The new Waterschool Website
A fundamental reason why founder Daniel Swarovski built his business in Wattens, in the beautiful Austrian Tyrol region, was the abundance of water. Over a century later, water continues to run through the very heart of the brand’s business culture. Not simply because it is essential to the crystal manufacturing process, but because a longstanding commitment to water sustainability through the global Swarovski Waterschool program is the company’s flagship community investment initiative.
Learning about safe and sustainable water
Since 2000, the aim of the Swarovski Waterschool program has been to teach the principles of sustainable water management, and to provide the infrastructure to ensure access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation around the world. In an important step toward knowledge-sharing between the schools and communities already taking part, Swarovski Waterschool launched its new website on World Water Day: March 22, 2017. The website is not just a fantastic resource—for the first time, individual schools can interact with one another. The aim is to create better and more proactive engagement at a global level.
A website that inspires curiosity and thought
Using the new website, anyone, anywhere, can download the modules that make up the Waterschool educational methodology without any charge, and “discover the value of water and understand our interconnectedness with all things.” These universal teaching and learning materials are fun, designed to inspire students to be curious, creative, and think and grow as stewards of the planet’s water. Entitled Drops of Knowledge for Rivers of Change, they represent a huge collaborative effort from the hundreds of Swarovski Waterschools around the world global. Consisting of nine modules aimed at teachers, parents, and youth group leaders, they are designed to fit seamlessly in with standard school curriculum subjects, such as science, geography, mathematics, health, social studies, language arts, and environmental education, and more. Each offers the flexibility to cater for an age range from eight to eighteen, possible urban vs rural learning disparities, and socio-economic group. To date, nearly 500,000 students in close to 2,500 have benefited from Swarovski Waterschools. swarovskiwaterschool.com aims to see these numbers increase exponentially.
Waterschools around the world
The first Waterschool opened in 1999 in Tyrol’s Hohe Tauern National Park—home to an abundant supply of alpine water—to teach children about the global water crisis and responsible water consumption. In 2006, Swarovski expanded the program to some of the world’s largest river networks, starting with India’s Keoladeo National Park. Next came the Shangri-la Institute for Sustainable Communities in six regions along China’s Yangtze (2008); Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (2009); the Brazil Waterschool in partnership with the Earth Child Institute (2014). In 2016, the state of Amazonas with Fundação Amazonas Sustentável followed, plus community development projects in Thailand, and a partnership with The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center around the Mississippi River in the USA.
“To all the kids on earth: we should save the water environment. If not, the last drop of water will be our tear.”
Chen Siyu, aged 10, student, Province of Yunnan