Living in the UK, it’s easy to forget that clean, safe drinking water is a scarce resource. As I write this, I have a glass of fresh water that I’ve just filled from a tap just a few metres away. This is a luxury that 783 million people in the developing world don’t have access to, with 37% of those people living in Sub-Saharan Africa1.
Imagine getting that same glass of water if you lived in rural Zimbabwe. First you would need to walk to your nearest river to fill your container with water. Then you need to carry that water home, this isn’t easy as the container might hold around 20 litres, which weighs the same as a 3 year old child or an average microwave. Once you’ve carried the water home you’ll not only use this water for drinking, but also for cooking and washing as well. And through all this you’ll be uncertain whether you’ll get sick, as the river water may not be clean and may make contain water-borne diseases.
This is the reality for the children that we support in Zimbabwe. They’re often the ones who collect the water and often get sick from drinking it.
This reality has been made worse by the severe drought that is affecting much of Southern Africa, causing a state of emergency to be declared in rural Zimbabwe resulting in food shortages as crops fail, as well increased distances to reach water.
At CBF we realise that while paying school fees provides access to education, we cannot ignore the reality of children’s lives if we want them to thrive.
Now let’s imagine a situation where this reality is changed and that when these children attend school they not only get access to education, but they also get access to clean, safe drinking water and receive a nutritious meal. Imagine how that would improve their ability to concentrate and learn.
At CBF, we are working to improve the lives and outcomes of the children we support. Our school feeding programmes are providing essential nutrition each school day for 2,000 children, which is even more important with the drought. We have also been raising funds to allow us to drill a borehole at each school. A borehole will provide a clean and safe source of water that will benefit the whole school every day, reducing sickness, aiding concentration and helping to make a new reality for the children in Zimbabwe.
With the help of the Rotary Clubs of Reading Matins, Marlow Thames and Maidenhead Bridge we have recently funded one borehole and following the support of Reading Family Church we have partially funded a second borehole.
To complete the second borehole we need to raise further funds and we would greatly appreciate your help. One way you can help is by sponsoring me as I run the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday 3 April with all funds going towards the borehole (https://www.justgiving.com/MichaelDix1) or perhaps you can organise your own fundraising event/activity to help us provide clean, safe drinking water to another school.
On Tuesday 22 March it’s World Water Day, so as you turn on the tap for a glass of water, think about the children who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water and please decide to help us change the reality for children in Zimbabwe.
1 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010”
If you’d like to make a difference to children we support, you can;
- Volunteer in the UK and Zimbabwe
- Help with admin, digital marketing and fundraising in our Reading office
- Help teach, construct boreholes, classrooms and toilets in Zimbabwe
- Promote us at your church, club, school and work
- Organise activities and events using our fundraising ideas
- Fundraise for us or donate at JustGiving
- Ask people who support your fundraising event to sign a Gift Aid form; the government gives 25p extra for every £1 you raise so we get £1.25
- Sponsor a child for £15 a month to give them skills, vision and motivation
- Have fun choosing items to fill a shoebox and the joy of opening one lasts forever
- Purchase from retailers at easyfundraising; we get a percentage of what you spend
- Take advantage of retailer discounts at Savoo and we get a donation from every purchase you make
- Use easysearch to search the Internet, instead of Google, so we benefit
- Promote us by liking and sharing our blogs, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter posts
- We work with Rotary International and our projects are overseen by Rotary Club of Harare