Teenage WaterAid fundraiser
289. George Rosenfeld
George Rosenfeld was presented with his award by Samantha Cameron at a reception for WaterAid in Downing Street for his work raising awareness and nearly £150,000 for the charity.
George found out about the work of WaterAid to provide clean, safe water and sanitation to millions of people around the world when he was 12 years old and looking for a charity to support during his Bar Mitzvah year. Through various fundraising initiatives in the run up to his Bar Mitzvah, including a series of quiz nights, a raffle and a direct appeal to congregants at his Bar Mitzvah, George raised £13,000.
George was inspired by the direct impact the money he raised could have on the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people in the world, with just £15 providing someone with sustainable, lifelong access to clean, safe water. He wanted to do even more for the cause he believed in so George campaigned to make WaterAid his school’s charity of the year in 2012-13. He worked tirelessly to make his school friends realise the difference their fundraising could make and to organise extra events like a 24-hour fish-athon and together the students at the City of London School raised £120,000 – around twice the amount usually raised.
Volunteering for WaterAid is now a big part of George’s life – he travelled out to Zambia over his 14th birthday to see first-hand how the difference the money he raises is making on the ground and since then he has often helped out at their offices and with events when he can. George has spoken in front of large audiences at the WaterAid Annual Supporters’ Meeting, as well as at schools, about his experiences, raising awareness for WaterAid’s cause.
Together with 3 friends George has also established a singing group called “The 4 Sons”. They recorded a charity CD at the end of 2012 which has sold over 1,000 copies in aid of the three charities they support – WaterAid, Chai Cancer Care and Emunah. The 4 Sons perform regularly at private and community events and by doing so have raised a further £25,000 for the causes they support.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“George’s dedication to trying to make sure that everyone around the world has access to safe, clean water is fantastic. As well as raising impressive amounts of money himself he has worked tirelessly to educate his peers on the importance of WaterAid and inspired them to raise even more money. I am pleased to be able to award George with the UK’s 289th Point of Light award.”
“People often mistakenly think that my generation doesn’t care about some of the huge issues facing the global population. I am passionate about changing the fact that we live in a world of such inequality and injustice, in which whilst some have gadgets which simultaneously tell you the time, weather and football score, others lack basic human rights such as clean water. I feel humbled that WaterAid have presented me with an opportunity to implement such change, and I look forward to completing the journey alongside them of ensuring that everyone, everywhere has access to safe water and sanitation by 2030. It is a privilege and honour to have been recognised in this way, and I hope that through my work, others will be inspired to get involved.”
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said:
“I am incredibly proud of all George has achieved in his young life and the recognition of his hard work with the prestigious Points of Light award. George is passionately committed to a world without poverty where everyone has access to safe water to drink and decent sanitation and has been a tireless supporter of WaterAid’s work. He is a fantastic advocate and public speaker and with his school he has visited Zambia and helped raise nearly £150,000 for our work which has transformed the lives of communities. A truly remarkable achievement.”