From 22 November to 5 December, Manchester City fans from around the world can vote for one of five new football and water projects from young leaders working to tackle global water issues in Buenos Aires, Cape Coast, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Mexico City.
The young leaders are using the power of football to provide essential education on water, sanitation, and hygiene in a bid to tackle water challenges specific to their communities. Projects include improving access to safe water in underserved communities in Buenos Aires and Cape Coast, building flood-resilient communities in Mexico City and Kuala Lumpur, and advancing water sustainability education in Melbourne.
The top-voted project will win the opportunity for young leaders to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. There, they will learn more about water challenges and solutions, and receive further training on how they can help improve the health and well-being of young people in their communities. Each of the Water Heroes Academy projects will receive funding, educational tools, training, and mentoring from Xylem and Cityzens Giving.
The Water Heroes Academy is a joint initiative by Cityzens Giving and Xylem that aims to positively impact 20,000 young people over the next four years. Last year, the program engaged more than 75 young water leaders and delivered vital education to more than 6,000 young people in São Paulo, Mumbai, Cape Town, New York City, and Shanghai. Mumbai was the winning project. Delivered in collaboration with Magic Bus India Foundation, the project aimed to improve local access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“In my community, many children aren’t able to access clean water in school, which means they fall ill and can no longer attend class due to poor health,” said Varsha, a young leader from the Mumbai Team. “The opportunity to better the lives of people in my community through awareness and education motivates me. I’m incredibly proud to contribute to the development of my community and make a positive difference in the lives of young people through my experience with the Water Heroes Academy.”
“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Manchester City and the global network of young water leaders created through the Water Heroes Academy program,” said Randolf Waters, senior director of Global Partnerships & Branding at Xylem. “In spotlighting the work these incredible water leaders are doing locally, we hope to inspire more young people to get involved in tackling water issues and drive positive change on a global level. I encourage football fans to get behind our water heroes and vote for their favourite project.”