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The Weight of Water


Water connects all aspects of our lives, from education and women empowerment to health and economies. Accessibility to sanitation and safe water can instantly transform problems into potential, poverty into possibility, and time spent into time saved.


For the United Nations Water Day theme for 2022 “Making the Invisible Visible”, and to commemorate Water Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, Dignified Storytelling joined forces with We Are Water, a foundation dedicated to breaking the barriers between people and access to safe water and sanitation, to advocate for and bring awareness around the Sustainable Development Goals and the Dignified Storytelling Principles – aspirations which are severely dependent on the global communities’ equal access to clean water.

Significance of the event

The event was a result of our collective passion for creating a sustainable and dignified future for people and planet, and our common objective of working together to create solutions and strategies that address water scarcity. Dignified Storytelling and We Are Water used this opportunity to showcase the intricate links between global access to clean water as a fundamental human right and as a pivotal component in protecting individual and communal dignity in all parts of the world, by sharing stories of  communities in a manner that supports, and allows them to thrive through a deeper and more connected narrative. We heard first-hand accounts from the speakers which explained the substantial role water plays in our livelihoods. 

Speakers of the day

Moderated by Ragy Saro, Dignified Storytelling Lead, this session had a panel consisting of Carlos Garriga, Director of We Are Water, Dina Storey, Head of Sustainability Operations at Expo 2020 Dubai, Marita Peters, Co-founder of Surge for Water, Sumaiya Omar, Editor in Chief and Co-Founder of Hashtag our Stories and Yusuf Omar, Co-founder of Hashtag our Stories, where they discussed and reflected on the implications behind each story for individuals, the wider community, and the environment.

Ragy Saro

Dignified Storytelling Lead

Marita Peters

Surge for Water

Sumaiya Omar

Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Hashtag Our Stories

Carlos Garriga

Director, We Are Water Foundation

Yusuf Omar

Co-Founder, Hashtag Our Stories 

Key learnings

We must acknowledge that if we are to reach gender and social equality, empower women, ease access to education and universal health for children, we must utilise communication tools such as the Dignified Storytelling Principles to become more empathetic through our shared experiences and to ensure that our stories can help orient the wider public to the on-the-ground realities of the complex contexts where development work takes place.