Australian model Elyse Knowles might be used to flying to exotic locations for photo shoots, but recently went traveling abroad for a different reason. The Melbourne-based TV personality and author of From Me to You was in Delhi, India on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November, visiting two urban slums and a government primary school.

Elyse visited the region with not-for-profit organisation WaterAid to better understand what life is like for people who live without access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. WaterAid’s country program in India works with each of the communities Elyse visited, helping them improve their access to these basic services. Of the two slums she visited, the first one (Jai Hind Camp) had limited access to clean water and toilets, whereas the second one in Kirti Nagar had more sustainable systems and improved toilet facilities.

“There was a clear difference there – everyone seemed very positive and happy and colourful. You could read it on their faces and you could see it when you were walking around the alleyways,” Elyse explained. WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. “At home, we turn on the tap and there’s clean water that’s clear – we just put in the glass,” Elyse said. “We’re so lucky in Australia and a lot of people don’t even realise it – it’s easy to forget and even I forget it sometimes!”

Elyse is the ambassador of WaterAid’s Water Challenge fundraising event, which invites Australians to make water their only beverage during the month of March. Members of the public are invited to pre-register for the event at here.

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