At the end of each year Epping Views Primary school hosts a Sustainability Celebration afternoon to celebrate their impressive range of sustainability activities (they recently won Resource Smart School of the Year.)
They usually gather together to compete in a fun-filled competition to test their knowledge about sustainability. But this year they decided to celebrate by sharing how fortunate they are to have clean water and sanitation by raising money for an extremely worthy cause. They undertook a week of activities and events to raise $1425 to help an African community get improved access to clean water.
The program, run by World Vision, uses the money to combine water infrastructure (i.e., sinking new wells, repairing damaged hand pumps and building toilets) with hygiene education to help stop the spread of deadly waterborne diseases and ensure better health for children in impoverished communities.
Epping Views Primary school also made student education part of their fundraising process. They kicked off the week with an assembly of around 600 people watching a World Vision video clip called A Day in the Life of Lucy. Students, staff and parents were all very moved, and this led to fantastic involvement in scheduled classroom and lunchtime activities, a ‘sustainability dress up’ day, selling badges and drink bottles, and an all-in, hands on activity making the word WATER from coin donations, which alone raised $334.
“We’ve been learning how important it is to drink water to stay healthy”, commented one student, “so we are very happy to help other kids who need water too but can’t just go to a tap like we can”.
Jan Hare, the school’s Wellbeing and Sustainability Teacher, added: “Sustainability is about helping to build better communities everywhere. That includes building an active community spirit here at the school regarding global issues like access to clean water, to building stronger, healthier villages in places like Africa”.
Read up on water World Vision’s work towards water sanitation and hygiene here. Or get their series of 6 lesson plans on water and other teaching material here.