Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are helping WaterAid to transform lives with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We take a look at how our partnership with the world’s third largest private charity donor works, and how playing the lottery connects communities in the UK with those across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

So many things in life depend on where you live.   

Today, millions of people have their access to life-saving clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene denied because of where they live, who they are, or how much money they have.  

Lacking access to these human rights stops people having an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure. This perpetuates inequality and stops change happening. 

Since 2013, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been supporting our work across Sub-Saharan Africa, transforming millions of lives for good. Some 32% of all ticket sales goes directly to supporting charities like us both in the UK and overseas, and it’s support that is making a whole world of difference. 

Jean-Bosco and Claire push their bike, now laden with jerry can's of water, back home, Rwanda.
WaterAid/ Jacques Nkinzingabo
17 year old Jean-Bosco and his sister Claire, 15, have to collect water from a broken borehole every day.

Denied a fair chance to achieve their potential 

For children like Jean-Bosco and his sister Claire in Bugesera, Rwanda, their school days were not happy days because they didn’t have what so many of us take for granted: clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. A clean and hygienic learning environment is essential for children to learn and escape poverty, as well as to attract and retain teachers, too. 

Jean-Bosco collects water from inside the well in Kibungo, Rweru, Bugesera, Rwanda, February 2018.
WaterAid/ Jacques Nkinzingabo
Jean-Bosco and his sister Claire have to climb inside the well to fill jerry cans, which are then hauled home.

The siblings’ district is among the most deprived in the country. Low levels of water at their school meant that what few water and sanitation facilities they did have didn’t work properly. A single bucket of water and cup were available for everyone to share and, during the dry season, the school’s small reserve of water ran dry.  

“Life has not been easy,” Jean-Bosco said, “walking long distances in search of water to cook food, wash hands and clean our classrooms. We had some rainwater harvesting tanks, but they were not enough. Sometimes I would get thirsty but there would be no drinking water in class, and this would affect my ability to concentrate,” he explained. 

Jean-Bosco student in class in Rwanda.
WaterAid/ Jacques Nkinzingabo
Globally, three in ten schools do not have clean water. Jean-Bosco said a lack of water at his school affected his ability to concentrate in class.

No one should have their access denied

As part of our work in Bugesera, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we installed a large rainwater tank. A filter purifies the water meaning students can get clean drinking water any time of day. Meanwhile, a new menstrual hygiene management (MHM) room means that girls have a private place to go to manage their periods and keep them in school.

“When my sister Claire is on her period she doesn’t have to go home, missing classes. She goes to the teacher to request the key of the MHM room to clean herself. The room has water, soap, and emergency pads for girls to manage their periods in a hygienic way without missing classes,” Jean-Bosco added. 

A world where every schoolchild like Jean-Bosco and Claire has clean water to drink and a private place to go to the toilet isn’t just a dream. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have already helped us save and change millions of lives. 

Twizeyimana Jean Bosco, 17, and his sister Claire Murekatete, 15, collecting water from new rain water harvesting tank, Rwanda, October, 2018.
WaterAid/ James Kiyimba
Jean-Bosco, 17 and his sister Claire, 15, collecting water from new rain water harvesting tank.

Helping us reach everyone, everywhere 

With players’ support, we’ve been able to work in both Bugesera and also Nyamagabe districts in Rwanda transforming school life for students in 38 schools, helping them to unlock their potential.

We are now halfway through this project (Jan 2020) and players have already helped us change thousands of lives. Toilets are being built and schools have gained access to running water for the first time.

In the past six months alone, we have built eight rainwater harvesting tanks in schools and two schools have been connected to their district’s water supply bringing clean water to more than 12,000 students and teachers. Meanwhile, students have also teamed up with one of the largest community radio stations in the country to write and perform dramas that share life-saving good hygiene messages!

Players are changing lives  

Since 2013, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been at the heart of WaterAid’s work across Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to their support, millions of lives have been transformed as we’ve been able to work side by side with communities to provide these essentials. Crucially, we’ve also been able to raise our collective voice loudly across the world, demanding action and accountability from governments and businesses, linking these communities to decision-makers, rallying support from organisations, collaborating across the sector, and changing attitudes and behaviours.  

When a community gets clean water for the first time, it creates a powerful ripple, saving lives and improving people’s health, education and livelihoods. And it’s the sort of change that sticks for good.  

Claire in class.
WaterAid/ Jacques Nkinzingabo
With clean water close to home and at school, children like Claire can stay healthy and hydrated in class and have more time to study, too.

How does People’s Postcode Lottery work?  

Anyone in England, Wales and Scotland can buy a ticket for £10 per month, using their postcode as their entry. Every day, there are a range of draws and players can win anything from £10 right up to a share of £3 million! 

From our postcode to yours, thank you. 

With players’ ongoing support, communities from Madagascar to Mali and Ethiopia to Malawi have been experiencing the ripple effect that comes from getting clean water and decent toilets. Mothers can give birth more safely in health centres, children are healthier and have the opportunity to go to school, and parents can work to support themselves and their families.

About People’s Postcode Lottery 

  • People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities and good causes. People play with their chosen postcodes for a chance to win cash prizes. A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally -- players have raised £500 million so far*. For details of the charities and good causes which are promoting and benefitting from the lottery draws, please visit
  • It costs £10 a month to play and winning postcodes are announced every day. The maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw proceed. For details, please visit
  • New players can sign up to pay using direct debit by calling 0808 1098 765. New players who sign up online at can pay using direct debit, debit card or PayPal. 
  • Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licence numbers: 000-000829-N-102511 and 000-000829-R-102513. Registered office: Registered office: 2nd Floor, 31 Chertsey Street, Guildford, Surrey, England, GU1 4HD
  • Follow on Twitter @PostcodePress or visit People's Postcode Lottery.

 *December 2019 

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