Growing demand and misuse of water resources worldwide have increased pollution and water crises. These have negative implications on the health of people, but also on the environment. Access to safe water and sanitation and a sound management of ecosystems are essential to a sustainable future for children. Building on our Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in schools, Tdh introduces Blue Schools to expose students to environmentally-friendly technologies and practices that promote sustainable watershed and land management.
Tdh is co-author of Blue Schools, a unique approach developed with Caritas, Helvetas and Eawag with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation that exposes children to the water, sanitation, hygiene and ecosystem aspects of Sustainable Development Goal #6 for clean water & sanitation. Our work is also aimed at inspiring students to promote nature based solutions that simultaneously support human well-being and care for the environment.
Blue Schools offer a safe learning environment and teach students environmentally-friendly technologies and practices which they can try in their communities. The concept considers that children are the leaders of tomorrow and key change agents in their communities.
Learning by doing
The Blue Schools are equipped with hand washing stations and toilets and school children adopt hand washing routines to prevent the spread of diseases. Once the basic water and sanitation requirements are fulfilled in a school, the pathway integrates learning experiences on small-scale sustainable gardening, good land and water management practices, collection and separation of waste and about the topic of gender. Students become aware of their environment while learning about how food can be produced from soil, how waste can be recycled into new resources, about the water cycle, and also about growth and changes of adolescence.
Launched as a pilot project Bangladesh in 2016, it is now being implemented in the emergency context of South Sudan and more Blue School projects will be implemented by Tdh in different countries in Africa and Asia.
The Blue Schools Kit
Published in collaboration with the Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium and Eawag, the Blue Schools Kit contains reference materials for school authorities and teachers to introduce games, experiments, creative activities and excursions helping school children to learn about water and the environment. The Blue Schools Kit guides education authorities, school stakeholders and civil society organisations to work with upper primary and secondary school students to transform their school into a Blue School through gardening and waste management, among other activities.
The Blue Schools Kit is freely available on the Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium website in English, French and Spanish: