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Educate. Empower. Act. The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education. We invite you to join us in educating children about the most precious resource on the planet — water.
Project WET's Latin America and the Caribbean Project Manager Julia Nelson was expecting about 15 people for a workshop last week in Santa Tecla, a city just outside San Salvador, the capital of the Central American nation of El Salvador. When 34 participants showed up, Julia and the other organizers—UN Habitat and the government of Santa Tecla—were thrilled to have more than double the input into adapting Project WET's existing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) materials for use in El Salvador.
Santa Tecla sits at the foot of the San Salvador Volcano
The seeds for the very successful workshop—which featured lessons from the Healthy Water, Healthy Habits, Healthy People Educators Guide and plenty of time for feedback on how best to make the materials relevant in El Salvador—had been sown earlier in the week. Nelson and Eduardo Rodriguez of UN Habitat in El Salvador met with numerous government agencies, NGOs and educators to discuss Project WET's goals for developing and implementing educational materials in schools in El Salvador. In addition, Nelson toured two schools and communities in the San Salvador area.
A Santa Tecla teacher poses with a water container, which must be used due to frequent water outages
Many Salvadoran agencies and organizations have now expressed interest in working with Project WET on the WASH localization project after the workshop. Over the next few months, Project WET will be developing materials on water, sanitation and hygiene to use in El Salvador and four other pilot countries—Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia—in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Water sources in a shantytown in Santa Tecla
All five stories show how Project WET's innovative education materials are changing lives for the better in the United States and more than 50 other countries worldwide.
U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) recently visited Jincai Primary School in Shanghai, China to see Project WET in action. He met with students, teachers and other educational officials and even took time for a quick "Blue Planet" activity, as seen in the video below:
The development of Spanish-language Project WET water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) materials moved to Mexico earlier this month. Project WET joined the MDG Joint Programme in Mexico, UNESCO, and the Education Secretary of the Mexican State of Veracruz to hold a full-day writing workshop in the southeastern Mexican city of Xalapa.
Latin America and the Caribbean Program Manager Julia Nelson led 39 participants—mostly educators, but also including some representatives from the local water authority—through several activities from the newly revised Healthy Water, Healthy Habits, Healthy People Educators Guide. The participants then reviewed the activities in small groups and made suggestions for customization.
In addition to the Project WET activities, the workshop featured presentations by MDG Joint Programme, UNESCO, Sarar Transformation-a Mexican NGO that evaluates WASH programs and facilities in schools—and the local water authority.
According to Nelson, the day's events resulted in numerous suggestions for the customization of Project WET's award-winning WASH materials. "The workshop participants were a dynamic group who were proactive in their approach to tackle water rights and water issues in their schools," she said.
Once the workshop was complete, Nelson—along with staff from Sarar Transformation and MDG Joint Programme—took part in a tour of two Xalapa primary schools. The tour was designed to observe the sanitation facilities currently in place in Xalapa.
The Project WET WASH curriculum is expected to be implemented during the summer of 2011. Over the next few months Project WET will analyze the suggestions from workshop participants and then customize their WASH materials to fit the local culture and needs of Veracruz, Mexico. Project WET will also work closely with a local artist to create a children's companion book that depicts local culture and ecology.