Project of the month

30th Abingdon Group

Issue picked: Clean water and sanitation

30th Abingdon Scout Group is this month’s excellent example of a Group raising awareness about an A Million Hands social issue.

Abingdon Baptist Church Beaver Colony recently visited Downing Street in an attempt to raise awareness of their chosen A Million Hands issue: clean water and sanitation. During their visit, Beavers spoke to with MPs about what they had learnt while working on their successful community impact project.

How it began

The project started with a Youth Shaped approach where Beavers briefly learned about each A Million Hands issue before voting for the topic they wanted to explore in more detail. The vote was close, but clean water and sanitation won with Dementia coming in as a close second.

What did they do?

After watching the A Million Hands video on clean water and sanitation, the Beavers discussed what life would be like without running water or toilets. They thought it was ‘yucky’ not to have access to a toilet or be able to wash their hands. They considered how much time it takes to gather water and the huge difference that timely task would make to their lives. The Beavers realised that collecting water would mean having less time to play games or go to school.

With this new knowledge and understanding, they were inspired to decorate jars made to collect number 1s and number 2s (one and two pence pieces) over two months at home. The Colony raised enough to Toilet Twin with a latrine in Kisima, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Toilet twinning is helping the Beavers to appreciate how easy it is for them to access toilets, and has changed the lives of people living in Kisima.

To learn even more about clean water and sanitation, the Colony used A Million Hands resources (found on page 26 of the pack) to work out how much water they were using in their daily lives. Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from 30th Abingdon then visited the Abingdon Science Partnership Laboratory at Abingdon School to conduct experiments on clean water. The Beavers conducted experiments using methods such as dissolving, filtering, evaporating and distilling to explore methods of water purification.

A visit from WaterAid taught the Group about the importance of clean water and sanitation. Again, the Colony were particularly interested in the time and distance some young children have to travel to collect water, and how they help each other out when doing so. They were also interested in how easy it is to spread germs and how using soap and water makes such a significant impact in fighting germs.

How they told the world about what they’d done

In order to tell others what they had done and learned from their A Million Hands project, the Beavers decided to teach others, make a video and a display. The video was shown at the Group’s AGM and as part of the Harvest Festival Church service. You can watch it on the 30th Abingdon Scout Group website. At the summer Church Parade, the Beavers helped to teach other Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows and Brownies how to build tippy taps and explained why they were important. The aim was to help raise awareness but also to allow Beavers to explore how they can share their learning with others.

You can request a speaker from WaterAid to give a talk or workshop.

Tell us about what you’ve been doing in your community through A Million Hands by recording your actions and stand a chance of the being the next A Million Hands Project of the Month.