At 21 years old, Ryan Hreljac is the founder of the Ryan’s Well Foundation, an organization committed to delivering access to safe water and empowering people of all ages to make a difference in the world. Amazingly, Ryan’s journey began at age six when he was shocked to learn that people in Africa were dying because they didn’t have clean water. Ryan took it upon himself to raise money by doing chores and public speaking, and with the support of his family, friends and community, built a well in Uganda.
Since then, Ryan’s Well has helped build over 700 wells and 900 latrines, bringing safe water and improved sanitation to more than 750,000 people in 16 countries. Today, Ryan studies International Development and Public Affairs at University of King’s College in Halifax. He serves on the board of Ryan’s Well and continues to speak around the world on water issues and volunteerism.
He has received numerous awards including the Order of Ontario, the Canadian Meritorious Service Medal, the Lewis Perinbam Award, the Top 20 Under 20 Youth Award, and World of Children’s Founder Award. Ryan’s work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, CBC and in Christian Science Monitor, People, and Reader’s Digest. He is recognized by UNICEF as a Global Youth Leader.