Darren digs in to support villagers

DIGGING IN: Darren Waters helping villagers in Laos.
DIGGING IN: Darren Waters helping villagers in Laos.
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A WEARSIDE call-centre worker travelled thousands of miles to help poverty-stricken villagers in Asia gain access to clean water.

Darren Waters, 27, visited a programme in Laos, south-east Asia, spearheaded by children’s charity Plan UK.

For people in the villages we met, what’s life-changing for them is just having clean water, something that most of us just take for granted.

Darren Waters

The £110,000 project is funded by his employer, BGL Group, which runs Fusion, at Sunderland Enterprise Park.

The team leader said he embarked on the trip because he was keen to see first-hand the work of the project.

“The villagers were so warm and welcoming. I felt raw emotion when we arrived in the first village,” he said.

“It was fantastic to see the water project. There are now multiple working taps and it was great to see them being used.”

Darren was one of 200 BGL employees who applied to make the trip, with only a lucky few being picked to go.

“For people in the villages we met, what’s life-changing for them is just having clean water, something that most of us just take for granted,” he said. “Be thankful for what you’ve got, and if you want to make a difference, you can.”

The project is improving access to clean, safe water for 3,400 people in six villages in the Houn district in Laos.

It involves building community water systems as well as training people to maintain and repair their own water facilities.