Oxfam urges regional schools in Australia to ditch uniforms for a day, and wear blue as part of charity Water Appeal

Events, General, Media Releases, News, Organisation news, Other events article written on the 17 May 2013

SCHOOL children across Australia are being urged by international aid agency Oxfam Australia to put away their school uniforms for a day and instead wear blue to fundraise for its June Appeal.

This year’s appeal focuses on Oxfam’s life-saving water programs that help Cambodian communities have access to safe clean water.

Oxfam Australia Associate Director of Fundraising Yvette Petersen said the initiative was a great way to educate school children about the value of life-saving water programs abroad, while teaching them to value their access to clean, safe water in Australia.

“In Australia we often take clean water for granted, while those living in poverty have to drink dirty and unsafe water that endangers their health,” she said.

“Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80 per cent of diseases, but working with communities to address this can help stop the spread of diarrhoea and cholera.”

Australian schools and workplaces can take on fundraising challenges throughout May and June including holding “blue” morning teas or wearing blue for the day instead of school uniforms or business wear for a gold coin donation.

“Fundraising can be really fun and rewarding and shows how little it takes to make a difference to someone living in poverty,” Ms Petersen said.

“A simple gold coin donation from every student could go towards building safe, sustainable water sources in a community or improving hygiene education.”

One in nine people around the world have no access to clean drinking water, with millions of women around the world walking for hours each day to collect water.

Improving access to clean water in communities living in poverty would allow those women more time to work.

More than 443 million days of school are missed by children each year because of water-borne diseases and providing toilets in schools can ensure more children, including girls, have access to an education.

Information on how schools or workplaces can get involved is available at www.oxfam.org.au

For interviews or more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Anne Wright on 0411 035 695 or annew@oxfam.org.au