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Harmonyjunky: Sing for Water, Choirs, Water Aid, Thames Festival

Sing for Water

Sing for Water was founded in 2002 by Helen Chadwick.

She had an idea that singers could raise money for Water Aid by forming a big choir and singing at the Mayor’s Thames Festival. The first year aimed to raise £1000!

Since then the project has gathered huge momentum and over the last 20 years we have raised over 1.2 million pounds for projects in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Ghana, India and East Timor.

As of 2016 all of the funds raised from SFW are going to our work in Ethiopia, changing lives by improving access to basic human rights. By the time the project ends next March, we aim to have reached 24,000 people with water, 22,000 with toilets and 18,000 with improved hygiene knowledge and access.

We have news of a young woman (Bontu) from this project . She’s 16 years old and attends Babich Secondary School. Thanks to this project, her school now has a water point with 13 taps, and two toilet blocks. She lives in a small house without water access, so to come to school and have access to water is a huge deal for her. It means she can focus on her education rather than worrying about where she’ll go to the toilet, or how to manage her period when there is nowhere private for her to go. The impact that having safe water and decent toilets has on girls like Bontu is massive – it’s the difference between them getting an education, or spending hours walking for water each day.

Roxane has been co-directing the ‘Sing for Water’ London event since 2006 with Michael Harper, Helen Chadwick and Katie Rose.

The London event is part of the fantastic Totally Thames Festival in September.

Each year a massed choir of 700 or so singers gather at The Scoop near Tower Bridge to enjoy singing together, to perform to their friends and to the crowds that gather, and most importantly to raise money for Water Aid. It is the highlight of my calendar and is a special day for everyone who takes part.

In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, we did the concert online and raised an impressive £27,494 for WaterAid to cintinue its life saving work with people who do not even have access to safe water. To view the online concert CLICKTHIS LINK you have to scroll down when you get to the Thames Festival Page

If you would like to watch an uplifting photo montage of the Sing for Water concerts through the years, with the beautiful ‘Wake Up’ soundtrack CLICK HERE

To view a video made during the 2021 concert CLICK HERE

The rest of the year we sing together for our own pleasure and for the sheer fun of it - but this event adds an extra special energy to our singing.

We know that by working together in this way, we are raising a significant amount of money that drastically improves the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Now that really is something to sing about!

To donate in 2023 go here