Positive fundraising news for WATSAN from many sources!

Thanks to various fantastic fundraising efforts and generous donations, WATSAN has significantly improved its financial position since the end of 2019.

When we last contacted our supporters with a newsletter in December, WATSAN’s financial situation was looking somewhat bleak. However, we are delighted to be able to share several pieces of good news, thanks to the support of our dedicated donors:

  • Emma Houghton, our WATSAN representative in Bishops Waltham, Hants, acted rapidly just before the Covid-19 lockdown to organise a very popular quiz night, which raised over £1,000 for WATSAN. Perhaps the last fun event for some time, alas…
  • Bishops Waltham Rotary Club also came up with £7,800 to alleviate the stressed water situation at Kinyasano school in Rukungiri.
  • Janet Campbell, who accompanied us on the very first WATSAN supporters’ tour back in 1997, died in late January aged 92. She and her family requested that gifts in her memory should be directed to WATSAN and a substantial sum was raised following her memorial service in March. WATSAN was represented at the memorial service by long-term supporters Tim and Margie Bushell.
  • Another faithful supporter, Joyce Currie, celebrated her 95th birthday this month with 30 birthday cards, and although now very frail, remembered WATSAN with a cheque, as she regularly does.
  • Our Patron, Bishop Andrew, used a favourite WATSAN image of a small girl in Ruhega village drawing water from a newly constructed tapstand for his 2019 Guildford Diocesan Christmas card, and donated to WATSAN the amount he would have spent on commercially produced cards.
  • Another £500 arrived from a family trust who support us from time to time.
  • An anonymous donation of £4,000 appeared from nowhere during March, for which we are extremely grateful!
  • Nykabungo school, where WATSAN has been improving both sanitation and the water supply, will shortly have sufficient water for both the school and the local village community, thanks to a gift of £2,500 from the Mary Wood Trust, initiated by Clare and Oliver Ramsden, who regularly accompany us on the Walk for Water weekends. Clare and Oliver returned recently from a visit to Uganda, which included Nykabungo, sadly cut short by the arrival of Covid 19 in Uganda.

And of course our warmest thanks to our 45 or so regular and committed supporters. Without your financial help WATSAN simply could not continue.

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Good progress on work at Kihihi Hill as project moves to final implementation

Following our fundraising appeal, we are delighted to have started making much-needed sanitation improvements at Kihihi Hill. 

At Christmas we appealed to our generous supporter base to help us get over the line at Kihihi Hill. This community was desperately in need of revived sanitation, with female pupils at the local high school sharing one squalid toilet cubicle between 64 girls. Thanks to the usual spirited response from our supporters, alongside a successful pitch at The Funding Network in London, we were able to send funds to the field and the team has completed much of the work already.

The two six-stance pit latrines that were the fundraising focus have now been constructed – one for the girls in Kihihi High School (pictured above), and one in the neighbourhood church. In their report to trustees for the first quarter of 2020, the team writes:

“This latrine consists of well aerated 6-stances of pit latrine and a changing room for girls. In addition, there is a provision for a ramp for the disabled girls, a provision for emptying the pit latrine once it fills up, a 300-litre rain water harvesting facility (tank) where girls wash their hands immediately after accessing the facility, and a front curtain wall for privacy purposes of the people using the latrine. We are happy to report that the above facility has so far been of a great help, especially in the reduction of congestion for girls accessing latrines within the school.”

Restrictions around the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda had slowed progress on this project, and in particular this may affect their ability to carry out some of the ‘software’ (education) elements of the project. Whilst the ‘hardware’ (construction) components are still able to go ahead, the coronavirus crisis risks putting the WATSAN staff team and their projects in financial peril, for example because the cost of living is increasing and jobs within families may be very precarious.

