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Elsie, 87, raises cash to provide water for Cambodian village

A pensioner who grew up with no water, gas or electricity at her home in Wales is helping raise funds for children who also have very little...

A pensioner who grew up with no water, gas or electricity at her home in Wales is helping raise funds for children who also have very little.

Elsie Davies, 87 (right), was reminded of her humble beginnings after her church had announced it was hoping to fund a well for a village in Cambodia.

Elsie said: “One day I got up, cleaned my teeth, filled the kettle, washed the dishes and then had a shower. It struck me how much I depended on water and how so many people in the world struggle without it. I knew then I had to do something.

“I was brought up in mid-Wales on a very small farm. It was on the hillside and we had various animals – a couple of cows and sheep but no water, gas or electricity. For drinking water we either went to a communal tap in the village or to the well. It was our duty to make sure we had clean drinking water.

“There were times when we had to take animals to the river for water too. It was a real struggle but I have to say it was the happiest childhood imaginable.”

Elsie, who attends Mission Church in Morriston, near Swansea, in South Wales, immediately donated £100 to the Cambodia project, which is run in conjunction with development charity Rope. When other church members heard of her donation, they also gave and the total soon went up to £420.

Elsie added: “I was brought up in a Christian home and have always given what I can. I’ve made similar donations in the past. I don’t do things like that all the time but sometimes I know I have to do something in order to make a difference.

“We are blessed in Great Britain now that we have access to water but it wasn’t always like that, and it certainly isn’t like that for people throughout the world today.”

Graham Fairbairn, the Chief Executive of Rope, recently visited Mission Church in Swansea and met Elsie.

He said: “It was inspiring to meet Elsie and realise through her recollection that we have seen significant social change in the UK over the last century. What has been achieved in our country is also possible in other nations.

“Elsie is an inspiring individual who, with the benefit of her own experience, has enabled others to bring about change in one community in Cambodia.”


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