Catholics across Newcastle raise over £15,000 to ‘turn on the taps’ across the world this Easter 

Katie Binns reports on some amazing efforts for our Lenten appeal.

Uganda Lent 2016 parish photo Proscovia

Proscovia no longer had to trek for miles to get water for her village in Uganda.

Parishioners and pupils in the Newcastle area have raised an astounding £15,692.31 for Catholic aid agency CAFOD’s Lenten appeal. Catholics across the UK were asked to help ‘turn on the taps’ throughout Lent in a bid to provide clean and safe water around for those in the poorest communities.

St. Cuthbert’s School in North Shields held a Lenten Lunch for the students and teachers to raise awareness about the appeal whilst St. Stephen’s Primary School in Longbenton raised money by turning their regular healthy food snack shack into a soup shack. The school’s representative, Kate Swaddle, said:

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Children from St. Cuthbert’s School. North Shields.

“The pupils realized that having access to clean water helped and impacted on hygiene, sanitation and the children’s education as they could collect water more quickly than before with the help of this appeal.”

CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator in Newcastle, David Cross, said:

“Being able to turn on a tap and have clean water is something we normally take for granted. That’s why we’re so grateful to everyone in Newcastle who have raised money for our Lent appeal, helping families to access this basic right and empowering girls to get an education and fulfil their potential. It’s brilliant to think that their efforts will have the double the impact with the UK Government matching the money raised.”

The money raised will enable the taps to be turned on in villages around the world by repairing or providing water pumps and training in order to maintain them. It will also fund hygiene programs, education in sanitation, and the building of latrines. Matched funds from the UK Government will enable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs to over 300,000 people in Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.