To be a girl, international development charity WaterAid’s summer fundraising appeal, has raised £2 million. This is the highest total achieved for a standalone fundraising campaign by the charity. Its original target had been £1 million.
Indeed, the final total will be even higher. The UK Government is doubling individuals’ donations as part of its DfID UK Aid Match matched funding programme.
The To be a girl campaign highlighted the hardships faced by millions of girls living without access to safe water or somewhere to go to the toilet. It was backed by celebrities including Samantha Barks, Ellie Simmonds, Rachel Stevens, Laura Whitmore, Helen Lederer, Suzi Perry and the cast of Downton Abbey.
Switching on the taps
Just last week, as a result of the appeal, the taps were switched on in one community in Madagascar, which had been visited by Les Miserables actress Samantha Barks for the appeal.
[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]http://youtu.be/Ijhs6YEVCAw[/youtube]
On viewing this moment, Barks commented:
“The absolute joy on the girls’ faces brought a tear to my eye, their beaming smiles are such a contrast to the pained look I saw on their faces as they heaved the heavy jerrycans of dirty water onto their heads. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that they’ll never have to make that walk to the dirty pond again. Their lives really have been transformed forever.”
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“Every two minutes a girl dies because she does not have clean water or proper sanitation. Millions more have to put the daily trek to the nearest well above going to school, ruining their chances of an education. By matching all public donations to WaterAid’s To be a girl appeal we will help improve health and sanitation for hundreds of thousands of girls around the world, helping them to get an education and giving them hope for a better future.”
The UK Government match funding ended on 9 September,but donations can still be made to the To be a girl appeal.