On 15 May, a group of campaigners set off at dawn on a solidarity walk from Tower Hill to Westminster along the River Thames, representing schools, parishes and individuals from across the UK. This is the start of the day when over 60,000 Thirst for change actions will be presented to No.10 Downing Street.
The walkers carried buckets of water and pictures of Esther, a Zambian woman who has to get up at night and queue for hours to get water for her family.
â€œWe are here to walk in solidarity with women who wake at the crack of dawn to fetch water. We are here walking for those for whom water is a luxury.â€? Rose Krzyz, Hallam diocese
During the campaign, communities across England and Wales created â€˜rivers o changeâ€™ made up of messages calling for clean water and safe sanitation for al On 15 May, we create an enormous river of change outside Westminster Cathedral with thousands of messages written on paper water droplets.
Jim Quinn finishes his 155-mile awareness-raising walk along the Grand Union canal for the Thirst for change campaign â€“ and joins the river of change outside Westminster Cathedral.
“We dressed up as water droplets, met our MP and gave out action cards to people on Guildford High Street. We tried our hardest to get the word to as many people in school and out of school. Thirst for change is really important – we need to help.” Students from St Peter’s High Street, Guildford
“The support for Thirst for Change has been incredible. We’ve been inspired by each and every person, school, youth group and parish who has shown our Prime Minister how strongly they feel about ending water poverty at the G8 summit.” Clare Lyons, Head of Campaigns
On our way to Downing Street: Jim Quinn, Father Rob Esdaile and Lemlem Berhe Tsegay deliver your actions to No.10â€Ś.
â€Ś And bump into Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell.
Andrew Mitchell tells the group: “We love CAFOD. You are brilliant. Thank you very much for what you are doing: it’s really, really good.”
The door of No. 10 is open. Your actions are on their way to David Cameron, then he’s on his way to the G8. We’re calling on him to take the G8 from words to action on water poverty – and along with the millions who thirst for change we’ll be watching and waiting to see the result.
Thank you for thirsting for change
cafod.org.uk/thirst Photographs by Zarina Holmes and Simon Rawles