in 60 countries sang 'WE RISE’ from all over the planet. This was the single drop that started the wave....
water activist |
Gemma is a serial social entrepreneur building 3 social impact organizations in 3 continents. While Gemma was building the Million Voice Choir, people began calling her ‘The Water Lady’. Because of her new moniker, she was invited to sing ‘WE RISE’ at the United Nations’ Water for Life Conference where she learned about the global water crisis. After mobilizing the Million Voice Choir, her simple water metaphor transformed into her cause. She researched different clean strategies being implemented around the world, learned how to build some simple technologies to clean water that could be made by lay people using local indigenous materials. And with a $10,000 award from Queen Latifah and CoverGirl, she started two water organizations in Asia (A Single Drop for Safewater 2006) and Africa (Global Women's Water Initiative 2008) which have received international awards from the World Economic Forum, Silicon Valley Tech Awards, United Nations among others and has provided clean water to nearly 1 million people.
speaker | educator
Gemma has shared her 'accidental life' as a pre-school teacher/jazz singer turned social entrepreneur at events and conferences around the globe. She has spoken and/or performed at Clinton Global Initiative University, World Economic Forum, US Congress, United Nations, UN Women, alongside dignitaries including Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, Marianne Williamson, etc She has 3 TEDx Talks and has since been invited to teach and launch social innovation programs at Stanford University, Claremont McKenna College and City College of New York.
producer | filmmaker
Gemma traveled around the globe non-stop for 10 years to 56 countries with just her backpack and guitar. She began archiving her travels and creating videos of the amazing people she met on her epic adventure. Her first foray into filmmaking was editing and producing the 'We Rise Million Voice Choir' music video, which featured some of the extraordinary people who joined the global peace movement - from kids in a refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestine, to Buddhist nuns in South Korea, to famed environmentalist Jane Goodall, to Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmund Tutu, to the late global peace troubadour Pete Seeger. She also shot, directed and produced short documentaries of the African women bringing clean water to their communities through her non-profit Global Women's Water Initiative. In 2020, she produced her first feature film Xmas Freak (and co-wrote and produced all the music) which will have it's world premiere in July 2021.