UK government to match donations between 16 November 2021 and 15 February 2022 up to £2 million, making every donation go twice as far
WaterAid is inviting churches and community groups across the UK to support its Thirst for Knowledge appeal this Christmas and help bring clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene to schools around the world, so girls have the chance to learn and reach their potential.
All public donations before 15 February 2022 will be matched by the UK government, up to £2 million, doubling the impact in communities across Nepal.
Globally, just over one-third of schools do not have a decent toilet and 31% of schools do not have basic water service. For pupils in Lahan, Nepal, a lack of toilets in school means many girls stay at home during their periods. Without clean water on-site, pupils must leave the school at break time to go to a nearby well, arriving back to class late. This water is also dirty so they sometimes get sick, meaning they miss even more of their education.
WaterAid’s Thirst for Knowledge appeal will help bring clean water and toilets to schools, helping girls like 12-year-old Puja’s in Lahan. Puja is at the top of her class but without these essentials, she is missing out on the chance to achieve her dreams.
There is a problem with the toilets and drinking water at my school; I have fallen ill by drinking the water. When we get thirsty at school, we go to the nearby well. We miss classes and teachers scold us for being late. When girls menstruate at school, it affects their studies as they return home since there are no pads and toilets in our school. Without education, I can’t fulfil my aim of becoming a nurse.
By fundraising for WaterAid this Christmas, congregations and community groups can help provide schools like Puja’s with clean water systems, drinking and handwashing stations, and separate toilets for girls and boys. Just £122 could help pay for four 5,000-litre water tanks to store clean water at schools, which means girls will no longer have to fetch dirty water and miss classes.
Matched funding from the UK government will help bring these clean water, toilet, and handwashing facilities to 28,000 people and 30 schools in the Bardiya district of Nepal. Provision will be made for girls to manage their periods safely and hygienically, so they no longer worry about missing out on their education or fetching water.
Judit Palotai, Senior Community Marketing Officer at WaterAid said:
“It is heart-breaking that so many girls are missing out on their education because of a lack of clean water and decent toilets. In Nepal, more than one in three adolescent girls leave school after primary education. With the support of churches and community groups this Christmas, we can give girls the chance to learn and have a brighter future.
“Donations will make a lasting difference to girls’ lives and provide vital facilities like clean water and decent toilets in schools. We invite churches to play their part and join our Thirst for Knowledge Appeal, helping give girls an equal chance to learn with dignity and in safety.”
WaterAid has produced a range of free educational and fundraising resources for congregations, including Sunday School session ideas, Puja’s story, a poster, fundraising ideas, and a 2022 wall calendar.
Access these resources at wateraid.org/uk/christmas