Outside of Court No.1 at Wimbledon, artists turned a photo of a happy boy from Madagascar named Tefy into a giant mosaic made entirely of tennis balls.
Smiling Tefy is there to remind the attendants and athletes at the Championships that through access to clean drinking water and safe and functioning toilets, thousands of children’s lives can be saved.
One in ten people around the world don’t have regular access to clean drinking water, and one in five don’t have a decent sanitary place to go to the bathroom.
The Wimbledon Foundation has been working in partnership with WaterAid since 2017 to help make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of daily life in healthcare centers and communities across Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi and Myanmar.
WaterAid primarily builds wells, solar panels, and rainwater catch tanks connected to taps and toilets.
It took artists from Sand in Your Eye 12 hours to create the tennis-court-sized portrait near No.1 Court, showing 10-year-old Tefy from Antsakambahiny village in Madagascar who, with the help of WaterAid and partners including the Wimbledon Foundation, now has clean water at school and near his home.
“We no longer fetch water down the hill anymore since we have taps in our school,” Tefy said in a statement. “The water here is very clean and fresh. We can open the taps and drink water whenever we want. We can wash our hands at any time and even bathe here if we want.”
Former British No.1 tennis player Heather Watson is also supporting the partnership.
“Something as simple as turning on a tap and pouring a glass of water is not an option for millions of children globally,” stated Watson. “Many have no choice but to drink dirty water that can make them sick, or spend time walking to collect water instead of going to school, holding them back from reaching their full potential.”