Many people in Slovakia consider early autumn to be the best season from all. So do we. Besides vineyards and apple orchards full of sweet fruit, it is also the greatest time to spend outside. It is not so hot anymore, but still warm enough to sit & lie down in a park or a meadow. That was one of the reasons why we opted to organise our traditional annual events - Development Days - in pretty nontraditional way. Outside, closer to people we wanted to reach, in a park, square or river bank. So we did.
But our weather preferences and public space option was just little fraction of wider story. We also needed to identify some development topic which is easy to "sell" to people out there in the streets, but also kind of topic which could easily enthuse other NGOs working in the field to participate together with us. Finally, after long and arduous brainstorming sessions, we came to conclusion. What is needed for everyone, but not everyone has it? No, it is not money. It is much more essential than that. It is water.
Thanks to this well-considered option we were able to engage 7 other NGOs - our member organisations (we are NGDO Platform) - to participate in the campaign, which we have named There Is No Life without Water. They were these: eRko Dobrá novina, ADRA Slovakia, People in Need Slovakia, Integra Foundation, Caritas Slovakia and UNICEF Slovakia. All of them are not only very active in the field of development in general, but they are also deeply involved in water issues in global South countries. Building and servicing wells in desert part of Kenya, planting mangroves by the Indian Ocean, providing water and sanitation to those in need.
Campaign consisted of various elements, but the most important and publicly visible were three afternoon events in three main Slovak towns - Košice in eastern Slovakia, Banská Bystrica in the centre and Bratislava in the west of the country. We, together with dozens of volunteers, have dressed up in yellow t-shirts, blown giant yellow jerry can resembling those jerrycans used in dry regions of global South, took other normal-sized yellow jerry cans to one hand and information flyers to other hand, and went directly into the crowd. Explaining, introducing, chatting, having fun and education at the very same time.
Those who are interested in the atmosphere of the event can watch this short video.
And here is some basic information about the campaign:
campaign public events took place in Košice on 8.9.2017, in Banská Bystrica on 9.9.2017 and in Bratislava on 13.9.2017 (find pictures gallery below)
more than 100 volunteers were directly involved
www.bezvodyniejezivot.sk - website where you can find all the information needed
there were 5 media interviews provided by organisers, and series of articles mentioning campaign and events
campaign was coordinated by Slovak NGDO Platform, but co-organised by 7 other NGDOs in the name of Media 4 Development project