Build a Better World: Water Order BBW materials onlineCWS Build a Village

Settings for Use

The four journeys are planned for elementary school children. Depending upon your program, you may use all or any combination of the journeys to encourage children to think about providing safe water for all people. (Earlier editions of Build a Better World with additional stories and activities are available from your CWS Regional Office by calling 888-297-2767 or on the CWS website.)

Use Build a Better World: Water in:

  • Sunday Church School
  • Vacation Bible School
  • midweek program
  • camping program
  • scouting program
  • 4-H meetings
  • any group of children you lead


Build a Better World: Water tells four hope-filled stories about children assisted through the work of CWS. Make copies for the children to take home at the end of the sessions. With each story, you will find:

  • suggested Bible verses and questions for discussion
  • several activities, including ways to support the work of CWS
  • a black-and-white reproducible take-home sheet to involve the whole family
  • a poster to display in the learning area and coloring pages on the back that you may want to copy and enlarge

Giraffes have one of the biggest hearts in the animal kingdom. Use these journeys to encourage your children to be big-hearted, too!

Getting Ready

Plan ahead! Gather the materials you expect to need. Copy the take-home pages and the stories for each child. Find a globe or world map. Check the CWS Film/Video Library for a listing of videos to supplement the activities, or call the CWS Film/Video Library at 800-297-1516.

Select a project for the children (and the congregation) to support from the CWS Best Gift Catalog found at This way the children can become part of the stories they are reading about. Call your CWS Regional Office at 888-297-2767 for other ideas for your congregation. Specific ideas suggested in Build a Better World: Water are blankets, Hygiene and School Kits, and CROP Hunger Walks.

Additional materials featuring Imani are also available. For example, “Thank You” certificates ($1 per package of 10), Imani stickers ($5 per package of 50), and Imani T-shirts ($10 each) can be ordered online from Church World Service, or by calling 800-297-1516.
(Please add $5.00 for shipping and handling.) Also see this page for supplemental materials.

Tasks Requiring the Most Preparation

Journey to Kenya:

Order the CWS video “Walking Together” from your CWS Regional Office or from the CWS Video Library (800-297-1516). The sheet music for the song can be found at Find out if there is a CROP Hunger Walk in your area and, if so, when it is scheduled. Tear colorful pages from magazines. Cut the triangles for the beads in advance. Check for peanut allergies in the group.

Journey to Indonesia:

Try making one of the batik squares. A sample will help the children see the possibilities for decorating the fabric. Look for star fruit or mangoes to add an Indonesian touch to the fresh fruit snack.

Journey to Vietnam:

Recruit people in your congregation to make bags for the CWS School Kits. Promote the collection of Kit materials in your congregation. Grate bars of Ivory soap, using the largest holes on a cheese grater. Make plain, sticky rice in advance.

Journey to New Jersey:

Gather natural supplies for the pond-in-a-plate craft. If possible, take the children outdoors to look for moss and other items. Look for current information on world water statistics on the Internet.

Involving Your Congregation

Create opportunities for the children to share their learning and enthusiasm with your congregation through Minutes for Mission, the children’s time in the worship service, or displays. Invite everyone to participate in building a better world through supporting Church World Service. The children might plan a mission fair on the theme of water for the congregation. Include time in each session to prepare activities and games to be shared and crafts to be sold. Some suggestions:

Set the Stage: Create the environment with world maps and travel posters from Indonesia, Kenya, Vietnam, and the East Coast of the United States along with the poster from this guide. Play music from these countries.

Fair Admission: As admission to the fair, ask attendees to bring one or more items for the CWS School Kits. Be sure to publicize the list of items in advance.

Find the raindrops: Make lots of paper raindrops and write information about rainfall and water in the world on them. Take the information from the at-home activities and search the Internet and the CWS website for more facts. Hide them in the “fairgrounds.” People can trade them in for a treat at the food stand.

Wishing well: Place a bucket with a few inches of water on a table that has been wrapped with brown paper to look like a well. Post a sign that says that all coins tossed into the bucket will go to CWS.

Videos: Show videos in a room near the rest ofthe fair. A variety of films are available at no charge (save return postage) from the CWS Video Library. Charge a small admission to support the work of CWS.

Items for sale: Sell crafts (paper bead necklaces, greeting cards, etc.) that the children have made as well as Imani T-shirts and stickers. All proceeds go to CWS. You might want to also set up an international foods booth. For possible recipes see out Global Snacks page.

Games: Select games and activities from the sessions to play at the fair. The children can lead them.

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