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2015: a year for change

15 January marked the launch of action/2015. Find out how our staff and supporters took the opportunity to get the world talking about taps and toilets.

Around the world, our staff and supporters marked the launch of action/2015, a global movement to secure the future for us and our planet, by talking about taps and toilets – and telling the world how these basic resources can help end extreme poverty.

Find out about just some of the inspiring events they took part in below.

"I just knocked on the door of number 10!"

In the UK, WaterAid supporter George Rosenfeld was one of 15 15-year-olds who met key decision-makers – including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband, Shadow International Development Secretary Mary Creagh and Scottish politician Jack McConnell, to talk about the future they want for our world.

As well as asking how we can make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) truly sustainable and put the issues people don't like talking about – including toilets – on the radar, George also spoke about the impact of his experience visiting a WaterAid project in Zambia.

He explained the difference access to safe, clean water has on children's education and in the provision of healthcare – describing how hospitals treating Ebola patients are having to close because they don’t have access to clean water.

His lasting impression? That political pressure really can be a catalyst to a better future, if we all make our voices heard and make sure decision-makers know what we want.

Read more about George’s hopes for 2015 >

action/2015 launches in the UK
George (back row, second from left) poses for a selfie with politician Jack McConnell.
Credit: @lordmcconnell

Striking a chord

In India 15 young ambassadors, each representing a different state, kicked off the action/2015 campaign in the presence of the Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla.

The ambassadors spoke on a range of topics including water, sanitation and hygiene, which was championed by Sohel Saifi. His community has benefitted from the support of a WaterAid project and his words clearly struck a chord with the Minister, as she mentioned the issues Sohel raised in her speech many times.

action/2015 launches in India
Young people in India at the launch of action/2015.
Credit: WaterAid

Demanding the change we want to see

In Nigeria, young people, civil society organisations, Nollywood (Nigerian Bollywood) celebrities, musicians and sports personalities all joined together to call on the Nigerian government and world leaders to act on the issues that matter most to them: water, inclusion, poverty and sanitation.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, listened to young people talk about their dreams for the future, while action/2015 ambassador and actress Genevieve Nnaji called for inclusive change. See photos from the day >  

action/2015 launches in Nigeria 
action/2015 launches in Nigeria with messages for the future we want to see.
Credit: WaterAid

Eliminating hunger, poverty and inequality

In Mali, WaterAid and other civil society organisations organised an action/2015 launch event, attended by young people, partners, artistes and the media.

Together, they called for decision-makers to be more involved in the upcoming international meetings on universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and highlighted how access to these resources can help eliminate hunger, poverty and inequality. They hope to meet Mali's Prime Minister soon to discuss the action/2015 campaign.

action/2015 launches in Mali
Launching action/2015 in Mali, and highlighting the difference safe water and toilets can make to ending extreme poverty.
Credit: WaterAid

Find out more about WaterAid and action/2015 >