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Students experience water poverty

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CHILDREN have been given a powerful insight into the plight of youngsters around the world who live with poverty, drought and starvation as part of their daily lives.

Oxfam representatives visited Bede Academy South, Blyth, to work with students on the issues of global poverty.

Children completed several laps of the playground carrying bottles of water on their heads to give them an understanding of the struggle many in Third World countries face just to drink clean water – and raised £500 for Oxfam in the process.

In workshops and assemblies, students also considered the vulnerability of life connected to water and how not having clean supplies on tap could impact on young people’s lives.

This included dying of thirst, missing education because children spend all day walking miles to collect water and starving because drought kills crops.

Last year Oxfam reached almost four million people with its health promotion programmes, with nearly half a million benefiting from support to improve their crops, goods or services and 1.4 million seeing improved sanitation.

By mobilising millions of people worldwide the charity has witnessed extreme poverty half in the past 15 years and it predicts in another 15 it could end it for good.

Year 5 teacher Louise Weston said: “It has been an incredibly powerful session and pupils have been shocked to hear what children their age often have to endure outside of Western Europe.

“Our children said they felt guilty, but the session taught them not to feel bad about it, rather to appreciate how lucky they are to live where they do.

“The water walk also raised funds for Oxfam and pupils heard from Bede Academy Vice Principal Steve Nelson about his first-hand experiences of life in Africa, which brought the various issues impoverished people face even closer to home.”