International charity WaterAid is inviting congregations across the country to support its Harvest Appeal by hosting a harvest supper or taking a collection and helping to raise £150,000 for rural communities in Zambia who have no reliable source of clean water.
The money raised will give communities clean water to drink and to use for growing vegetables so that more of the world’s poorest families have a harvest worth celebrating.
One in three people in Zambia are denied access to clean water close to home and more than half of the population don’t have access to a decent toilet. Dirty water and toilets kill almost 2,000 children under five each year and the unreliable supply of food poses another threat to health and wellbeing.
The Harvest Appeal will help people like 52-year-old Ruth from the village of Mabula. Ruth is a keen gardener and dreams of being able to grow vegetables all year round to feed her family. However, without a reliable water supply close to home this dream will never become a reality.
Each day, Ruth must dig a hole in the bed of a stream and wait patiently for the small amount of water to collect. She then scoops it up and takes it home, knowing it could give her children diarrhoea. Yet it is all she has – for cooking, washing, cleaning and giving to the animals.
“The water problem in our community is growing from bad to worse, because it is no longer raining as much as it used to. Our streams are running out of water very fast. This year our crops have failed due to lack of rain. Our harvest will not be good. More people in our community will face hunger.”
Last Harvest, churches in the UK raised more than £140,000 for WaterAid, helping bring clean water to remote communities around the world, like in the village of Milimo in Zambia. When WaterAid installed a new borehole there, it completely transformed the village. A new community garden was built growing enough vegetables to eat and sell. The extra money earnt by residents is now used to look after the water point to ensure the investment is sustainable.
Felicity de Ste Croix, Communities and Volunteering Manager at WaterAid, said:
“We’re so grateful for the support of church congregations across the UK who are helping us transform lives with clean water. This basic resource can have a powerful ripple effect, enabling people to take their first step out of poverty.”
WaterAid has developed a range of resources to support churches inspiring their congregations, including a poster, church leader resource, Harvest supper guide and a WaterAid quiz.
To find out more and order a free resource pack, visit: https://www.wateraid.org/uk/get-involved/fundraising/harvest-appeal-2019