Six year old Canadian girl trades birthday gifts for African water

Six year old Canadian girl trades birthday gifts for African water

This year, six-year-old Gabriella Laws will be trading in her birthday gifts for clean water in Africa. The Calgary-based girl has created a fundraising web page on Canadian Physicians for Aid & Relief’s (CPAR’s) new Face of Giving website – and hopes to raise $250 to help provide clean water to community members in rural Tanzania.

Gabriella feels that she is extremely lucky to live in Canada and that it often takes very little to help others who may be less fortunate.

“For my 7th birthday on July 3rd I am not asking for presents – instead I would like people to contribute to my Face of Giving water project,” says Gabriella. “Water is essential for life and I hope, together, we will be able to improve the lives of many.”

In rural sub-Saharan Africa, only 42% of the population has access to clean and safe drinking water leaving these communities vulnerable to life-threatening water-related diseases. Globally approximately 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe and clean water sources – resulting in the annual death of about 4,500 children (most under the age of five-years old).

The Face of Giving – launched by CPAR, gives people a way to help build healthy communities in rural Africa by providing clean water for school children, oxen that improve food security for farmers and safe motherhood kits – just to name a few of the tangible, life-changing critical live-saving projects that people can choose to support on the website.

In addition to donating, the Face of Giving website gives donors the unique opportunity to post their photo, and tell their story about why they have made their donation – tell their story about why they believe their gift will change lives. The site is appealing to those who are connecting online through blogging and social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace.

The Face of Giving site features six specific projects that support the building of healthy communities in Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

Specific Face of Giving projects include:

* Providing Clean Water to Communities in Tanzania
* Distributing Safe Motherhood Kits to Traditional Birth Attendants in Northern Uganda
* Providing Oxen to Help Ensure Food Security in Northern Uganda
* Tree Planting in Ethiopia and Malawi
* Community Support for Landmine Survivors and War-Affected Persons
* Constructing Energy-Saving Stoves in Ethiopia

As soon as fundraising goals are reached new projects are posted.

Donors can also set a fundraising goal in support of a project and solicit sponsored donations from their friends and family. The compelling story for each project is seen in the photos and video posted on the website –

Founded in 1984, CPAR works in partnership with vulnerable communities and diverse organizations to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Africa. To this end, CPAR supports community efforts to ensure access to clean water, adequate food, primary health services and a safe and healthy environment.

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