Jewish and Muslim kids highlight global water issues

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Jewish and Muslim kids highlight global water issues

Children took part in Parliament event under auspices of Football for Peace

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

British Jewish and Muslim primary school children have taken part in an international campaign called Rehydrating the Earth, a 10-year scheme to mobilise football support to highlight water issues around the world.

Last Friday — March 22 — was United Nations World Water Day. The day before, under the auspices of Football for Peace and the Sir David Amess UK Children’s Parliament, children from Rosh Pinah Primary School in Edgware joined Muslim and Christian counterparts from London and West Midlands primary schools, to raise awareness about water scarcity and security.

The campaign “kicked off” in Washington DC on Thursday March 21 via Football for Peace. In Britain, the children attending the launch event at Parliament were organised by Maccabi GB, the Children’s Parliament, the Association of British Muslims, and the Catholic charity, St Vincent de Paul.

The event was supported by Baroness Uddin, who, together with MP Anna Firth, is a co-parliamentary champion of the Children’s Parliament.

Other supporters included the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Fiona Bruce MP and her deputy, David Burrows. Ms Bruce said: “The recently published White Paper on International Development recognised the need for action which tackles religious vulnerabilities. It is therefore timely that Football for Peace is launching its Rehydrating the Earth project which is focused on water and unity, bringing people from all religious and cultural backgrounds together through the power of sports diplomacy to tackle water challenges”.

Former professional footballers Adebayo Akinfenwa, and Oumar Niasse, and Brentford FC women’s player Alexandra Nord took part, and several professional clubs and federations are also supporting the event internationally. Akinfenwa said: “As a football player, I’ve seen first hand the power of sport to unite people from all walks of life. The ‘Rehydrating the Earth’ campaign leverages that incredible power, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to tackle the urgent issue of water scarcity. This initiative is more than a campaign; it’s a testament to the belief that when we play together, we can change the world”.

Jordan Sapler, Maccabi GB’s head of sport, said: “Maccabi GB were very pleased to support this important event. We know how sport can play such a key role in making a positive impact for change in the world especially when combined with bringing together children from Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Well done to all who participated.”

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