Tag Archives: Charity

Omygosh! You will never guess what happened to me today! There was no running water in the flat. Like, the water actually stopped running! The tap was totally on, but there was no water! Nothing. Nada. Zip. No water. 

Did you get that yet? There was no water!

So I couldn't get a drink, even though I was parched.

I couldn't cook my dinner, even though I was hungry.

I couldn't water the herbs in the kitchen, even though they were drier than the plain chicken at Nandos (seriously, why is that even an option?).

I couldn't wash the dirty plates and cutlery, even though flies were hovering menacingly around them. 

I couldn't wash my hands, even though they were covered in Public Transport Filth - I dread to think of what I might have caught if it weren't for my trusty hand sanitizer. 

I'm pretty sure that the washing machine wouldn't have worked either - so no clean clothes y'all.

The tap was totally on, but there was no water. For like, at least half an hour. A full 30 minutes. And then, thank God, it suddenly came back. 

Thank God the toilet was still working.

Thank God I didn't have to make the 30 second trip to the corner shop to buy some bottled water (I mean, I don't think they even stock Isklar Water - my favourite Carbon Neutral Norweigan glacial natural mineral water with exceptionally low mineral content. I might have been reduced to buying Evian or something equally mediocre - just the very thought of it will give me nightmares for a week).

Thank God I then didn't have to carry the mediocre bottled water up two flights of stairs. 

Thank God that even if I had bought some water it would have been clean and wouldn't have made me ill. 

Thank God the water came back on.

Thank God the water came back on and I was able to drink clean water from the tap, cook my dinner, wash up and wash my hands. 


From Tearfund

The truth is that not everyone has access to safe drinking water - and by everyone I mean 768 million everyones.  This is roughly one in ten of the world's population. 
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2013 update)*

The truth is that unclean drinking water increases your chances of developing water related diseases such as diarrhoea, trachoma and typhoid. Some of these diseases can be fatal, especially in children who are less than 5 years old.

The truth is that women in Africa and Asia often carry 20kg of water on their heads, that's the same weight as the average UK airport luggage allowance (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34-35)*. I can usually barely lift my holiday suitcase onto the conveyor at the airport, let alone carry it on my head. Every day. And then walk a few miles. 

The truth is that sickness and having to fetch water everyday is a huge barrier to working and education.

But there is Hope - there are some great organisations such as Water Aid and Tearfund who work with communities to make safe and clean drinking water accessible. See how you can support them.

What else can you do?

Buy Belu Water.

Sponsor the 'I carried a watermelon' team. For real, they're carrying a watermelon. 

Tweet about it, facebook about it, instagram about it. Tell people you know - get them to do something about it too. 

*Info from www.wateraid.org

So a couple of weeks ago I spent the day down at Tearfund HQ in deepest darkest South West London (Teddington) with the Tearfund communications team and a bunch of other people who love Jesus and write and blog and draw things.

It was a really interesting day despite a bad start (getting up late, running for the train, getting off two stops too early, waiting half an hour for the next train and then walking in the completely wrong direction from the train station – a good sense of direction is not my spiritual gift).

We spent the day talking with various Tearfund staff about their work and about digital communication. To which I concluded:
  1.   Tearfund are doing a great job
  2.   I should probs join twitter (follow me @rachsherlyh)

One of the things I learned was that Tearfund is all about resourcing the local church. The majority of their work is carried out in conjunction with local partners and churches. As someone who works for a charity that resources churches to start and run foodbanks, and as someone who believes that local community is more important and powerful than we realise, quite why I have never thought about church and community and international development is beyond me. But now that I have thought about it, I realise it's probs the way forward.

So for the last few months I’ve been saying that I need to get a new phone (the one I have is slowly falling apart) but haven’t been able to work out what phone I wanted, until recently...

It seems like everyone has an iphone. Everywhere I go I see people elegantly and silently typing out text messages on their touch screen while I’m still having to press the ‘9’ key four times just to write the letter z, and don’t get me started on having to be patient when using a word with too many m, n or o’s in it (first world problem or what?!). “There’s an App for that” is a phrase I’m beginning to hear all too often. It began to seem that all my problems would be fixed if I had an iphone. Now, I’ve never been concerned about having the latest technology (I got an ipod for Christmas a few years ago and had to be told what it was) and tend to avoid anything with a ridiculous amount of buttons or settings, but for some reason I decided that an iphone was the way to go.

So over lunch at Tearfund we were chatting about various things when the conversation landed on technology. I tried to keep up, I really did, but I didn’t understand half of what was said. My confusion must have been obvious because one of the guys turned to me and asked if I was a techie (I presumed he meant was I into technology not was I a Star Trek fan – but maybe that’s trekkie instead? Anyone know?). To which I replied “No, I only use what I have to and avoid the rest.” 

And just like that I realised that I didn’t need an iphone. I think I had begun to believe the lie that because nearly everyone (it seems) has one I probably needed one too or that it would make my life easier (because my life is so hard as it is!). And that realisation completely cured me of wanting an iphone. I am now content to use my current phone until it completely gives up on me. Thank you Tearfund.