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You can help to make life better for these girls

Give to WaterAid's To Be A Girl campaign before September and the government will double your donation

by Psychologies

WaterAid is continuing its To Be A Girl summer campaign, in the hope of raising £1 million to bring safe water and sanitation to over 130,000 girls around the world, by documenting the lives of two young girls in Madagascar.

The international charity, which is running the appeal until September, wanted to capture on camera the daily life of girls living without access to safe, clean water.

In a special project, WaterAid gave disposable cameras to two young girls in remote rural Madagascar, to capture images of their everyday lives. Solo, 13 and Ze, 12, are best friends who spend their days hiking treacherous paths to draw water for their families from a waterhole shared with animals. They were each given a camera with 24 exposures, and asked to take photos of each other and their families. You can also see the girls on bus advertisements across the UK as part of the campaign.

The touching photos give an insight into the girls' daily life - looking at the world around them from a child's point of view.  In an area where disparities between girls and boys are really evident, WaterAid wanted to give Solo and Ze a voice to tell their story. The girls carry full, 18-litre jerry cans down slippery hillsides, risking serious injury many times a day. They have been forced to drop out of school because of their families’ need for water. Girl can spend hours each day doing this chore and are left vulnerable to violence and sexual assault when relieving themselves in the open. Whole generations of them are living without dignity, missing out on an education, careers and a livelihood simply because of a lack of these basic human rights.

WaterAid will be bringing clean water and basic toilets to the girls’ village at the end of the summer.

The charity is inviting the public to answer what it means to them To be a girl through their interactive online hub www.tobeagirl.org, featuring stories from girls around the world, including Madagascar, India, Uganda, Nepal and Burkina Faso. The UK government has pledged to match all donations to the appeal from the UK public.

Support the appeal by texting GIRLS to 70300 to donate £3 to WaterAid. For more information go to http://www.tobeagirl.org/ #ToBeAGirl

Caption: Best friends Soloniaina Havatiana Rasoambola, left, 13, and 12-year-old Zemiso Iarinirina fill a jerry can and bucket with dirty water at the source, an unprotected spring, in Antohobe, Vakinahartra, Madagascar

Photograph: WaterAid/Abbie Trayler-Smith

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