While the water conservation and hygiene education materials developed for the Clean and Conserve program are most often used in classrooms, participants in a recent workshop in Shanghai came up with another creative implementation idea: children’s parties. Project WET’s international projects assistant Allison Howe was in Shanghai for the workshop and reported that participants brainstormed using the “Do Knot Pass It Along” activity—a whole-body activity that emphasizes the importance of proper handwashing—at kids’ parties before passing out treats.
It was one of numerous creative ways the 25 workshop participants came up with as they discussed possible methods for scaling up the Clean and Conserve materials at one of two recent workshops held in China—one in Shanghai and one in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
In Shanghai, about half of the attendees were Ecolab employees. Students and representatives from Project WET implementing partners Shanghai Roots and Shoots and other NGOs including the Alliance for Water Stewardship and The Nature Conservancy made up the remaining participants. Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen also attended, working together with Allison to train at the Shanghai workshop before heading to Papua New Guinea for another educator workshop.
According to Allison, the Shanghai workshop attendees were overwhelmingly positive about the materials and the potential to use them with their communities.
“Many people noted how important the topics that Clean and Conserve covers are, especially in China,” she explained. “Water conservation is emphasized in China, in part because of its large population. Preventing germ transmission in areas of high population density is also a key lesson that these newly trained educators are hoping to share widely.”
Later, in Guangzhou, a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong, Allison trained another 25 participants to use Clean and Conserve. Five of the attendees were Ecolab employees, while the others represented organizations and universities in the region.
Among the NGO participants were representatives from Taiwan’s Guandu Nature Park, a Project WET partner since 2011. Sandra, a Guandu employee and seasoned Project WET educator, was able to lead the activity warm-up for “Healthy Natural Environments”. A local Ecolab employee, Candy, pitched in with a compelling demonstration of a soap molecule for the “Soap Science” warm-up.
In addition to discussions about water conservation, participants also examined how ocean water might be used to provide fresh water, Allison said. “The ‘Drop in the Bucket’ demonstration prompted a lot of conversation about using desalination,” she noted.
With approximately 50 new educators now implementing Clean and Conserve in China using the Chinese-language resources—adding to the dozens of others trained in previous workshops—the program is well underway not only in China but around the world. The Project WET Foundation and Ecolab are working to reach 2 million people with water conservation and hygiene education by the end of 2017.
Developed through the partnership between the Project WET Foundation and Ecolab, Clean and Conserve includes lessons, activities and other learning resources for children and youth ages three through 18, as well as educators. Visit the Clean and Conserve page to learn more. Originally published in English, Clean and Conserve materials are available in Chinese, Spanish for Mexico, German, French for Canada and Portuguese for Brazil (French and Portuguese materials are available for download from the English-language page).