International development charity WaterAid is launching its 2016 winter church appeal, Made Of The Same Stuff, to help give water as well as hope to those most in need. Download the photo gallery > The fundraising appeal throughout UK churches and congregations aims to unite us all using the theme of water, which makes up 60 percent of our bodies and joins us all biologically and physically. Churches are being asked to hold a collection to raise money for the Christmas appeal, and WaterAid speakers will be giving talks to congregations about the charity’s work to help bring taps and toilets to everyone, everywhere, by 2030. There is a host of resources to help inspire congregations to get involved in the appeal, including fun Sunday School resources, an inspiring film, a presentation and talk suitable for all ages and a colourful poster. Through the appeal, congregations will help people in some of the world’s poorest communities, such as Esnart Phiri, a 21-year-old woman living in a Malawian village with her two-year-old son, whose only water source is a muddy hole outside her village that is often contaminated. Esnart, who is made not only of water, but courage, faith and hope for a better future for her son, said: “My day usually starts when I have to go to collect water. I go around 3am to get in line in case there is a queue. When I was carrying my baby on my back when going to the water source, we saw something standing in front of us, like a hyena. I tried to run and fell on my child. I had to take him to the hospital. At times, it becomes hard for me to give my child the water after seeing how he suffers from diarrhoea. I don’t want to give him the water but as he is a human being he needs water to survive.” Marcus Missen, Director of Communications & Fundraising at WaterAid, said it isn’t just the human need for 2.4 litres a day for our bodies to survive that unifies us: “Seeing people living without safe water – their strength, perseverance and hope – has an immediate and universal effect on all of us. It stirs our empathy, compassion and generosity. Clean water to drink is such a basic human need that it breaks down the countries, cultures and kilometres between us. We want to help those we don’t know, and will likely never meet, because we realise that we’re all made of the same stuff. “Ending the water and sanitation crisis by 2030 might sound impossible, but together we’re made of the stuff that makes history. This winter, we are so thankful to churches and congregations across the country who will be collecting compassionately and generously on behalf of the WaterAid Winter Appeal.” For the first time ever, nine in ten of the world’s people now have safe water to drink and use for cooking, washing, and growing food. Every year, 78 million people are turning on a tap or using a pump for the first time. If just 8 per cent more people can be reached a year, WaterAid will achieve its ambitious goal of clean, accessible water for everyone everywhere by 2030. For more information about how churches across the UK can get involved with WaterAid’s Winter Appeal visit http://www.wateraid.org/uk/christmas. Ends For more information, please contact Marina Thomas, Senior Press Officer, on [email protected] or 0207 793 4995. Or call our after-hours press line on 07887 521 552 or email [email protected]. Notes to Editors: WaterAid WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid. Around 315,000 children die each year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s almost 900 children each day, or one child every two minutes. Over 650 million people (around one in ten) are without safe water Over 2.3 billion people (around one in three) live without improved sanitation For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity. Just £15 can help provide one person with access to safe water. For details on how individual countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, please see our online database, WASHWatch.org.