Sally Russell, who manages the work of the Monarch Foundation, gives us an interesting insight into World Water Day and what we can do to support it.
What would you think if you met a 10-year-old girl who told you she walked 6km every day before school just to collect water so her family could cook, drink and wash? How would you feel if you saw that she collected the water from a stagnant waterhole, guaranteed to infect her and her family with bouts of sickness? And then what would you say if you knew that her daily struggle to collect this water meant missing vital learning in school?
This is what World Water Day is all about – raising awareness and focusing the world’s attention on the importance of clean and safe water and highlighting the improvements needed for access to effective hygiene and sanitation. It’s an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues in the world and to take action to make a difference.
Water is an essential ingredient for life, yet 650 million people in the world do not have access to clean, safe water and around 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Clean water is an incredibly important part of relieving poverty: it can help bring opportunity to the most vulnerable people in the world.
Just a Drop
Monarch is working with its charity partner Just a Drop to help provide clean water and sanitation in ways which involve the local community and have lasting positive effects.
Just a Drop is an international water aid charity which provides clean, safe water to some of the poorest communities in over 30 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1998 by Fiona Jeffery OBE, who named the charity ‘Just a Drop’ to reinforce the premise that if people can be encouraged to give a little then collectively they can make a huge difference.
How does Just a Drop help?
So far, Just a Drop has delivered over 170 projects across 31 countries improving the lives of over 1.3 million people. Their projects support communities through the construction of wells, boreholes, pipelines, hand pumps and latrines and establish health and sanitation programmes for some of the poorest and remotest regions in the world across Africa, Asia and Latin America, including Kenya, India, Uganda and Cambodia.
The Monarch Foundation
Here at the Monarch Foundation we’d like to say a huge thank you to Monarch’s customers who are supporting World Water Day and the work of Just of Drop by giving so generously onboard our flights this week. Our employees are also raising money for a special project to help bring clean and safe water to Matha School in Kenya, through the construction of a rain water harvesting tank which will help to transform the lives of 302 students. The tank will harvest water from the school roof during the two Kenyan rainy seasons and the project will also provide sanitation and hygiene education on how best to use the water and install three hand washing stations in the school near the latrines.
The tank will last for a minimum of 30 years, so many more pupils will also benefit well into the future. Just a Drop will monitor the project for 7 years, to ensure the full impact is achieved.
World Water Day will be celebrated by Just a Drop on the Millennium Bridge in London with a City Jerry Can Challenge Relay, which will raise awareness for the daily walk for water that so many women and children undertake each day with heavy jerry cans. At the end of the event, they will calculate how far they have collectively walked for water.
For Monarch and Just a Drop, World Water Day is a great opportunity to not only spread the word about the vital projects which are underway but to also bring the plight of water scarcity to the attention of as many people as possible and encourage everyone to help make a difference.
The good news is that it costs as little as £1 to make a huge difference to someone’s life and to provide clean, safe water to a child for ten years. If you’d like to donate, please click on the link below. It’s good to give.