Young people in Coventry Thirst for Change

On Monday, Amy Fox, CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth) visited Holy Family Youth Group in Coventry to introduce Thirst For Change.

We started with Jambo! an icebreaker game played by members of the CAFOD-supported St John’s Sports Society in Kenya, then the young people competed to build the tallest tower… with unequal resources.

We looked at some of the statistics around water use in the UK and in poor countries: some of the more surprising facts were that it takes 2.5 million litres of water to fill an Olympic swimming pool, and that people in the UK flush five times as much water down the toilet every day as people in the world’s poorest countries have for drinking, washing and cooking.

We heard the story of Angel and Rosena who, until CAFOD installed a borehole in their community, had to walk for 45 minutes to the nearest river to collect water. In Angel’s words: “Since the borehole arrived things are good because the water is near, and it is clean and free from animal droppings.” We thought about some of the ingredients that went into the water Angel and Rosena had to drink before the borehole was built and we illustrated this by adding items like vegetable peelings, animal droppings and mud to clean water.

The young people then imagined they would have to drink the water and they made model water filters to see if they could make it look clean again. The water filters worked but took a long time and everyone agreed they wouldn’t want to have to wait that long for a drink! The water filters we made were only models and, although it looked clean, the water wasn’t safe to drink: a filter big enough to make the water safe would take three days to work!

We finished with Scripture readings and prayers on the theme of water and the young people wrote messages on water droplets urging David Cameron to take action to ensure everyone can access clean water and sanitation.

If you would like Amy or one of our volunteers to visit your youth group to run a session, or if you would like any other support to enagage your young people in global justice, please call 01922 722944 or e-mail


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