UNICEF "Water for Life" Gala raises life-saving funds in support of clean, safe water for children

CALGARY, Sept. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - On October 1, Calgary will continue a 24-year tradition of supporting UNICEF's life-saving work for children around the world with its annual UNICEF "Water for Life" Gala. This year's event will feature:

  • A delicious four-course dinner created especially for the event by Hyatt Regency Calgary's Executive Chef David Flegel.
  • An inspiring keynote speech by UNICEF Canada Ambassador John Nsabimana, who escaped the Rwandan genocide and spent 11 years in a refugee camp in Uganda, before finally moving in Canada.
  • More than 140 exceptional auction items including exciting and unique experiences, vacations and works of art donated by generous individuals and businesses in support of UNICEF.


"Access to safe drinking water is a universal and fundamental human right. Even so, more than 663 million people around the world lack access to safe, clean water," says David Morley, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. "The 'Water for Life' Gala shows these vulnerable children that Calgary cares, by raising funds for UNICEF programs that will deliver life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene programs to some of the world's poorest children and families."

UNICEF provides WASH support in more than 100 countries

UNICEF leads WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programs in more than 100 countries around the world. In 2015, UNICEF helped reach more than 70 million people with clean water, sanitation and hygiene programs, including more than 45 million people in humanitarian crises. UNICEF also improved water and sanitation facilities in nearly 26,000 schools globally, doubling its reach from 2014.

UNICEF "Water for Life" Gala keynote speaker and UNICEF Canada Ambassador, John Nsabimana, will speak of his personal experience fleeing conflict and the impact access to clean water can have on children living in crises.

"As a child who was forced to flee violence, I know what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, or where you'll find your next drink of clean water, or where you'll be able to sleep for the night," says Nsabimana. "It's through the work of UNICEF and all the UNICEF donors behind the scenes that I'm able to be here today, living in Canada and studying in peace."

100,000 children and women benefitted from 2015 Gala

Now in its 24th year, the "Water for Life" Galas and Calgarians have raised more than $11 million to support vulnerable children around the world. Last year's Gala raised $968,000, which supported water, sanitation and hygiene programs for childbirth services in 21 health centres across northern Ghana, which directly benefitted 100,000 children and women.

This year's goal is to raise $1,000,000 to continue this life-saving support.


UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.

Availability for media interviews:
Friday, September 30th - media opportunity in studio with David Morley, President & CEO UNICEF Canada
Saturday, October 1st – media opportunity in studio or at Gala (Hyatt Regency Calgary) with David Morley, President & CEO UNICEF Canada


Image with caption: "On October 1, Calgary will host a "Water for Life" Gala in benefit of UNICEF. All proceeds will go towards delivering life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene programs to vulnerable children around the world. C UNICEF/UNI192043/Asselin (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160926_C3421_PHOTO_EN_781373.jpg

For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Holly Davidson, National Events Manager, (403) 607-0654, hdavidson@unicef.ca; John Conley, UNICEF Water for Life Committee, (403) 771-6911, johncharlesconley@gmail.com


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