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York Fundraiser Visits WaterAid’s Work in India

Minster FM News Generic

12:33pm 20th March 2013

York fundraiser, Caroline Beavers,  saw for herself the difference the money raised by Yorkshire Water fundraisers has made when she visited international charity WaterAid’s projects in India recently.

Caroline, who works as a manager at a service partner for Yorkshire Water in Bradford, was chosen to represent the company on the week-long trip along with fundraisers from eleven other water companies.

WaterAid say that India has a population of over one billion and that diseases are common throughout the country due to contaminated drinking water sources and poor sanitation. WaterAid estimates that only 31% of the population has adequate sanitation and 320,000, children under five die every year as a result of this.*

Caroline travelled to Gwalior and Bhopal in the Madhya Pradesh region of India and spent time with families in rural villages and urban slums, sharing their experiences and learning about their daily routines.

In the village of Jonhar, where WaterAid has yet to start work, Caroline met community members who have to walk over a kilometre to fetch water from the only local water source – an unprotected, open well:

Caroline said: “It was shocking to feel the weight of the water pots on my head and to know that women and children make the arduous trip to collect water up to five times a day. We learnt how family members are often sick and children miss out on school because of the poor quality of the water. It’s terrible to think that 2,000 children across the world die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation when we take these vital resources for granted back in the UK.”

Caroline also met primary school children in the village of Padli and found out how the safe water supply and hygienic toilets installed by WaterAid are transforming their lives. There was also the chance for her to roll up her sleeves and help out with the construction of new household latrines in the village of Amrod.

Caroline said: “It was really inspiring to see first-hand how the money we’ve raised means that WaterAid can help communities to take control and access the resources that they are entitled to. It’s great to know that the latrines we were helping to build meant that the villagers will have somewhere safe and clean to go to the toilet  rather than having to walk miles away from their village - often in the dark when they are at risk from attack - just to go to the toilet.”

“I hope to use my experiences to inspire even more people at Yorkshire Water to get involved and raise funds for this vital cause.”

Trip leader, Isabelle Herszenhorn, from WaterAid, said: “This trip was a chance for Caroline to see how the fundraising efforts of Yorkshire Water employees are making a real difference to communities in India. The money raised by fundraisers like Caroline helps WaterAid change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people, bringing safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.”

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