Three days, three actions to change your world


By Jennifer Shedden, Campaign Resource Development and Website Editor, Caritas Australia

Imagine waking up and not being able to have a shower, brush your teeth or flush the toilet. Instead, you have to walk over two kilometres to carry contaminated water back to your family. This is the reality for over 884 million people who do not have access to one of the most basic human needs – clean drinking water.

The average Australian uses 285 litres of water per day for their personal needs.
Yet the average person in the developing world has only 10 litres of water to use every day for their drinking, washing and cooking; the same amount of water that is used every time we flush the toilet in Australia.

A child dies every 20 seconds from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation; that is 1.4 million children every year, and it is estimated that over 2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation.

In fighting global poverty it has been identified as essential that we achieve clean water, good sanitation and hygiene for all and that any work undertaken to achieve this is sustainable.

Mother Teresa once said “We can do no great things, only small things with great love”.

In this spirit, we can see that small personal actions like advocating our government for better support of the Millennium Development Goals’s lessening our home’s ecological footprint and educating others on global poverty reduction, can all contribute to a blueprint for a better world.

This year, Caritas Australia’s Be More Weekend (6-8 August) is inspiring communities across the country to work towards conserving water in Australia and raising awareness of the global issue of water and sanitation.

“The Be More Weekend is a chance to reflect on issues surrounding water use and challenges us to re-think how we use this precious resource,” explains Alex Engel, Caritas Australia’s Campaign Coordinator. “The ethos of ‘Be More’ is to become conscious of actions we take in our day-to-day lives.”

Following last year’s success, with over 7,000 participants across Australia organising local community events, this year has a range of personal, community and advocacy actions – whether it is by conducting a water audit in your house, school or parish; returning to tap water instead of purchasing water in plastic bottles; taking on the Caritas K’s Challenge by organising a ‘Walk for Water’; or using your artistic flair to spread the water conservation message. The weekend is open to your creativity, initiative and enthusiasm.

Visit the website and register your school, parish or community for the Caritas Australia Be More Weekend 6-8 August!

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