World Water Day is taking place on Sunday 22 March

748 million people – roughly one in ten of the world's population – have no choice but to get water from wherever they can, whether it's a dirty pond or an expensive water vendor.

The UN designates 22 March every year as World Water Day: a day to celebrate life-giving water.

As always we are so grateful to you all for giving up your time to mark this day and for spreading the message about WaterAid and our work with people like Iye.

Iye knows from painful experience the impact dirty water and a lack of sanitation can have on people's lives. Living in Nyeama, Sierra Leone, Iye used to collect water from the Wanjal River, located in previously the community's only water source. This dirty water was used for drinking, for washing, for cooking – for all her family's needs.

"The Wanjai River is not safe for drinking," Iye explains. "But we continued to drink it because there was no other source of getting water. It made the town filthy. People complained of having stomach upsets, high fever and dysentery.”
Today, Iye is part of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene committee, and dedicates part of her time to looking after the village's new water pump.
"I know the names of the parts of the pump, how it works, how to take care of it," Iye tells us. "I know that by bringing safe drinking water to the community, we bring health.”

Learn more about what WaterAid has planned to mark World Water Day 2015 here, and for examples of fundraising activities you can take part in on this date, please visit the huddle.

Lent Appeal 

This Lent, we’re encouraging individuals and churches across the country to donate the money they save from giving up a luxury to help bring water to villages in Ethiopia.  

We’ve got fantastic range of free resources for churches including a Sunday school activity booklet and a poster here

The Pupil Pipeline

At the end of January WaterAid launched a new event for schools - The Pupil Pipeline.

The idea behind The Pupil Pipeline is that pupils form a human ‘pipeline’ around their schools grounds, buildings and halls and work together to pass one or more buckets of water from pupil to pupil without dripping a drop.

The activity can be built on by adding a competitive edge. For example, pupils can race buckets down two lines, try to form the longest pipeline they can or pour the water from container to container instead of passing a bucket. Or it can be turned it into a walking event, with pupils walking the distance of the pipe they want to pay for – passing buckets to one another along the way. Pupils will pay £2 (or a donation of their choice) to join (a metre of pipe in Ethiopia costs £2 and a child’s arm span is approximately one metre.) They can also pay extra to dress up in blue or wear water themed outfits for the day. We are suggesting that schools take part in The Pupil Pipeline from 18th-22nd May, although they can hold the event whenever they choose.

WaterAid are offering resources such as posters, stickers and a film and teachers booklet for schools who sign up, as well as teaching resources covering maths, science, history, art and an assembly plan. Please see the assembly plan and presentation on the huddle.

For more information please visit the Pupil Pipeline page. Schools can sign up via an online form.  

We would love to encourage you to help us to get as many schools signed up as possible. 

Charlie Warshawski

March’s feedback is for Charlie Warshawski, speaking at the 8th Sutton Kanchenjunga Cubs in London:

‘Charlie was fantastic. He had the Cubs engaged from the word go and his talk was fun, engaging, relevant to the children, yet poignant and left them all talking about what they could do to help out. I absolutely couldn't fault him and his passion for the WaterAid cause and his vision for a brighter future was inspiring.’ 

Thank you Charlie.  Sounds like you’ve done a fantastic job engaging some new supporters for WaterAid!

Angela Khudonazarova

December's feedback comes from the All Saints Waltham Mothers Union in Grimsby.  They received a talk from Angela Khudonazarova.

They said Angela spoke "clearly and effectively about WaterAid's work. She was friendly and approachable, and she happily answered all questions".

We're so lucky to have amazing speakers like Angela, and all of you, to help raise awareness of our work. Thank you so much.

Linda and Dave Shurlock

November's feedback comes from a community group in Surrey. Voiceworks, who had a talk given by Linda and Dave Shurlock said their talk was

"Fluent, funny, interesting, informative and touching…. Gifted communicators… I know you know that, but I am just confirming it!"

Great feedback, Linda and Dave!

Ivan Jepson

September's feedback comes from the Park View School after their talk from Ivan Jepson; a speaker working for Northumbrian Water.

One teacher said "Ivan had a natural rapport with the pupils, he was very comfortable. He was extremely well-organised and had an interesting delivery of a variety of information which appealed to different learning styles… We really liked how Ivan worked with me before the talk - he did exactly what he said he'd do and that really helped. The session was excellent. I couldn't fault it. It set our charity event up in the way I wanted."

What a success, Ivan – showing just how important it is to get to know your audience beforehand!

Tamsin Hunt

August's feedback is from Fordcome Church of England Primary School, about their speaker, Tamsin Hunt.

They thought Tamsin's talk was "friendly, relevant and pitched correctly." They also said "Thank you for providing this fantastic service for school. I hope it will continue to benefit many children". 

Great work, Tamsin!

Christopher Maynard

July's feedback is from the Rotary Club of Loughton and Buckhurst Hill.

They thought Christopher Maynard was “An excellent speaker. Spoke to the slides without reading them word for word. Encouraged us to continue support by informing us of the work in progress". Great work, Christopher!

Christopher Lacy

They thought that Christopher Lacy “was able to deliver the talk at just the right level to engage children from 4-11 years, a sometimes very difficult task. The visuals he brought were appealing for all, but still delivered a very important message. The children were talking about it for many days afterwards… The pupils of Manor Fields Primary School are very keen to start raising funds to help.”

Well done Christopher – the message clearly stuck!

May speaker feedback

This month rather than sharing feedback on just one speaker I wanted to say a huge thank you for everything all our speakers did in March to deliver as many talks and workshops as possible on or around World Water Day. Thank you so much for getting behind this initiative - as a result, 217 talks and workshops were delivered – a 14% increase on last year! 

Well done to Mas Hassan, the coordinator of the Thames Region – he and his speakers delivered a whopping 44 talks during March.

A special mention also goes to three speakers, who each delivered six talks or workshops during the month (that’s an amazing one every 5.2 days!).  Thank you Chris Cuff from Essex, Chris Wilcock from Lancashire, and Jimmy Hudson from Scotland.

Between April 2013 and April 2014, we reached over 92,500 people with WaterAid’s messages, and gifts received after talks totalled an amazing £146,283. It’s testament to all of your hard work that we have been able to achieve reach record numbers. I hope you are as proud as we are of all you’ve achieved.

Nick Berry

April’s feedback comes from York Vikings Rotary Club. Nick Berry received an email thanking him for the time he gave to come to the talk:

“You gave us a very splendid presentation, pitched exactly right, full of information, reassuring us that what we were supporting was needed, well-organised, responsibly handled on the ground and in the event effective and long-lasting…

We are rather a rumbunctuous lot, but you seemed more than able to hold your own - and as you gathered from the interest members showed, we very warmly appreciated both your talk, and the effort you put in - and evidently put in elsewhere too - for this worthy cause. That in itself was a warm recommendation for the project.”

Proof that it’s not only children whose minds are opened by all your hard work!

Phillip Chatikobo

– feedback from Cleeves Primary School

This month’s featured feedback is about one of our speakers in Dunfermline, Phillip Chatikobo, who spoke to Cleeves Primary School last month.

They said - 
“He had put so much time and effort into preparing a very interesting and thought provoking presentation. The children are so glad that they chose this charity to adopt… Our aim now is to think of ways in which we can raise funds for you. We have a few good ideas already and the Eco Committee will look at them all and choose the ones they think would be best. Thank you for allowing Phillip to come to us. We know we were very lucky to have him.”

Sums up exactly how I feel about all our volunteer speakers like you – we’re very lucky!