WaterAid #2 – Group Activity & Research

To get to know our tutor group for the WaterAid brief we were set a couple of tasks to work collaboratively on so that when we formed our actual teams we would have broken the ice a little. My group were given newspapers, magazines and glue so we decided to create a collage. We noticed a lot of blues throughout the materials and quickly started ripping these out with the intention to compose a landscape scene consisting of water, land (city and nature) and sky. The outcome was successful considering we had only 30 minutes and had never worked with or met each other before. The groups were then switched around and we had another 30 minutes to use the text in some way to add to the image. This is where it was interesting working with students from graphics and branding because we had different approaches to this instruction. I automatically thought about using the text as shapes, deconstructing words and forgoing the meaning of them as written communication to make them into something else because in IVM we never take the brief at face value and are always twisting it to interpret something else. The other members of the group weren’t so sure about this idea because we were asked to use the ‘text’ specifically and they wanted to stick to this. In the end, we correlated words with images to construct a clearer narrative to the existing image which I personally preferred the before version of.

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Founded in 1981, WaterAid’s current main aim is to get clean water to everyone everywhere by 2030. At this moment in time, over 21 million people have been provided with safe water and 18 million with sanitation through WaterAid program. Equality, sustainable services, integrations and hygiene are all central to achieving this goal and the charity operates mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with some work also taking place in the Caribbean. Low-cost sustainable solutions to the water crisis such as toilets, pumps, taps and wells make up the bulk of what is provided to these communities as well as education surrounding hygiene and sanitation. They analyse the political, social and economic context of a region to change lives responsibly as well as working to try to make governments take action for public health. On social media, WaterAid has 95k likes on Facebook, 72k followers on Twitter and 95k followers on Instagram. They regularly update all pages with photos and videos from communities they’ve helped.

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Water For Africa was founded in 2003 by philanthropic business executives and aims to invest in communities by making them self-reliant and therefore breaking the cycle of short-term aid. They work solely in the Gambia to make a lasting impact and have helped to supply over 120 communities with water through their program as they are able to tend to agriculture better. The charity provides drilling equipment to create boreholes with a fully integrated pipe-tap system which is sustainable in the long term due to being flexible and allowing for upgrades. Annual accounts for the charity are available on their website which is very transparent. On social media, Water For Africa has 1.6k likes on Facebook and 500 followers on Twitter. Their social media presence isn’t huge possibly due to irregular posting and more shared posts about facts and statistics rather than their own photos or stories.

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Set up in 2006 by a group of Christians, the founders of The Water Project believe in serving and changing the lives of others, in this case through clean water, although they are not a religious organisation. Their main aim is to invest in local solutions to the water crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa through training, expertise and financial support for water project construction. Money raised goes towards not only getting clean water to communities but educating the local leaders who work alongside them teaching and growth potential. So far The Water Project has helped over 400,000 people and is monitoring 1,208 water points to ensure their work is successful and continues to be in working order. They focus on following up,  monitoring and evaluating projects to continue running the programs in the most efficient way. On social media, The Water Project has 40k likes on Facebook and 26k followers on Twitter. They regularly update both with photos, videos and articles about their specific work although they don’t get much engagement on either.

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