World Water Day: Water For Peace
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On World Water Day and beyond, the Swarovski Foundation advocate collective action for water, recognising the pivotal role collaboration plays in advancing Water for Peace.

Water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access, tensions canrise. 2.2 billion people still live without access to safe drinking water, including 115 million people who drink surface water (WHO/UNICEF).

The Swarovski Foundation promotes sustainable livelihoods through education to reduce inequality and addresses global water challenges by ensuring equitable access to clean water. These efforts are achieved by working collaboratively with partners like the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Teach For Thailand, and BBC StoryWorks.

This World Water Day, let us acknowledge the power of education and collective effort in uniting communities and safeguarding water sources for a more sustainable future.

NGRREC – Connecting Communities Through Education

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC)

Over 50% of the continental USA has regularly experienced drought conditions over the past two decades (The Nature Conservancy) and within 50 years many regions of the USA could see their freshwater supply reduced by as much as a third (National Geographic).

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) implements the Swarovski Foundation Waterschool programme in the USA and works with diverse rural and urban communities. Our partnership focus is clear: through education, we aim to cultivate sustainable water conservation practices among students, educators, and the wider public.

By emphasising the human connection to local watersheds, NGRREC encourages positive community impact and raises awareness about water-related issues. In 2023 alone, 52 teachers were trained in the Waterschool curriculum, and over 2,000 students engaged in becoming Water Ambassadors. Our partnership with NGRREC has successfully provided vital educational resources to schools and districts, contributing to the protection and preservation of the Mississippi River for generations to come.

“I think all students should have the opportunity to learn, experiment and grow. The Waterschool program is just the learning avenue they need to better understand the power they have to take action for clean water”.

Teach For Thailand – Education on Water Conservation

Teach for Thailand

Water quality is a significant concern in Thailand, with 43 million people drinking contaminated water. This contamination can lead to various diseases, especially as surface water sources frequently suffer from pollution from inadequate drainage systems (Envirotech).

Since 2022, Raks Thai Foundation have partnered with Teach For Thailand to integrate the Waterschool curriculum, aimed at educating students about their local water challenges. With the Swarovski Foundation’s support, last year alone 65 Fellows received Waterschool training to incorporate the curriculum into their teaching methods.

These dedicated educators reached approximately 300 students in hands-on activities, including water quality testing and discussions on pollution sources. Students also learned about water filtration systems and reflected on their personal water consumption habits to promote responsible practices.

“I want my classroom to be a safe space for students to develop their critical thinking and life skills that would be beneficial for themselves and others in the future”.

Creatives For Our Future - The Climate & Us

70 million people in Nigeria do not have access to safe drinking water, and 114 million people do not have access to basic sanitation facilities (WorldBank).

The Swarovski Foundation contributes to projects like ‘The Climate and Us’ series produced by BBC StoryWorks to leverage its influence and resources in addressing critical global issues, aligning with our mission to promote sustainable livelihoods through education to reduce inequality.

An episode of the series was produced on the Creatives For Our Future programme, following alumnus Joshua Ichor as he showcases his commitment to safeguarding water sources using his innovative technology. With expert insights from programme mentor Tosin Oshinowo, a renowned Nigerian architect, the film highlights the positive impact of individuals like Joshua.

Tosin Oshinowo emphasised “I think access to water is everybody’s problem and no matter where you sit within society, the negative influences of poor access to water affect everyone”. Joshua expressed “I want to see an Africa whereby water that is clean and safe is flowing in all corners”.

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