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Students dancing the salsa in Glasgow

Salsa4Water at Glasgow University

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On Thursday 4 July, Find Invest Grow Ltd and RBS held the RBS ESSA Awards (a nationwide student enterprise competition) where Salsa4Water won £7000 as a reward for helping to raise over £30,000 for WaterAid last year. A huge congratulations to them!

Salsa4Water began teaching salsa lessons in return for donations to WaterAid in December 2009. In less than three years they have raised a staggering £20,555 for our work!

Sam Kendall started the initiative and has seen it go from strength to strength, growing into a group that now includes several dance instructors and also puts on regular large salsa events to raise even more for WaterAid.

They have also recruited language experts who give language lessons in exchange for WaterAid donations.

Sam describes his experience of running Salsa4Water, and what it means to him to know that his group's talents are being used to transform lives:

"It's a strange feeling knowing that after every class I teach, I may have saved someone's life in a parallel world, despite the fact that I cannot see them or touch them. 

"After some time spent living with a burning desire to change the world, I realised that change doesn't need to be on a global scale; every £15 we raise could provide one individual a lasting supply of safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. 

"What strikes me most is how easy it actually is, to raise money in this part of the world. Learn a skill, devise a way to teach it in an enjoyable way, and then devote four hours a week teaching it. With a bit of advertising, people hear about it and before you know it, people are coming from all angles to help you. All of a sudden, the cause becomes important to them too; most people are willing to help. 

"Additionally, I have improved myself in salsa dancing, at a speed that would have been impossible if it wasn't for me having to break down everything I do so that I can teach it. It seems it has been a win-win situation!

"Thank you to all the other volunteers as it wouldn't have been possible without you all. And above all, thank you WaterAid, for making sure that the money we earn gets to the people who need it most, because we all deserve the right to drink clean water, go to the toilet and above all, to live. 

"Life isn't fair, but it will definitely not get any fairer if we do nothing about it!"