Pupils from a nursery and infant school in County Durham have raised hundreds of pounds to save the lives of children in the developing world.
The tiny tots, aged between three and seven from Trimdon Grange Nursery and Infant School, managed to collect £800 for Northumbrian Water’s adopted international charity, WaterAid. The funds will save 53 lives.
WaterAid works in 27 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific Region to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people.
Today, 4000 children will die because they have not got access to these basic human rights.
Fundraising activities included a sponsored ‘carry a bucket of water’ race, a sponsored bike ride, bucket collections at the school’s harvest festival and a ‘hoe down’ disco.
Trimdon Grange Nursery and Infant School’s head teacher, Miss Worton, said: "I am very proud of the dedication of my pupils in raising such an amazing sum. This is a very generous community where people think of others before themselves. It is a privilege to work here."
Elizabeth Dickson, who is a WaterAid volunteer in Northumbrian Water’s supply area, went to the school to collect the cheque: "It was so lovely to see how passionate the children are about WaterAid and the work it does. They were so proud, they wrote to WaterAid’s head office in London explaining how they raised the money.
"In the North East we take top quality tap water and the ability to flush a toilet for granted. The school’s theme for the year is ‘rights and responsibilities’ and it was humbling to see how the children much raising the funds meant to the children from Trimdon."
Elizabeth, who is 61 and is a chartered surveyor with the Ministry of Defence, attended a school assembly and was able to explain to the children and teachers how WaterAid will use the money they have raised.
She continued: "I am so pleased I can volunteer for WaterAid through Northumbrian Water’s speaker’s programme. I encourage my colleagues at the MOD to raise money for WaterAid too! I went to Zambia in 1990 and witnessed the charity’s life-saving work at first hand. It is incredible the difference clean water, a toilet and hygiene knowledge can make to someone’s life – it only costs £15.00 to provide someone with these everyday essentials for life!"
For more information about WaterAid or how to become a corporate partner contact Julie Wilson on 0191 301 6713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.
Some harrowing statistics
• 783 million people live without access to safe water, around 11% of the world′s population.
• 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation - 4,000 child deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds. This equates to 160 infant school classrooms lost every single day to an entirely preventable public health crisis.
• Diarrhoea kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
• Children living in households with no toilet are twice as likely to get diarrhoea as those with a toilet.
• Every year, around 60 million children in the developing world are born into households without access to sanitation.
• One gram of human faeces can contain 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, 100 parasite eggs.
• Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases associated with poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
• The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 20kg, the same as the average UK airport luggage allowance.
• 97.5% of the earth′s water is saltwater. If the world′s water fitted into a bucket, only one teaspoonful would be drinkable.