Event hosted by Suits star Meghan Markle brings clean water to children

TORONTO, March 24, 2016 /CNW/ - On World Water Day, March 22, hope-filled paintings created by students in Rwanda raised enough money to help World Vision build a well. The paintings were the focus of the Watercolour Project event, hosted by actor and activist Meghan Markle at LUMAS gallery in Toronto.

World Vision was also proud to announce Meghan Markle is a newly appointed Global Ambassador for the organization.

Markle travelled to Rwanda last month with World Vision to see first-hand the importance of clean water. While visiting a school in the Gasabo region of the country she taught students to paint with watercolours, using water from a newly installed pipeline in their community. The students created pictures based on their hopes and futures, which are now brighter because of the recent access to clean water. The painting session was captured by photographer Gabor Jurina.

Markle brought the paintings back to Canada to share the student artists' stories and raise enough money to support additional water projects with World Vision.

The Watercolour Project was helmed by advertising agency KBS.  The event was attended by more than 60 guests. In total $15,000 was raised at the event, enough to help World Vision build a new source of water for an entire community.


"I think there's a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is but it's so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren't walking hours each day to source water for their families. It allows women to invest in their own businesses and community. It promotes grassroots leadership, and, of course, it reinforces the health and wellness of children and adults. Every single piece of it is so interconnected, and clean water, this one life source, is the key to it all."

"It was an amazing experience, taking water from one of the water sources in the community and using it with the children to paint pictures of what they dream to be when they grow up.  I saw that water is not just a life source for a community, but it can really be a source for creative imagination, and how lucky I am to have been a part of that."

- Meghan Markle, actor and World Vision Global Ambassador, creator of the Watercolour Project

"We are delighted to have Meghan Markle represent us as our newest World Vision Global Ambassador. Her passion for global issues, and making a difference in the lives of children and women, is inspirational."

- Lara Dewar, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, World Vision Canada

Quick Facts:

  • The Watercolour Project event, hosted by Meghan Markle, raised enough money to help build a well
  • Meghan Markle is a newly appointed World Vision Global Ambassador
  • There are 663 million people globally who lack access to clean water
  • World Vision is a leading NGO provider of clean water in developing countries, reaching a new person with clean water every 30 seconds.

What Canadians can do:
Visit www.worldvision.ca to make clean water possible for more children and communities around the globe.

Background Information:

About Meghan Markle: Meghan Markle is an American TV and film actress best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the hit US series, Suits, now in its sixth season. A native of Los Angeles, California, Markle has long been involved in humanitarian efforts, volunteering in soup kitchens from the age of 15.

A champion of women's rights, Markle has actively worked towards gender equality, speaking at International Women's Day for the United Nations, and sharing her messaging in interviews with Larry King, and writing op-eds for other high profile media outlets. Markle began the lifestyle portal, TheTig.com, two years ago where she writes about social issues in addition to travel, fashion, food, and beauty. The Tig has been hailed as Best of the Web by both InStyle and Elle Magazine. Her screen credits include: Fringe, CSI, 90210, Without a Trace, Horrible Bosses, Get Him to the Greek, and several others. Now a global ambassador for World Vision, Markle continues her philanthropic work and hopes to not just raise awareness, but encourage people to get fully hands on and be involved in making a difference.

About the venue, LUMAS gallery: With more than 40 galleries, spanning 23 different countries, LUMAS is one of the world's most successful fine art photography brands. Offering museum quality, limited edition fine art photographic prints at accessible prices, LUMAS has grown into a highly popular global brand. LUMAS currently has two Canadian locations: one Vancouver located in Gastown and the other in Toronto located in Yorkville.  Plans to open more galleries across Canada, including Montreal are scheduled for 2017. Visit ca.LUMAS.com for more information.

About the project manager, KBS: KBS is a global communications agency that has the creative courage and critical capabilities to solve today's toughest marketing challenges. We help our clients beat tough odds and deliver transformative results time and again through our specialism including: advertising, social, content, CRM, creative technology, media planning and buying. Our global network includes offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, London and Shanghai. We've risen to the challenge for a diverse roster of clients including BMW, American Express, Unilever, BMO, Harman, King (maker of Candy Crush), TE Connectivity and Vanguard. For more information, visit www.kbsp.com.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision is dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

Image with caption: "Actor and World Vision Global Ambassador Meghan Markle recently visited Rwanda to see the impact of clean water. (Photo credit: Gabor Jurina) (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160324_C4022_PHOTO_EN_649263.jpg

Image with caption: "While on a recent trip to Rwanda, actor and World Vision Global Ambassador Meghan Markle taught a group of students to paint with watercolours, using clean water recently provided to their community. This became the basis of The Watercolours Project, which has already raised enough money to provide an entire community with clean water. (Photo credit: Gabor Jurina) (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160324_C4022_PHOTO_EN_649265.jpg

Image with caption: "On World Water Day, March 22, actor and World Vision Global Ambassador, Meghan Markle hosted The Watercolour Project fundraiser, featuring watercolour paintings created by students in Rwanda. The event raised enough money to provide a new water source to an entire community. (Photo credit: George Pimentel Photography) (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160324_C4022_PHOTO_EN_649656.jpg

For further information: For images or more information contact: Genevieve Barber - 416-671-0086 or genevieve_barber@worldvision.ca


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