At its 2016 conference, trade show and annual gala dinner last week the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) both announced its fundraising target in support of the Just a Drop Charity – and exceeded that target.
It is fitting that on World Water Day (22 March) the water cooler industry is able to confirm that it has raised £10,328. It required just under £10,000 to be able to fund a borehole project in Kalungwishi village in Zambia.
The project will provide clean drinking water for the village whose inhabitants currently have no access to clean safe water, resulting in waterborne disease striking every week. Children and women have to walk for two hours to fetch water which is unclean and unsafe. This will transform the lives of the villagers.
Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, BWCA General Manager, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of my industry colleagues who gave so generously to this cause. Our members donated superb prizes to our charity auction and, thanks to them, our superb chief auctioneer Bruce Orme of Wenlock Spring and the enthusiasm of the bidders, we raised all the money – and more.
“We also raised funds via a jerry can challenge during the trade show which helped demonstrate the physical challenges facing our beneficiaries in carrying large quantities of water over a distance. Other donations came via on-stand promotions at the trade show to raise money plus one off gifts through our Just Giving site and a substantial cash gift from one member”.
Chairman John Dundon said: “This is the first time our members have come together in a charitable programme of this kind and it just demonstrates what a wonderfully empathetic industry this is. I consider this to be one of the most exciting developments of 2016 for the Association. It was a pleasure to have Brendan Hanlon and Louise Geoghegan from Just a Drop with us for the day and Brendan’s presentation did much to rouse interest in supporting this great cause. This is a superb example of what we, in the UK, can do to help those for whom drinking clean water is a daily challenge”.
Just a Drop provides drinking water and sanitation to communities in developing countries. Just a Drop’s Head of Fundraising and Communciations, Brendan Hanlon, said: “We are so grateful to The British Water Cooler Association for this achievement. This partnership will make a positive and significant difference to the people of Kalungwishi who will now have the opportunity to access clean water. Thank you on behalf of everyone at Just a Drop.”
In the village, Just a Drop will drill a borehole to a maximum depth of 70m and equip it with a hand pump, enabling the community to reach clean and safe water. To ensure that water will be available into the future, community-elected women and men will be trained and equipped to work together to repair and manage the water systems. Just a Drop will also provide hygiene education, to ensure people stay healthy.
The BWCA intends to continue raising money for Just a Drop towards a further project. To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/BWCAaresupportingJustaDrop
A child from Kalungwishi village in Zambia, who will be one of those to benefit from the BWCA’s generosity. Image courtesy ©Just a Drop