Photo credit: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala(1)

On a mission to end extreme poverty

Photo: WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Maria Georgiou, Education Engagement Manager at Wateraid, talks about their work to ensure everyone, worldwide, has access to clean water in order to thrive.

Extreme poverty won’t end until everyone, everywhere has clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.”

WaterAid is determined to make this happen within a generation – and we believe the best way to do this is by working with others.


Children attend classes at the Goolni Tea Garden Primary School at Goolni Tea Estate in Sylhet. Photo: Abir Abdullah/WaterAid

That’s why we’re part of an active global network. Advisors, debate shapers, policy makers, engineers, campaigners and fundraisers – all of us here at WaterAid are working towards a common goal: getting water, toilets and hygiene to the millions of people still living without these basic human rights.

By working together, we can enable entire communities to unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good. To do this we work to engage with a variety of schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals in order to drive forward the change needed.

We work with UK schools and young people in a number of ways to engage and inspire them to want to find out more about international development issues and more importantly take action to make a difference. By drawing on all the things we have in common as human beings and showing how access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene enables people to work, go to school and fulfil their potential, young people are able to identify with the issues by drawing on their own experiences and feel compelled to learn and do more.

We do this by producing curriculum linked lesson plans and materials covering topics from the importance of handwashing, the daily lives of people living without access to clean water, to the impact a lack of toilets has on communities. We also make films to help bring our work to life and have even produced virtual reality films to create a truly immersive experience.

Photo: WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Photo: WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

WaterAid also has an amazing volunteer Speaker Network which is a free service providing talks and workshops for all ages. We have developed a number of online games covering the early years age group, right through to secondary and beyond. Our school’s outreach programme called Challenge Water is run in conjunction with our water industry partners and encourages young people to consider their water usage behaviour and how this links to water issues around the world. It encourages them to carry out a local campaign and work in teams to solve a WaterAid issue.

We have a fantastic partnership with the Scouts as part of their A Million Hands programme which has seen over 20,000 young people taking part in walks for water all over the UK and participating in activities to learn more about water and sanitation.

For more information about our work, please visit

Blog by Maria Georgiou, Education Engagement Manager at Wateraid.

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