Poet Martin Kiszko launches poetry competition with WaterAid

Water-themed competition hopes to inspire young budding writers and spread awareness about the water crisis and WaterAid's work.


29 Jan 2014

To launch the competition, poet, composer and screenwriter Martin Kiszko led an energetic and engaging poetry workshop with children from Orchard Junior School at the Testwood Lakes Centre, which is owned by Southern Water, hoping to encourage them think to about the world around them and enter the competition.

The importance of water

Martin said: "It’s hard to believe that every single day, 2,000 children die from unsafe water and inadequate sanitation. Water is a life-saver and a life-changer but it’s something we easily take for granted.

"My poems are aimed at encouraging children to consider the world around them. Through this competition, I hope to help get children thinking about the importance of water and the challenges faced by children in developing countries, while also tapping into their creative side to come up with their own challenging but fun poetry."

To get children started, Martin has written a poem called Water Walk, which will be published in his forthcoming book, Verse for the Earth: More Green Poems for a Blue Planet. Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Gromit, has illustrated the poem as well as providing drawing tips for children entering the competition.

Children are invited to write their poem on a piece of rubbish or put it in a recycled bottle and pass it on, to help spread awareness about the water crisis and WaterAid's work.

The Water Resource

The competition is one of many activities aimed at children and young people on WaterAid’s online Water Resource, where there are also teaching materials, films, games and activities on global water issues.

Victoria Rouse at WaterAid said: "Safe water is the one thing that changes everything. Together with sanitation and improved hygiene, it underpins health, education and livelihoods, forming the first essential step in overcoming poverty.

"Our teaching resources are linked to the national curriculum, and make learning about water fun. We also have lots of fantastic volunteer speakers who can visit schools to help bring the lessons to life."

To enter the poetry competition, get your water-themed poems to WaterAid, by post or email, by 22 May. Entry forms and full rules are available on our Water Resource.