A STUDENT from Ellesmere Port has been chosen to feature in a new charity appeal which aims to help save lives through raising funds to improve access to clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Debbie Overton, 17, was picked to appear in WaterAid’s ‘Make For Change’ appeal after her trip which contributed to the charity’s work in Madagascar last year.

The Queen’s School pupil was among seven girls from Girlguiding North West England chosen for the Region International Opportunities Trip after an intensive selection weekend. They spent three weeks of the summer of 2012 in Madagascar, where less than half the population has access to clean water and only 15% have access to a safe toilet.

They joined French Scouts and Malagasy Guides to support WaterAid’s work with children to raise awareness of the importance of good hygiene to prevent sickness. They used games, song and play as a means of education.

Debbie said: “One of the main things I enjoyed was meeting the local people especially the children. Adults can find it hard to change habits, but children are eager to learn.

“Children help the whole community become healthier – they’re not too shy to spread the word about using soap and clean water to stop illnesses.

“We went out to Madagascar knowing we were going to be teaching about water and sanitation and hopefully it has made a difference.”

The Make For Change appeal asks Guide groups to make things to sell, such as handmade soaps, to raise funds for WaterAid projects in 27 of the world’s poorest countries.

For more information, visit www.wateraid.org/makeforchange.