UNICEF 'Water for Life' gala aims to raise $1M to provide clean water for children
Calgary – UNICEF will host its annual Water for Life gala in Calgary on Oct. 14 with a goal of raising $1 million to continue helping provide water, sanitation and hygiene services to children around the world who do not have access.
This year's event will feature a four-course dinner created especially for the event by Hyatt Regency Calgary's Executive Chef David Flegel, and a keynote speech by UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War, Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Lone who is now a celebrated author and child rights advocate, the charity organization said in a news release.
More than 160 items, including exciting and unique experiences, vacations and works of art donated in support of UNICEF, will be auctioned.
"Clean water is something many of us in Canada might take for granted. However, 2.1 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water at home - that's three out of every 10 people on the planet," said David Morley, UNICEF Canada president and chief executive officer, in the release. "Children are the most vulnerable among them. Clean water is critical to their health – and to the health of their communities."
Each year, 361,000 children under five years of age die due to diarrhea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to the spread of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid, the release said. In the last three years, more than 100 million people gained access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services thanks to UNICEF. More than half of these were in emergency contexts, including places like Iraq, Nigeria and Syria. Last year, UNICEF's support to provide clean water in humanitarian crises was its largest ever, reaching almost 30 million people.
Last year's gala raised $919,000, which supported the construction of boreholes, water pumps and latrine blocks in schools and health centres in remote villages across Chad, and helped create community-based Water Safety Plans to ensure the ongoing supply of safe drinking water in rural parts of Mongolia.
This year's goal is to raise $1,000,000 to continue UNICEF's life-saving support.
For more information, visit the UNICEF website.