Harvest Appeal 2016 launches with Bedfordshire school water-relay
Pupils at Holywell School, Cranfield, helped launch the Bishop of St Albans’ Harvest Appeal 2016, the annual appeal which raises around £60,000 for a charity working in a developing country each year.
This year, the appeal is working in partnership with WaterAid, supporting their ‘Life-Giving Water’ campaign in Madagascar, providing safe, clean water to families in the Bongalava region of the country.
Internationally, 1 in 10 people lack access to clean, safe water and average daily water usage is only 10 litres a day. Much of this is far from clean and carried by young girls, who don’t get to school. Access to toilets is also an issue which affects water safety and good hygiene: about a third of the world’s population don’t have access to a toilet and this also impacts privacy and safety, especially for women. Worldwide, unsafe water kills about 900 children a day. In Bongalava, the need is particularly acute: fewer than 1in 5 families have access to safe water, and fewer than 1in 10 have access to toilets.
Bishop Richard and Jeremy Pearce, the diocese’s World Development Adviser, connected pupils with the Madagascan people’s need for water through helping them to make these comparisons and then using cake and water to help drive the message home.
They explained that daily water usage in the UK is about 12 times that in Madagascar and is clean and safe. They told stories about young people in Madagascar who are coping with scarce, unsafe water. They also learnt that Madagascar is the world’s major producer of vanilla and were invited to enjoy a vanilla cup-cake from dozens iced in the red, white and green of the Madagascan flag. Finally, they took part in a water relay, passing ten litres of water, cup by cup along a line of eighty children to fill a ten-litre container at the other end. They saw how much water is lost in this process and how carrying water this way is very slow and inefficient – the world record for passing water in this way is 17 minutes and sadly, it was not broken at Holywell School.
Harvest Appeal materials will be available in early July on www.stalbans.anglican.org/faith/harvest-appeal-resources-2
BREAKING NEWS: the 2015 Harvest Appeal: “Building Hope” raised £59,236 for children with disabilities in Uganda, funding improved dormitory facilities for 30 children in new and renovated accommodation as well as providing ramps and other access equipment. Bishop Alan sent congratulations and thanks to all who donated and raised funds.