At a February employee event, Sanitarium CEO Kevin Jackson was pleased to present the Adventist Development and Relief Agency with a fundraising cheque of $54,885 to help communities in Vanuatu get access to clean water.
The annual corporate fundraiser represents a special opportunity for all of Sanitarium, Life Health Foods and Vitality Works to work together for a worthy cause. With a fundraising goal of $25,000 and an additional corporate match of $25,000, employees across Australian and New Zealand took part in a variety of fundraising activities including car washes, cake stalls, special lunches and breakfasts, pop-up shops and more.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, a staggering 780 million people do not have access to clean water around the world. In Vanuatu, water supply remains a serious development issue, with seventy-five percent of the population living on rural islands, most of which lack access to sewage, water, or medical facilities.
The task of fetching clean water alone can mean an hour long trip of up to six times each day. This keeps children away from school, parents struggling to earn an income, and communities failing to thrive and the impact of sickness from poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
ADRA Vanuatu’s proven programs and methods address infrastructure needs as well as community change and water governance arrangements. The project is part of the Vanuatu Church Partnerships Project (VCPP), a longstanding partnership between churches of many denominations in Vanuatu. The project builds on previously implemented programs to train church members in water tank construction.
The total funds raised exceeded the initial goal of $50,000 and will go towards installing fourteen 22,500L rainwater tanks, giving more than 4,800 people in Vanuatu access to clean drinking water, allowing for communities to thrive.