What is Salsa4water?

We give you Salsa and fun, in exchange for water

Salsa4water is a student-run volunteer project that teaches salsa dancing, breakdancing and language classes to raise money for the charity wateraid. Whilst the concept started in Glasgow 3 years ago, recently new salsa4water societies have opened in Edinburgh, Sweden, Czech Republic and France. In Glasgow alone we have raised over £30,000!

Everyday, 4000 children around the world die from waterbourne infections, as result of inadequate sanitation and dirty drinking water. Our aim is to put a stop to this, via the formation of salsa4water societies all over the world providing affordable services to their peers, whereby they exchange a skill they have, such as salsa dancing or a language, for students donating their money to this cause we believe so strongly in.

With only £15 required to get clean water and sanitation for 1 individual, we have been blessed with the power to change and maybe even save peoples’ lives. Join us and be part of the salsa4water movement!

After being founded by a group of students from Glasgow University, the work done by salsa4water and it’s surrounding projects has been down to an incredibly enthusiastic, hard working, motivated and warm-hearted group of individuals. There has been many volunteers to date, and for this the list is non-extensive and we have only credited some of our volunteers. Special Credits for their hard work with salsa4water and amazing generosity towards the project are; Sean Boyce, Krista Toivonen, Tamsin Jordan, Moses Sujan, Melanie Letore, Megan Williams, Alyssa Clothide Bell, Col Walder, Helen McHugh, Nadine Jazzar, Hadi Rizek, Florent Bouxin, Roisin Houghton, Diana Lu, Queena Lu, Zheheng Wang, Peter Blackwood, Alasdair Sim, Yaroslav Loginov, Katerina Lundakova, Samson Kendall, Max Weincek, Natalia Polombo, Mark Simons, Christopher Peacock.

If you appreciate the work we are doing and this cause we believe so strongly in, please donate some money to this cause. Donations can be made to us via virgin money giving on our salsa4water sponsorship page


WaterAid and its partners use practical solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people. We also seek to influence policy at national and international levels. See more on their website (www.wateraid.org/uk/).


(Taken from wateraids website; http://www.wateraid.org/uk/what_we_do/statistics/default.asp):

A global crisis

  • 783 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population.
    (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2012 update)
  • 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, almost two fifths of the world’s population.
    (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2012 update)
  • Around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s almost 2,000 children a day.
    (WaterAid 2012/WHO 2008/The Lancet 2012)
  • Every hour we build a new water point – helping over 100 people to get safe, clean water.

What has WaterAid done?

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  • Providing soap and hygiene promotion can reduce cases of diarrhoea by 53%
    (Luby, et al. 2005)
  • Hand-washing could reduce the risk of diarrhoea by nearly 50%
    (Curtis and Cairncross, 2003)
  • Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention according to the World Bank
    (Saving lives, WaterAid, 2012)
  • Find out about hygiene issues

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  • Women in Africa and Asia often carry water on their heads weighing 20kg, the same as the average UK airport luggage allowance
    (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34-35)
  • 1.1 billion people live more than a kilometre from their water source and use just five litres of unsafe water a day
    (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34-35)
  • The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day. In Australia it’s around 500 litres and in the USA, over 570 litres.
    (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34)
  • Water in Accra, Ghana, costs three times as much as in New York.
    (UNDP, 2006)
  • Find out more about water issues

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Education and livelihoods

Kenedy Gondwe, sanitation promoter, with his wife and son, in his field of maize, Chikompulazi village, Mzuzu, Malawi
Kenedy Gondwe’s family have been able to earn an income from growing maize since they gained access to clean water.
Credit: WaterAid/Layton Thompson
  • For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $8 is returned in increased productivity.
    (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 6)
  • Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene costs Sub-Saharan African countries more in lost GDP than the entire continent gets in development aid.
    (Using % estimate from UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006)

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Millennium Development Goals

  • The 2015 goal to halve the proportion of people living without sanitation is running 150 years behind schedule.
    (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010)
  • Nearly half the people who gained access to water between 1990 and 2008 live in India and China.
    (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010)
  • Achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation would save 2.5 million lives every year.
    (WHO, Global Burden of Disease 2004 Update, Geneva: WHO, 2008)
  • Find out more about the Millennium Development Goals

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Financing the sector

  • Funding for water and sanitation infrastructure is lacking by US$115 million a year in Sub-Saharan countries.
  • Developing countries need to spend up to US$58 billion more each year to meet the Millennium Development Goal targets on water and sanitation.
    (WHO 2008, Gleick P H et al, 2009)

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Water and sanitation in history

  • In the UK the expansion of water and sanitation infrastructure in the 1880s contributed to a 15 year increase in life expectancy in the following four decades.
    (UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 5)

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Abbreviations used
AICD- Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic
DFID – UK Department for International Development
HDR – UN Human Development Report
OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
UNDP – United Nations Development Programme
UNEP – United National Environment Programme
UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
WEDC – Water Engineering Department, University of Loughborough
WHO – World Health Organization
WSSCC – Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

3 thoughts on “What is Salsa4water?

  1. Dear Sir/ Madam,
    I’m a Reiki Master and Holistics Therapist working from Glasgow City Centre area. I’ve been looking into doing a wee bit of voluntary work for a good cause but, to be honest, don’t have the time to do all the organisation for an event. I was wondering if there was any way you could utilize the time I’m willing to volunteer in order to raise more funds?

    A’ the best

    • Wow thanks for getting in touch.

      What is it you would like to do? The projects we run are teaching language (this project will end in 5 weeks time until the next academic year) and teaching Salsa dancing.
      Maybe you could teach something about your speciality in the next academic year (starting September 2011)? Would that interest you? It would be great to get someone with such a speciality n board!!!

      Of course, you would have to commit to doing it throughout the academic year as we have no-one else to cover you

      All the best

  2. Pingback: Member of the Month: June 2013 - GYP: Glasgow Young Professionals

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