WaterAid invites churches to turn Jars of Change into clean water this Lent


26 Jan 2017

This Lent, congregations are being encouraged to forgo a favourite treat and donate the money they save to WaterAid to help transform lives through its Jars of Change appeal.

WaterAid has a range of resources to support churches, including special sleeves for collection jars, Sunday School activities, a film, poster, presentation and all-age talk available.

The valuable support from churches will help end the arduous journeys that millions of women and girls have to make every single day to collect water, which often is unsafe to drink.

WaterAid’s appeal aims to help bring clean, safe water to rural communities in some of the world’s poorest countries such as Madagascar, where children like 8-year-old Neny, from Tsarafangitra village, have to make long and difficult journeys to fetch unsafe water from a pond up to four times a day.

The 1.5km walk takes Neny along a busy, dusty road and then down a steep path that is almost impassable in the rainy season. The pond is a breeding ground for malarial mosquitos, and it is no wonder that Neny and her friends often suffer from diarrhoea.

Neny’s dream is that her community will soon get taps and running water. She said:

“If we had water I would be able to play with my friends, as I would no longer have to fetch water far away from home. I would no longer have to go to the doctor. I would be able to focus on my studies.”

WaterAid Madagascar staff member Ernest Randriarimalala has seen again and again the difference clean water and good sanitation can make in a community. A proud Christian, he said:

“As your congregation looks forward to Lent, please inspire them to give something up for girls like Neny, who endure tiring, painful and unnecessary journeys everyday just to fetch dirty water.

“Having grown up without safe water myself, I know that collecting dirty water and drinking it has a huge cost. I am currently considering what I will give up for Lent and I really hope your church will join with churches across the UK who are transforming lives with the gift of clean, safe water by pledging the money they save this Lent.

“Your support of WaterAid’s Jars of Change appeal means we will join children like Neny on their journey to a healthier and happier future.”

Just £5 could pay for a tap so that children like Neny have access to clean, safe water close to their homes for many years to come.

Last Lent, churches in the UK raised an amazing £114,914 for WaterAid, which helped improve access to water in communities across the world, such as in Chibawe village in Zambia, where WaterAid was able to drill a borehole, improving health and getting children back into school.

WaterAid has a vision of a world where everyone everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation. 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, it’s possible to ensure universal access to clean water by 2030.

To find out more, and to see the resources available for churches and Sunday Schools, visit


For more information or to arrange interviews please contact: Marina Thomas, Senior Press Officer, at [email protected] or 0207 793 4995, or Laura Crowley, PR Manager, at [email protected] or 020 7793 4965.

Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected].


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, follow @WaterAidUK on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

  • 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,