Students bid to get water flowing

WATER LEVEL ... volunteer John McBride looks at drinking water with pupils of St Joseph's RC Comprehensive School in Hebburn.
WATER LEVEL ... volunteer John McBride looks at drinking water with pupils of St Joseph's RC Comprehensive School in Hebburn.

WATER supplies ‘dried up’ in South Tyneside when students staged a disaster scenario to raise vital funds for the Third World.

Children at St Joseph’s RC Comprehensive School in Mill Lane, Hebburn, acted out a drama, where the town has run out of water, to raise money for clean water for people around the world.

The school staged a peace day, with one of the workshops organised by a John McBride, a volunteer with the Catholic overseas development agency, Cafod.

Mr McBride visited Cafod projects in Kenya 18 months ago, where the search for clean, safe drinking water is a daily struggle.

Hebburn pupils were shown a video of a fake news item, announcing that all clean water supplies to Hebburn had been cut off. Pupils had to devise their own water campaigns, using video cameras and laptops and present them to their peers.

The visit was part of Cafod’s annual Give It Up Lenten appeal.

This year, Give It Up fundraising will have double the impact after Cafod was awarded UK Aid Match funding, which means the UK Government will match pound-for-pound every donation given from February 17 to May 17.

St Joseph’s pupils have been fundraising through non-uniform days.

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, said: “Cafod is working to improve water access, sanitation and hygiene for some of the world’s most vulnerable and neglected people, including those affected by war, climate change and disease.

“It is potentially life-saving work, tackling cholera, helping girls attend school rather than having to fetch water and ensuring that children know about hygiene and waterborne diseases.

“By matching pound-for-pound all public donations, the UK Government will help Cafod double its impact, ensuring tens of thousands more families have access to clean water and sanitation, and are provided with everything from water purification kits and soap to training in how to fix a broken borehole.”

Hebburn pupils are also taking part in Cafod’s Thirst for Change campaign.

Mr McBride said: “Nearly a billion people don’t have access to clean water, and diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation claim more lives every year than any war. It doesn’t need to be this way.

“Our children are working to raise money to support Cafod to tackle this injustice and they are calling on world leaders to take action to ensure that every child and every person is able to drink clean water.”

Twitter: @terrykelly16