Report from the Front; Katie Alcott & Harmeet Sehambi of team FRANK UK are visiting newly installed clean water projects across India and waving off our No.1 Fundraiser; the incredible Adventurists -Rickshaw Run... This blog post is fresh in from Katie on their visit. _______
"We're in Cochin, at the very southern tip of India, it's 40 degrees and there's very little shade in the Union Club's garden. Regardless, 69 teams, made up of over 170 adventurers from all over the globe have spent the last few days pimping indian auto rickshaws and preparing for the unbelievable adventure that is the Rickshaw Run - A two week journey that will take them from Cochin in the south west to Shillong in the far north east, in a small, temperamental (if what we've witnessed over the last few days is anything to go by) three wheeled tin can.
Harmeet and I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing teams,who've told us all about the fun they've been having fundraising for us... from homemade jam sales to cake bakes, quiz nights, an inspired curry competition and even a rained-off outdoor cinema night (which still managed to generate funds).
It's been great to meet so many people who had never even heard about FRANK Water until they signed up for the Rickshaw Run, that are now avid supporters. The clean drinking water problem in the UK is largely theoretical but out here driving across India it's very very real.
The irony is not lost on us at FRANK water that the Rickshaw Runner 'athletes' themselves will mainly be drinking bottled water as in their words "its the only source that we can really trust to be safe and we just can't take the risk of drinking anything else".
...and who could blame them, stories of three guys all sharing a bed with dysentery doesn't make for easy listening! But maybe makes everyone appreciate the importance of FRANK Water's work and how lucky we all are in the UK.
Whilst the rickshaw runners have now set off on their Indian odyssey, our job is now to visit clean water NGO partners and new clean water projects across India - making sure our project funds are spent as effectively and efficiently as possible. Governance is a big part of what we do at FRANK Water ; building sustainable, long term, village clean water systems.
I hope to report back in 2 weeks from the finish of the Rickshaw Run on 21st April in Shillong and importantly report back to you all on our progress in the field.
Remember by supporting FRANK water and spreading the word about FRANK water you are part of the solution. FRANK you!
All the best, Katie x