We are therefore not resting on our laurels and are continuing to fundraise concertedly to ensure that WATSAN can supply some stability, and crucially continue to deliver water and sanitation to some of the most deprived communities in Uganda – something that will be all the more important in the present context, where awareness of and facilities for hand washing are even more critical than usual.  Our next priority water and sanitation project will therefore be announced soon, for which we will urgently need funds, alongside funding a new truck for the team on the ground.

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Students on Isle of Man advocate for WATSAN

Students from schools on the Isle of Man took part in the One World Charity Challenge, with a team from King William’s College (KWC) making a presentation about WATSAN at the Inter-School Final.

The One World Charity Challenge is an initiative sponsored by AFD Software, giving students the opportunity to speak out for people in the developing world, through creating a presentation examining the work of a charity. WATSAN was invited to be one of the charities featured, and so trustee Kate Parrinder worked with the students from KWC to share information about our work and case studies they could use for their presentation and advocacy project.

The KWC team representing WATSAN was Molly Grint, Adna Salihovic, Laora Tobelaim, Eugenia Chan, Niya Trenkova and Maria Dwyer.

In the build-up to the presentation, the students designed a special wrapper for reusable water bottles they had bought at a reduced rate. They then sold the bottles to their contacts to raise funds for WATSAN, and raise awareness amongst their peers. The label’s QR code links to the WATSAN website.

During the final, the students gave a well received presentation outlining the need, WATSAN’s project methodology and a case study from WATSAN’s project at Bwambara Hill. WATSAN congratulates them in coming fourth in the final, winning prize money of £200 for WATSAN, plus £33 raised through the sales of the bottles.

In their presentation the students argued: “Water is a life-changing resource vital to all of humanity. Without it, we become non-autonomous; no education, disease, and no dignity. Water is the difference between life and death. It is the difference between an education and being unemployed. It is everything.” We couldn’t agree more! A huge thank you to the students for their efforts on behalf of WATSAN.

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Success at The Funding Network London with nearly £10k raised for Kihihi Hill

WATSAN trustee Kate Parrinder pitched at live crowdfunding event The Funding Network in central London on 22nd January, and succeeded in raising £9,735 to help us complete the project at Kihihi Hill.

The Funding Network is the chance for four charities to deliver a timed pitch to an audience of philanthropists who are ready to give substantial sums if convinced of a project’s merits. The presenter is given a strict six-minute time limit, with a further six minutes for questions from the floor.

Alongside the three other shortlisted charities, Kate pitched for funding to finish off WATSAN’s project at Kihihi Hill, where toilet facilities were yet to be funded. The audience responded well to the pitch and during the pledging session the target for the presentation (£5,000) was smashed, with over £8,000 pledged on the night and further funds coming following the event.

Kate was ably supported by fellow trustee Graham Piper who gave a decisive two-minute sponsor’s pitch and kicked off the donations.

You can watch a video of Kate’s pitch below!

Chris Dunckley, aged 9, supports new WATSAN motorbike

Budding actor Chris appeared in the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert on ITV, and chose to give part of his fee to WATSAN.If you saw the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert on ITV, you may have seen Chris Dunckley taking the starring role as Nick the Sweep. Chris chose to give part of his fee towards the purchase of the new motorbike for WATSAN’s Kinkiizi Link Person Moses Kabarebe.

Matt, Chris’s Dad, is well known to many of or supporters as our much-loved medic on the bi-annual WATSAN walks. His wife Jenny, also a doctor, and the two boys Jono and Chris, walk with us too when their sporting commitments allow.

The other half of the cost of the motorbike was generously contributed by the late Sir John and Lady Sheila Houghton, long-term supporters of WATSAN.

Pictured below is the motorbike proudly straddled by Moses. WATSAN’s Field Director Eric Baingana says: “The motorbike was picked from Toyota Uganda LTD-Kampala on 27th January, 2020. Then we took it to Kinkiizi for commissioning by Bishop Dan, after which it was handed over to Moses for use. Many thanks for those great efforts to buy it.”

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