United Nations Universal Children’s Day

Water conservation is not only close to Swarovski’s heart, it’s almost an obsession—for a crucially important reason: it’s vital to the crystal company’s production methods. This is why Swarovski is located high in the Austrian Alps, where the abundance of water enables hydro-electricity to power its machinery. Key to its water usage is sustainability: 69 per cent is currently recycled.

The last drop of water will be our tears

It’s this focus on water that explains why Swarovski Waterschool—the company’s flagship community investment program—was set up in the first place. The objective is to inspire present and future generations of children and adults to practice sustainable water use, especially in countries whose need for water conservation is particularly pronounced. Swarovski believes that it’s essential to contribute to the long-term availability of clean water for the benefit of people and nature, and for the maintenance of the world’s cultural and biological diversity. And it’s all the more pertinent as we mark United Nation’s Universal Children’s Day on November 20.

The Waterschool programs are situated on the great rivers—Ganges, Yangtze, Nile and Amazon, and since 2000 almost 270,000 children have been taught about the importance of water thanks to 9,000 specially trained teachers at around 2,000 schools. Typically, the children are eight to fifteen years of age, but through them Waterschool reaches whole families and communities, improving access to safe, reliable water and adequate sanitation. Here’s what the people who have benefited say about the program:

“Swarovski Waterschool is like a torch lighting up the road to water conservation. I would like to say to all the kids on earth that we should save the water environment. If not, the last drop of water will be our tears.”
Chen Siyu, 10, schoolgirl, province of Yunnan, China

“From my boys who attend Waterschool I’ve learned to wash my hands after visiting the latrine, and from drama performances how to make improvements to our sanitation. The change in our lives is unbelievable.”
Peace, Model Household competition winner, Buhoma, Uganda

“I got inspired to protect my environment, and built a rain butt in my garden to save water. Waterschool is far more interesting than normal lessons. People should tell all their uncles and aunts about it.”
Fabian Josef Schmutzer, 9, schoolboy, Obervellach, Austria

Waterschool teachers behave like a brother or sister. We learn while playing.
It’s so different from how we are taught at school. We have practical demonstrations and do activities on the ground.
Arti Kimaru, 13, student, Barathpur, India