The British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) has raised nearly £70,000 for Just a Drop during just over three years of support for the charity.
The BWCA effect, however, goes much wider than simply fund-raising efforts via the Association. As a result of the charitable programme which forms one of the platforms of the BWCA’s 5 for 5 Sustainability Pledge, numerous companies have chosen to support the charity in their own right. This has raised an additional £17,642 bringing the total raised by the sector (including direct company donations) to £69,116.
Over 1,000 people living in difficult conditions in Africa with no access to clean, safe water have benefited from boreholes funded directly by the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA). Brendan Hanlon, director of fundraising and communications for the charity Just a Drop told delegates at the recent industry conference what an enormous difference the support has made to people in parts of Zambia.
Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, general manager of BWCA, said: “The ripple effect our Association’s support has created has encouraged and inspired many companies to join with us in fund-raising for this good cause. This, together with our direct support, is making a huge impact.”
In the past year, additional monies have been raised from BWCA Members AA First (Colefax Charitable Trust); 4 Aces; Angel Springs; Ebac; Eden Springs UK; Fillongley Spring; Seaton Springs; Waterlogic UK
In addition Dolphin – a WE Member which became involved after exhibiting at a previous BWCA trade show – also supports the cause.
New partnerships with BWCA members have been forged in the past year with Abbeychart and BWT
Ms Atkinson-Clow added: “I am so proud of and grateful to our members for their fundraising efforts on exhibition stands, through trade show activities and via the charity auction at our annual gala dinner. Their generosity is overwhelming. This year, on 28 March alone, we raised £10,600. I am also very pleased that this work has inspired so many to get on board with Just a Drop and we hope others will be encouraged to do so. We also have more fundraising planned including our Golf Day where we hope to beat our 2018 total of £3,000.”
Brendan Hanlon showed film footage at the conference describing the life-changing effects of villagers having clean water. He described how one girl can now attend school regularly as she no longer has to trek for hours each day to collect dirty water from the only source that was until now available. He showed a moving film with villages dancing and singing to celebrate their waste pump and translated from Bemba (the local language) one woman as saying: “The water is sweet to us!” He also said that one village had been able to form a community farm, because irrigation is now possible, making the village more self-sufficient”.
In the past year, two more BWCA-funded projects were completed in Kutemwa and Chibukisho villages, Zambia. By the end of 2019, there will be five BWCA-funded boreholes in total. Ms Atkinson-Clow added: “It is good to be able to say that our 5 for 5 Pledge has helped transform the lives in five villages.”