Vertical Travel Group Conference 2023! Donate Fundraise Last year, the Vertical Travel Group met in sunny Cyprus to celebrate the success of the group for the first time since the covid-19 pandemic! Throughout the conference, you generously raised nearly £3,000 to support Wambiti Primary School in Kenya - a school attended by 239 students and teachers that had no access to water. With the support of the Vertical Travel Group, things are starting to look very different at the school! With your help, Just a Drop was able to work directly with the community at Wambiti to construct a rainwater harvesting tank – a tanks that will collect rainwater from classroom roofs during the rainy season and harvest it ready for the students to access throughout the long dry seasons. Enough water is collected in the tank to enable the school to access clean water all year round - this can be used for drinking, cooking and also to improving the hygiene in the school. The project is currently in its finishing stages – the foundations and walls of the tank have been built and we’ve started to construct handwashing stations across the school too. We’ve also been working with the students to run Child Hygiene and Sanitation and Soap Making Training - helping them to develop an understanding of the importance of hygiene and sanitation and embedding these behaviours into their day to day life at the school. Although the project is still in progress, you can already see a big difference in the school and it’s clear how much impact your donations have had. So we’d like to thank you sincerely for your support of the project – it really means the world to us and the community of Wambiti too! As the tank is painted and the project continues, we look forward to bringing you more updates and sharing the impact of your generosity! Lumu Secondary School There are countless other communities in Kenya that face the same plight so we’d like to ask for your help again this year to support a neighbouring school and build them a rainwater harvesting tank. At present, Lumu Secondary School in Kenya doesn’t have a water supply and so the teachers buy water to support the 247 students. The water is costly and prevents the school from investing into other areas of the student’s education. To add to this, the water that is delivered is often dirty and has been collected from a nearby river; this causes water-related illnesses and has a clear impact on the children’s education and school performance. There’s not sufficient water to clean the school halls, latrines and classrooms or even enough for the children to wash their hands after going to the toilet. Disease spreads quickly and girls are particularly impacted as when they’re on their periods they aren’t able to wash themselves – sadly they often end up dropping out of school altogether. But with your help again this year, this can all change. By building a rainwater harvesting tank, and leading sanitation training, we’ll enable the school to have sustainable access to safe water and sanitation year-round. Girls will remain in school and not drop out on their periods, children will become healthier as they are no longer drinking dirty water, and the whole school benefits and becomes a safer and cleaner learning environment. With your support, through the project, we will: Construct one 104m3 water storage tank in the school. Install a guttering system to drain rain water from classroom roofs during the rainy season Paint of the tank walls and inscribing hygiene promotion messages especially on hand washing. Conduct hygiene training with the students and teachers Lead menstrual hygiene training with the students So please help us to transform the lives of the children at Lumu Secondary School and make a donation below to Just a Drop today: Please select a donation amount (required) £5 £10 £25 Other Set up a regular payment Donate Alternatively you can text VERTICAL to 70085 to donate 10.Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message, and you’ll be opting into hearing more from us. If you would like to donate but don’t wish to hear more from us, please text VERTICALNOINFO instead. Why are your donations important? Kenya is currently experiencing it’s longest and worst drought in over forty years. More than four million people across the country are "food insecure", and 3.3 million don't have access to enough water to drink. This is why it’s common for children to trek long distances before school to collect water each day. They make the gruelling journey to the river or borehole, then often have to wait their turn to collect the water, before carrying the heavy jerry cans back with them in the morning heat. On occasion, the journey takes so long and is so hard that the children are forced to miss school altogether. To add to this, the water that is collected is unsafe and dirty. It makes the children ill, forces them to miss school, and lumps their parents with expensive doctor's bills that they can’t afford. If you'd like to find out more, please watch this video from Just a Drop's founder, Fiona Jeffery OBE: We are so grateful for the Vertical Travel Group's continued support. It really means so much to us and the communities we serve. We hope you have a fantastic conference, and thank you so much again.