Give the gift of clean water this Christmas

United Purpose's sister charity, Village Aid, has been selected to take part in The Big Give's 'Christmas Challenge' - the UK's largest online match funding campaign. It's aiming to raise an ambitious £20,000 to bring clean water to a village in conflict-torn Cameroon. 


Amina (pictured above) lives in Baba II, a small community in rural North West Cameroon. Renowned for its dramatic mountains, deep valleys and vibrant greenery, the landscape around Amina’s home is breathtakingly beautiful. But despite this, it is not an easy place to live.

Many people in villages like Amina’s struggle to find clean and safe drinking water. Young girls and women often spend hours of their day collecting water from polluted sources, putting themselves and their families at risk of disease. The region also lies close to the Nigerian border and is seeing more and more insurgences from the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. In addition, disputes over water are rife.

These disputes are reflective of the wider, long-running conflict in North West Cameroon, which arises when crop farmers and cattle herders compete for access to scarce natural resources, like water and land. The conflict also has an ethnic dimension, as farmers and herders typically belong to different ethnic groups.

How clean water is bringing peace

Over the past four years, United Purpose has worked with local partners in Cameroon to resolve conflict between farmers and herders. Thanks to our ‘In Search of Common Ground’ project, we have brought clean and safe water to 13 out of the 14 hardest hit communities in this region.

Water access is achieved through building water tanks that capture pure water at its source. This clean water is then piped through the hills to the villages, where a number of taps are built close to people’s homes. Once installed, the community forms a water management committee that is representative of the different ethnic groups.

Amina’s community is one of the 13 villages that have benefited from Village Aid’s project. She has become a member of the water management committee – and access to water has improved many aspects of life for her and her family. “Not having to carry water for an hour a day has made a huge difference to the women in our community,” she says.

Every donation doubled for one week

Now, United Purpose needs support to build the 14th and final water catchment site in the village of Akum. Our sister charity, Village Aid, is working with The Big Give, the UK’s largest match funding campaign, to double every donation received until it reaches its target of £20,000.

From midday on 28 November until midday on 5 December, every pound you donate will be doubled, allowing us to support more people like Amina.

We only have one week to give the people of Akum clean water. Please support our campaign by going to The Big Give website and leaving a donation. Help us transform the future for the 1,400 people living in Akum.