As you have probably already read on our main website, on Tuesday 15 May the 60,000+ messages that have been collected nationally for the Thirst for Change campaign were delivered to No 10!! The response to the campaign has been absolutely amazing!
Our volunteers Mike Willcox and Hugh Gibbons were also involved in parts of the day.
The day started mega-early at 5am with a special 3.5 miles solidarity walk along the South Bank – Esther wakes up every morning at 5am to fetch water, so we wanted to do the same! The walk started at Tower Hill station and ended at Westminster Cathedral, and included stops during which partecpants could reflect on the importance of water.
Walkers were welcomed by a much-needed breakfast at Westminster Cathedral and everybody got ready for a big “River of Change” photo stunt with all the droplet messages that had been collected throughout the country – as you can see in the pictures!!
Mike, who took part in both the walk and the photo stunt, said: “I’m really exhilarated by being here. Being out in the streets getting the campaign noticed with people hooting their horns in support as we walk by. In my diocese, people really relate to the problem of lack of water. Drought in the UK has focused people’s minds, and encouraged us in some small way to stand in solidarity with those who don’t have access to water. Everyone in the world deserves access to safe water; water is fundamental for life. If we can fix the problem of water poverty, then we can make a huge difference to billions of people around the world.”
Here are some snippets of the walk that Mike took with his phone!
Hugh, who went along to the photo stunt at Westminster, said: “Well, we were cold and damp but a happy band of ribboneers in the piazza outside Westminster Cathedral. Before the River of Change we gathered in a room to greet the group who’d set off at 5am along the Thames from Tower Bridge to walk along the Thames. Chris Bain revealed the 60,000 actions figure, praised everyone who’d taken part, and spoke of the value of our example being handed to the Prime Minister to show other G8 leaders. Lemlem Behre thanked us from the heart – as the first female water engineer from her university in Ethiopia. Six students from St Peter’s School in Guildford briefed us on their many activities thirsting for change, getting ready to head off to Downing Street. Then we went to fan out the ribbons, each with hundreds of droplets attached, holding firm against the gusts of wind. Well done to the CAFOD team for the great organisation – and to everyone taking part.”
Later in the day, a small delegation of 6 campaigners went to the No 10 door to deliver the actions. They were welcomed by Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, who said: “We love CAFOD. You are brilliant. Thank you very much for what you are doing!” – it was great to get such a welcome!
Thanks so much for the wonderful support that you have shown towards the campaign in our diocese. Between schools and parishes, we have collected about 3,800 actions – which is fantastic!
Please pray for the G8 summit, which will take place in Chicago this weekend.
Thanks again everyone and well done!!! 🙂