Yorkshire Water have a shiny new project, and it is all about teaching local children about how some poorer countries do not have access to safe water and sanitation and how this affects their international peers and their families. It’s called ‘Big Wish for Ethiopia’ and it will campaigns hand in hand with Water Aid’s international message.
Being based in Yorkshire, it’s always lovely to hear about local companies charity plans, especially when it involves educating local youngsters all about those less fortunate than ourselves. As part of the campaign, Yorkshire Water are offering schools free talks or workshops to teach pupils all about their campaign in the hope to deliver clean water and toilets for 170,000 households across Ethiopia. To help communicate the important message, colleagues from the business are available to deliver educational talks at Yorkshire schools and also youth groups to highlight the importance of water infrastructure and attempt to raise money for the charity. In fact, Yorkshire Water aims to raise £1m by 2020 and bring an end to the unnecessary deaths caused by dirty water.
For the next five years, Yorkshire Water have made an agreement to partner with WaterAid to:
*Raise £1 million to support projects in the country
* To go beyond traditional volunteering, strengthening the capacity of the water sector in Ethiopia by sharing the skills and knowledge of Yorkshire Water colleagues
* To delivering environmental education to young people across the Yorkshire region
* To influence key stakeholders to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and champion global safe water
* To develop innovative ways of engaging customers, colleagues and challenging new ways of working in the corporate/charity partnership arena
*To strengthen their relationship with WaterAid by encompassing key goals into our strategic business objectives
What’s great about this campaign partnership is that the money really gets to the charity. 78p per £1 raised goes directly to WaterAid with the remainder being spent on governance. This to me is quite refreshing after reading the large chunks of cash from charity donations that is removed from direct donations. This means that this money can essentially, make the changes that are needed.
Anne Reed, corporate social responsibility manager at Yorkshire Water says,
‘We have great partnerships with lots of schools and youth organisations across the region and deliver some really interesting and engaging talks for them. Our volunteer speakers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic and can really get them message across to pupils that access to clean water and sanitation is a life and death situation. We often don’t really just how lucky we are in the UK to not have to worry about such basic things.’
‘Our dream is that by 2030 everyone will have a tap and everywhere will have a toilet and I would encourage schools to help us spread this message.’
This kind of campaign is nothing new for Yorkshire Water though, in June 2015 the company sent three experts to Ethiopia to share their expertise with the Ethiopian Minister of Water and Irrigation and managers from twenty Water Utilities. The trio spent nine days in Ethiopia advising on water quality, leakage detection and asset management and their actions have helped to transform the lives of many. Over the last two years, Yorkshire Water and its partners have raised £433,188 for WaterAid to support its work in Ethiopia, which is pretty amazing, but they are keen to keep going!
So how can you help?
*Disclosure: We are working in collaboration with Yorkshire Water for their #BigWishForEthiopia charity campaign, please see my disclosure policy for further details*