Monday, 27 February 2012

Living life at the limit

Sarah Hagger-Holt is a member of the CAFOD campaigns team. Here, she writes about their brilliant Thirst for Change campaign and tells us why CAFOD are supporting the World Walks for Water and Sanitation.

What makes people want to push themselves to the limit?

From the comfort of my desk, with a cup of tea in my hand, I’ve been wondering about this question since CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign was launched.

Because it seems like every day I hear about a new limit-stretching idea to raise awareness about our campaign for clean water and sanitation for all.

It all started last month with Rachel’s water challenge.

'Why not try to live on ten litres of water a day?' asks our campaign action pack. This is the amount that someone in a developing country has to cook, eat and wash with, compared to the 200 litres that the average person in Europe uses.

Why not? I can think of plenty of reasons! like my hot showers (that's a shocking nine litres for every minute), clean clothes and non-stop supply of tea, not to mention being able to flush the loo as many times as I like.

But Rachel not only said yes, she decided that one day wasn’t enough. Make it seven days. It wasn’t enough just to live on 10 litres of water, she would walk over 1km a day to collect it as well.

You can follow Rachel’s blog here>>

Call for clean water and safe sanitation for all>>

And then there’s Becky. She’s pledged to walk the equivalent of seven marathons in eight days alongside the Thames Path - from Cirencester where she grew up to the heart of government at Westminster.

When Becky sets off, Jim will already be halfway through his personal pilgrimage. A walk across three dioceses over two weeks along the Grand Union canal, relying on the hospitality of strangers for food and lodging as he goes.

They’ll both be blogging in April.

Becky and Jim are just two of the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who will be walking to call for an end the water and sanitation in the coming weeks. Find out more about the World Walks for Water and Sanitation here.

So what is it that inspires people to push themselves to the limits? Here's my guess.

A personal challenge. A spirit of adventure. An opportunity to test themselves. A sense of injustice. A chance to get other people engaged and excited about something they care passionately about.

Outrage about the limits that people in the developing world have to stretch every day to get something as basic as clean water.

A commitment that no one should have to spend their days walking to get water or miss out on their education because their school lacks basic sanitation. A thirst for change.

These are many of the reasons why CAFOD has joined the End Water Poverty coalition. The more of us speak up together for clean water and safe sanitation for all – the more we can demand attention and bring about change.

You don’t have to push yourself to the limits to support an end to water poverty. Rachel, Becky and Jim are doing it on your behalf.

They are inviting you to support, sponsor or even walk with them for a little way. But most of all they are inviting you to thirst for change, and to email David Cameron calling for an end to water poverty.

But if reading this has inspired you to live life at the limit, to don your walking boots or to turn off your taps, do let us know….

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Taking the World’s Number One Public Health Crisis to the Streets

Ana Kolodzinski is Director of Communications at WASH Advocates, a nonprofit advocacy effort in Washington DC entirely dedicated to helping to solve the global safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenge. Here, she blogs about the World Walks for Water and Sanitation.

WASH Advocates works with top political and social leaders to make the world’s number one public health concern, lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), their concern. Advocacy is about clear convincing arguments distributed through powerful networks to bring about change. Advocacy is bolstered with social mobilization and creates a powerful unstoppable momentum to bring about political action.

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation brings the world’s number one public health issue to the streets, strengthening the voice of the billions of people without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Through these walks, these voices are heard by both local and international leaders. This movement is about ending needless suffering, getting children back into school and breaking the cycle of poverty. The World Walks for Water and Sanitation is about compassion, and more importantly action!

Become an advocate by joining us as we take a stand for the millions that walk every day to find safe drinking water and a safe place to go to the toilet. Join the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Bangladesh!

M. Enamul Haque is the Director of Banga Jananee, a grassroots organization in Bangladesh that works to improve livelihoods and living conditions of local people through sustainable and equitable use of natural resources. Here he talks about his organisation's plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign!

We will be joining forces with eight of our partner NGOs to organise a Walk for Water and Sanitation event in Chalanbeel in Bangladesh! From 17 to 25 March 2012, we will be lobbying decision makers, talking to the media and raising awareness of the importance of water and sanitation both in the community and with government officials. We will then mobilize as many local people as possible to take part in our Walk from Union Parishad to Upazilla Parishad!

We hope that our activities will show politicians how crucial water and sanitation is to sustainable development. We hope it will increase the commitment of policymakers to get water and sanitation to our communities.

Our World Walks for Water and Sanitation activities will show people the importance of domestic hygiene too - we will give out leaflets and other educational materials to local communities. We aim to make two million people in Chalanbeel aware!

By working with other local NGOs, we hope to develop a common platform for collective participation as we move forward. We will meet civil society, local leaders and communities in Chalanbeel and have a fruitful discussion about what we can all do to tackle the water and sanitation crisis.

We are looking forward to our Walk! Why not organise one too? You can find out more and register here.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Check out our new World Walks for Water and Sanitation video!

A great new video has been produced for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign and we would love you to share your thoughts on it!

Please tell your friends about it by posting it on your facebook wall, your organisation's website and tweeting about it too!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Join our new online walk for water and sanitation!

Natasha Horsfield is an intern at End Water Poverty. Here she blogs about the launch of our new online Walk for Water and Sanitation.

Join our new online walk for water and sanitation!
We’ve just launched our new ONLINE Walk for Water and Sanitation! So now even if you can’t take part in one of our physical walks, you can still join in the global event demanding action to address the global water and sanitation crisis. It’s a great opportunity to get involved and get your voices heard by political leaders around the world, and it’s so simple to take part! Just enter your name and country and you can choose a message to send to world leaders or tailor your own. People are already joining the online walk from all over the world so why not join them now! You could even go a step further and join in with a walk happening near you or even organise your own!

Join the walk here!