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(Geppetto’s Costumes in the News!)

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It felt quite apt to have my modeling debut just days after New York fashion week. However instead of hitting the catwalk in designer wear, I was instead pounding the streets of New York dressed as the "Killer on the loos(e)"- a giant poo highlighting the global sanitation crisis that is responsible for 4000 child deaths every day.

It may seem like an odd way to get a serious message across but sanitation is still such a taboo subject. We have to get world leaders at the MDG summit this week to address the issue and this calls for drastic measures!

After the initial embarrassment, I soon got into the role. It was great to watch people's reaction to the giant poo- shock, confusion, dismay, disbelief. It was definitely a conversation opener allowing us to highlight an issue which is largely ignored by decision makers. Keep an eye on the blog for more sightings of the poo in NYC. Keep an eye on the blog for more sightings of the poo in NYC.”


                                                                                         -Gerry Austin (WaterAid)

WaterAid- water and sanitation for all


WaterAid's vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.


WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. We work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise our impact.

Clean, safe water is something most of us take for granted, but nearly 900 million people do not have access to it and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet. As a result, 4,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases.

WaterAid Contact Information


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With the U.N. in session, the world's eyes are on New York City- and activists are pulling out the stops to get some attention. Among this week's spectacles: two Spandex-clad superheroes strolled around Lincoln Center, a giant turd chatted up tourists in Times Square, and three farmyard animals roamed around the 92nd Street Y.

"We feel like it's the only way to get attention for this crisis," said WaterAid's head of campaigns, Kate Norgrove, who dressed as a piece of feces to hand out flyers around town.

"Sanitation is a taboo subject - people just don't want to talk about it - but it's really serious. Diarrhea kills 4,000 children a day worldwide-  and is the biggest killer of children in Africa.”

"I've just got to ask, what are you doing?" said Tennessee tourist John Kingman, 43, as he prepared to jog in Central Park. "You just don't see everybody dressed up as a poop every day."

"I thought bananaman had a bad job," quipped another passerby.

The non-profit Action for Global Health turned two campaign officers into costumed superheroes to highlight their call for rich countries to appoint ‘health heroes’. Sailors, cops, security guards and kids all rushed to pose with the ladies.

Geppetto Studios’ co-owner and designer, William Mills, modeling the “Tremendous Turd” just prior to it’s having been picked up-  and let loose on the city!

The precious (and pretty!) poo was turned away from Lincoln Plaza during an anti-poverty rally Sunday; and barred from entering the bloggers lounge at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday. On the street, though, her foam suit brought laughs and bemused looks. Many onlookers just had to know what the brown costume was all about.

"Everyone loved it," said Laurie Shields, a media consultant working with the group. "Raising visibility in the streets is quite hard, so this was a good talking point because some of the stuff we are campaigning on is policy heavy."

The presentation may have been light-hearted, but the goal was serious: to draw attention to some of the issues debated during a three-day summit on reducing poverty.

"It was one piece of a broader puzzle," said Neil Watkins, policy and campaign director of  ActionAid.

WaterAid is an international non-profit organization that focuses exclusively on helping the world's poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with improved hygiene, these basic human rights underpin health, education and livelihoods, forming the first essential step in overcoming poverty.

WaterAid works with local partners, who understand local issues, and provide them with the skills and support to help communities set up and manage practical and sustainable projects that meet their real needs.

WaterAid also works locally and internationally to change policy and practice and ensure that water, hygiene and sanitation's vital role in reducing poverty is recognized.