Charity gifts film highlights virtual gift of clean water

By staff writers
September 14, 2008

Mid way through the International Year of Sanitation and more than half way towards the deadline for meeting Millennium Development Goal 7, charity World Vision has released a provocative viral film to raise awareness that 1.1 billion people don't have access to clean water - and encourage more people to give clean water as a charity gift.

The viral film shows how World Vision's range of charity gifts - which can be given as an unusual present on someone else's behalf for Christmas or birthdays - can really make a difference.

Released on You Tube by the charity, the film features a middle class British family living their normal, daily lives, oblivious to the dirty, poisonous water which they use to wash dishes and to feed a baby.

Recent reports highlight that many countries are unlikely to meet Millennium Development Goal 7 ‘Achieving Environmental Sustainability’, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. Through failing to meet this target, populations across the world are at increased risk of suffering from water poverty, particularly in developing countries.

World vision is one of the charities helping to provide clean water. People can respond to the film by giving a charity gift of clean water through the World Vision website. Their gifts - which have included goats in previous years - can be given as a gift on someone else's behalf as a present for Christmas or a birthday.

Charles Badenoch, CEO of World Vision said: "Sometimes you need to jolt people out of their complacency. We take access to clean water completely for granted here in the developed world and waste so much, yet for a large proportion of the world, water is literally a life and death issue."

Media doctor Dr. Chris Steele comments “Water is essential for life, yet 1 in 6 people across the world do not have access to this basic human right. Water-borne diseases, which breed in dirty water can often be fatal, particularly in developing countries and as many as five million people die every year from illnesses caused by poor-quality water supplies.

“As a GP in the UK, I rarely see illnesses caused by dirty water, but we must not underestimate the global scale of consumption of unclean water and time is quickly running out to help those in need.”

World Vision also works to make a lasting difference to people suffering from water poverty, through the charity child sponsorship programme.

World Vision is working to build latrines and wells to provide access to safe water in the village so that health problems such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery can be avoided. It costs just £18 a month to sponsor a child like Umajini, and will mean that her family and community can be given the clean water, food, education, and healthcare they desperately need. Through regular letters and photographs sponsors can see the impact of their contributions on their sponsored child and their communities.

You can view the viral film, and help stop water poverty for good through child sponsorship here.

Click here to visit the World Vision charity gifts collection and give the gift of clean water on someone else's behalf for a birthday or Christmas gift.

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