For most of us here in England and Wales, making a deadly cocktail of water, dirt and cow wee doesn’t count as an average day. But this is what Tahlia, Artur, Raeesa did at Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston at the React Global Youth Day in the Lancaster diocese this week, to raise awareness of the 884 million people worldwide who don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Under the guidance of Joe Howson from Global Link in Lancaster, our workshop leader, we made the deadly cocktail of water, dirt and cow wee – yes real cow wee from a farm (!) – in a cocktail shaker. Not surprisingly no one was keen to drink it. But for some young people – even after a 45-minute walk several times a day – this may be the only water they can collect.
And it’s heavy! We tried carrying 20 litre jerry cans of water so we could see what this would be like.
The decision was unanimous – we needed to clean the water. But it wasn’t easy. We had to make a model water filter to filter all the impurities out of our water.
We made it even more of a challenge by getting everyone to correctly guess the answer to a CAFOD quiz question before they could add one of the layers of cotton wool, gravel or sand, to the water filter.
Finally we poured the deadly cocktail into the water filter. By the end of the session, clear water was coming through. We still didn’t drink it, but we were decided that the lack of access to clean drinking water for so many people worldwide has to change.
As Christians we believe in standing alongside these people to campaign for change. That’s why we’re calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to take the lead at the G8 – a meeting of the world’s most powerful nations – in May 2012, to ensure clean water and safe sanitation for everyone.
I was so impressed with the way Tahlia, Artur and Raeesa, lead and engaged the younger students. They were extremely knowledgeable and confident.
It’s clear to me that they are really committed to global justice issues and enthusiastic about taking action. Thank you so much Tahlia, Artur and Raeesa for sharing your energy and talents, and huge thanks to Global Link too for their support and expertise during the day.
Thirst for change
Access to clean water is a basic need for everybody. Join the campaign to persuade our Prime Minister, David Cameron, to take a leading role ensuring the end of water poverty.
About the author: Rosa Trelfa is the CAFOD Diocesan Manager in the Diocese of Lancaster, who has been working with young people to launch CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign.