Making a Splash for CAFOD!

Buckets were out in force at St Joseph’s RC Primary in Aldershot as part of a special ‘Water Challenge Day’ last week which raised awareness of water poverty and much needed funds for CAFOD at the same time!  This year pupils’ sponsorship monies will have double the impact after CAFOD was awarded UK Aid Match funding for its Lenten appeal. This means the UK government will match donations to the appeal pound for pound!

RE Coordinator Sarah Marshall said;

‘The children loved the challenge!  Year groups approached it in different ways. Some did relays. Year Six children walked up steep banks with water and others did circuits of the school perimeter.”

“As well as being ‘great fun’, we also had time to think about how challenging it is to carry buckets of water for any distance or length of time.”

Pupils had previously heard about 11 year old Rosena’s hour long journeys to fetch water three times a day in Zambia in morning assembly and tried to lift the 10 litres Rosena used to have to carry before CAFOD’s partner Caritas drilled a well just ten minutes from her house.

Some pupils are pictured here, imagining what it might be like to carry water on their heads!

Before the well was installed, Rosena would be late for school because she had been queuing so long and sometimes she couldn’t sleep because of the pain in her neck caused by carrying such large amounts.

In the follow up classroom sessions with Year 5, we had a short relay race to see how much water we could get from one side of the room to the other within 2 minutes.

We thought about the narrow and steep path Rosena had to take and the fact that the sides of the path are filled with thorny bushes – so we added a few things to make the relay race just that bit more difficult (e.g. walking backwards etc).

After a few minutes we looked at how much we had collected – (which was from 20 – 30 litres) and what we could do with that amount of water during our day. This included flushing the toilet (9 litres), brushing our teeth and washing our face and hands (30 litres) but didn’t include taking a shower, (60 litres) having a bath (150 litres) or using a washing machine (150 litres).

It certainly helped us realised just how much water we used!

We then thought about the 884 million people who still do not have access to clean water – and those who are often forced to get their drinking water from rivers. We looked at what might be in those rivers (which are shared with animals) and the effects of drinking dirty water.

We ended the session by thinking about the things we could do – which included speaking out against this unfairness and asking our leaders to do something about the issue.

Recognising the strong track record the UK has in supporting international development, CAFOD is currently asking David Cameron to call on world leaders at the G8 summit in May to turn the tide on water poverty.

Pupils were therefore invited to write a message to the Prime Minister on a little droplet of water as part of CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign.

Here are just a few of their comments:

Dear David Cameron

‘Please can you talk about water at your meeting because everyone is equal….’

‘Everyone has a right to clean water…’

‘What would you choose – clean or dirty water? Some people don’t have a choice…’

CAFOD is asking David Cameron to call on world leaders to end water poverty at the G8 meeting in May. For more information, please go to:

Political and financial neglect is at the heart of this problem – so we would like to thank everyone at St Joseph’s for raising awareness of this issue and supporting our Lenten appeal.   We hope our voices will be heard and water and sanitation will be prioritised.

Thank you so much to all the lovely pupils, teachers, parents and staff for all their fantastic support for CAFOD.  Such a great school!

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