WaterAid invites churches to give something up this Lent to give clean water

Posted by
Sarah Kershaw
1 March 2019
Faith groups, Malawi, Fundraising resources, Fundraising, Water, Children
Malita and her mother Rose, walking back from the water kiosk, Bwemba village, Kasungu, Malawi, August 2018.
Image: WaterAid/ Dennis Lupenga

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March 1, 2019This Lent, WaterAid is inviting church congregations to give up their favorite treats and donate the money they save to WaterAid’s Jars of Change appeal, helping to bring the gift of clean water to children like Maliya, in Malawai

Congregation members who decide to give up chocolate, coffee or other luxuries during Lent are encouraged to put the money saved into a jar of change and then donate the money raised to WaterAid.

The Jars of Change Lent campaign will help bring clean water and decent toilets to communities such as Chiswe village in Malawi so children can stay healthy and in school, getting the chance to reach their potential.

WaterAid has developed an exciting range of resources to support churches in their fundraising efforts, including Sunday School activities, an all-age talk, jar sleeves for collection jars and a film. This year the charity is also encouraging churches to hold a Lenten concert.

Maliya, 11 from Malawi, does not have clean water close to home. She faces a dangerous and tiring journey to collect it from the river each morning. Her daily burden often makes her so late for school the gates are then locked when she arrives so she has to turn back home. Without a good education, Maliya’s future is at stake.

Maliya says:

“My parents say that I should never drop out of school, so when I miss classes, I try as much as possible to copy notes from my friends. It is difficult to understand the notes alone. I need to be in class in good time to actually learn but the circumstances force me not to.”

One in nine people around the world don’t have clean water close to home, while one in three have no decent toilets. Drinking dirty water means children are more susceptible to getting repeatedly sick from waterborne diseases. This crisis claims the lives of 800 children every single day and causes millions more to miss school.

Emily Haile, Senior Communications Manager at WaterAid said:

“Small acts of faith can make a big difference in the lives of the most marginalized communities. We often take water for granted, yet millions of people across the world are living without this basic necessity. Even giving up something small for Lent can change someone's life.”

Last Lent, churches raised more than $210,000 for WaterAid, which helped improve access to water in communities across the world such as in the coastal district of Thatta in Pakistan where WaterAid installed a school toilet block with handwashing facilities, improving health and getting children back into school.

Just $20 could provide a child with water and by raising $216 congregations could help to help install a three-kilometer water pipe for a community in Malawi, bringing real and long-lasting change.

To find out more and download the free resources, visit: www.wateraid.org/us/lent


Download the photos: https://wateraid.assetbank-server.com/assetbank-wateraid/images/assetbox/70010d26-16cf-4019-97c4-982a50de5d14/assetbox.html

For more information, contact:

Media contact: Emily Haile at [email protected]

Church contact: Jenna Smith at [email protected]

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international nonprofit organization works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org/us or follow @WaterAidAmerica on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. 

  • 785 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.  
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's over 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
  • Every $1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $4 in increased productivity.
  • Just $24 can provide one person with clean water.

To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database www.WASHwatch.org.