the first Clean and Conserve water festival held in Germany this month. The event—which followed a training for 25 Ecolab employees to lead the festival—marked the launch of the Clean and Conserve Education Program in German.What’s the secret behind soap? How can water be conserved? And what is a watershed? A hundred students from a local primary school in Monheim am Rhein, Germany, found answers to their questions at
Developed through a partnership between Ecolab and the Project WET Foundation, Clean and Conserve is designed to teach children ages four and older about the importance of water conservation and hygiene. After successful launches in the United States, Mexico and China, the interactive curriculum, activity booklets and materials are now available in German for use throughout Germany and other German-speaking regions.
“Water is one of the most valuable resources on earth,” said Ecolab’s Halit Kayatürk, SVP and Market Head, Germany & Switzerland. “Our personal water use and the way we live affect the lives of many others. The Clean and Conserve program aims to raise awareness and provide practical training for water conservation for students and teachers.”
During the event, children from the Monheim primary school became “WaterStars” by engaging in age-appropriate activities about hygiene and the use of water as a valuable resource. For example, when second- and third-graders were asked to think about what they had touched before arriving at Ecolab in Monheim, they named surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails—ideal homes for germs that can be passed to others through casual contact. During the water festival the students learned how to prevent the spread of those germs by washing their hands properly.
“By following simple hygiene measures such as washing hands properly, young children can effectively prevent the spread of germs, while saving water,” explains Thorsten Suess, one of the Ecolab volunteers from Monheim.
Before the festival, Project WET Foundation staff trained Ecolab employee volunteers to become water and hygiene ambassadors. With the intent to make a difference in the areas where they live and work, the ambassadors can now visit more schools to show young people through playful, interactive activities how they can take action and contribute to a positive water future.
“The employees do this voluntarily in their free time, and the program is aligned with the schools and tailored to their specific needs,” said Morgan Close, Project WET’s senior international program manager. “The activities are designed to be easy to implement and to complement existing curricula.” Planning for the next Water Festival is already underway on World Water Day (March 22, 2017) when another local elementary school will be visiting Monheim to become WaterStars.
To download the Clean and Conserve materials in German, visit www.projectwet.org/cleanandconserve/de.
Germany is one of four target markets launching the Clean and Conserve Education Program. Designed to reach two million people with interactive water conservation and hygiene education by the end of 2017, Clean and Conserve can be used around the world. All materials in the program are available for download and use at no charge. To date, translations and customizations of all materials have been completed in English, Mandarin, German and Spanish for Mexico. The Activity Guide for Educators is also available in Portuguese for Brazil and French for Canada.
The Project WET Foundation's partnership with Ecolab is part of Ecolab's Solutions for Life program, which enhances the company’s work to conserve water and improve hygiene around the world through partnerships with leading NGOs, global philanthropy and employee volunteerism.