A Dunloy will travel to Uganda with international development charity WaterAid to mark this year’s World Toilet Day on 19th November.
Bernie McLean, a Technical Assessor for the new connections team at NI Water in Ballymena has been chosen to represent the company on the week-long trip along with fundraisers from 13 other water companies. She was chosen because she has been involved in WaterAid fundraising for approximately 20 years and this was her opportunity to see first-hand, how the money we raise enables the charity to transform the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.
She will meet with communities to find out what life is like without safe water and toilets and visit WaterAid projects in both urban slums and rural villages to see how the money raised by NI Water employees is making a difference.
Bernie explained: “Clean water and toilets are things we take for granted here in the UK, but for some people they’re a luxury. Just imagine if we couldn’t turn on the tap, go to the loo, have a shower, wash our children - they have no choice but to use whatever water they can find. That very water could make them ill, or could cause a fatal sickness.
“WaterAid’s projects bring so much more than just safe water and toilets. Access to basic facilities improves health, enables children to stay in education and frees-up time for people to start earning a living - this trip is a chance for me to see all of this for myself. I hope to use my experiences to inspire even more people to get involved once I get back.”
During Bernie’s time in Uganda, WaterAid will be demonstrating how lives are transformed through water, sanitation and hygiene projects. As part of the trip, to the Amuria District of Uganda, Bernie will spend time in a remote village, with a local family living without clean water and a toilet, learning first-hand about the daily challenges for survival they face.
She will also meet children from local schools, join in with some hygiene lessons, and learn how clean water is literally a life-saver. She may even get the chance to help build a family latrine – providing somewhere safe and clean for them to go to the toilet, away from danger of attack and disease.
Trip leader, Caroline Wakelin, from WaterAid, added: “The money raised by NI Water fundraisers like Bernie helps WaterAid change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Once clean water and sanitation is in place, children can spend more time at school and women can go to work – instead of spending so much time collecting water, which is often fatally contaminated. This is a great opportunity for her to see first-hand how their hard work and generosity here has made a real difference to communities in Uganda.”
Find out more at www.wateraid.org