New kids water campaign aims to flush out poverty

By staff writers
13 Feb 2007

International development agency Christian Aid is launching a new campaign and fundraising initiative for March 2007 – designed especially for five to 16 year olds, and concerned to help “flush out” poverty. Almost literally.

“Flush”, aimed at schools and youth groups, is about toilets and water. There are around one billion people in the world who do not have access to clean water, according to expert NGO Water Aid – which works with both religious and secular groups.

Every year 6,000 children die of diseases like typhoid and cholera and from the diarrhoea such infections cause – all as a result of dirty water and inadequate toilet and washing facilities.

The new Christian Aid initiative includes a competition for the ‘best-dressed school loos’ in the land in the Toilet Transformation Challenge, fun fundraising ideas, a poster to chart progress, “fascinating water facts”, and examples of children’s water stories from across the world.

Using the toilet is part of our everyday lives and something we all take for granted. But for the 85 out of every 100 people in the world who don’t have running water at home, life is very different. That is why, says Christian Aid, it is encouraging kids to get in touch with their toilets and raise money for its overseas health and sanitation programmes.

Schools and youth groups are being asked to decorate their toilets for a day and charge everyone for the privilege of using them. The more funny and creative the ideas, the more people will want to visit them!

“We want to encourage kids to spend some pennies when they need to spend a penny,” said Nicola Inson, schools programme manager at Christian Aid. “It all adds up. For example if 300 people use the toilet 3 times a day at a charge of 20p a go, that’s £180 in one day. £180 could pay for pumps, pipes and tap stands to bring fresh water to four villages in Nicaragua.”

For example, Rahna Barowi is 10 years old and lives in Afghanistan. Collecting water in her village used to be difficult and time-consuming – before water pipes were built to supply her community. Now Rahna has clean water to drink and wash with, reducing the number of times she and her brothers and sisters fall ill.

Extra resources will be available online for teachers and youth leaders at www.christianaid.org.uk/learn which is being re-launched on 12 March 2007. The re-worked site will offer new fundraising ideas and activities throughout the year as well as the opportunity to order DVDs and CD-Roms as part of the government’s new e-learning scheme. Kids can log on to www.globalgang.org.

To order a free copy of the Flush fundraising pack email orders@christian-aid.org or call 08700 787 788 quoting F1331 for an English version or F1331W for a pack in Welsh.

Christian Aid is an international development agency working in 50 countries with people of all religions and none.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.