Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Education : Talking about World Water Day #waterReuse

World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. A day to recognize the importance of earth's most precious natural resource was proposed 20 years ago (1992) at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). 

The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water — the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation — sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. 

Water is the essential building block of life. But it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.


2017 Theme: Why Wastewater?

This year, UN focus on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.

We need to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safely reuse it. At the same time, we need to reduce the quantity and pollution load of wastewater we produce, to help protect the environment and our water resources.

Access to safe water and sanitation services is essential to the human rights and dignity, and the survival, of women and men across the world, especially the most disadvantaged. 

This is vital for progress across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – water links all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their interconnected targets.

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

Facts and figures:

Wastewater: the untapped resource

Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without treatment.

  • The quantity of wastewater produced and its overall pollution load is increasing.

Water Day 2017
credits: UNESCO

  • Pollution from untreated wastewater has adverse effects on human health: 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces. The combination of inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene, and unsafe drinking water is today still responsible for an estimated annual burden of 2 million diarrheal deaths.

  • 663 million peoples still lack improved drinking water sources, and global demand for water is expected to increase by 50% by 2030.

  • The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

In fact, water shortages and lack of access may limit economic growth in the years to come, according to the 2016 United Nations World Water Development Report.
The report  was launched on 22 March, World Water Day, in Geneva. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2016, titled "Water and Jobs" contains the latest findings, fact and figures.  

Fresh water for all

Each year the UN focuses on an aspect of water and the forthcoming event clearly links in with agriculture and nutrition. 

"When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’."

Coping with population growth and water and jobs here some acts that will help with:

  • follow a healthier, sustainable diet;
  • consume less water-intensive products;
  • reduce the scandalous water wastage;
  • produce more food, of better quality, with less water.

Goal 6
credits: Elyx Yak

So, we must discuss all these items in school curriculum. And bring some new habits to our students and their families.

Target: Primary to Secondary education; Vocational Education.

Curriculum: Cross-curricular Civics; Sciences; Languages; Arts.

World Water Day is an opportunity to learn more and be inspired to tell others. Teachers can read reports, watch videos and download teaching material from the UN-water website to explore in the school curriculum they're teaching.

Let your students use their devices and meanwhile ask them to take some notes doing internet research about countries where the water is a great gift or on the contrary there is no water or countries that use source of drinking-water contaminated.

It can be a good start to an open discussion in the classroom. It will depend from the resources you will chose for the level you are teaching.

Promote your event by adding it on the UN-water global map and share your activities with the world.

After that, ask your students if they know how much water they consume every day and how can we change our diet and reduce our wastewater.


  • The wasters guide to wastewater:

We’re all wasters when it comes to wastewater. Every time we use water, we produce wastewater. And instead of reusing it, we let 80% of it just flow down the drain. We all need to reduce and reuse wastewater as much as we can. Here are three ideas for all us wasters!Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes or scrubbing vegetables. Otherwise you’re just making wastewater without even using it!
  1. Put rubbish, oils, chemicals, and food in the bin, not down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the more energy and money it costs to treat it.
  2. Collect used water from your kitchen sink or bathtub and use it on plants and gardens, and to wash your bike or car.
The water passing through us and our homes is on a journey through the water cycle. By reducing the quantity and pollution of our wastewater, and by safely reusing it as much as we can, we’re all helping to protect our most precious resource.

Wasters! Take quick quiz.
Teachers will have other good resources here

Zoe makes a splash/ app

Apps for kids:

Zoe makes a splash! is an app developed by the Environment Directorate General of the European Commission.

I wrote about Zoe makes a splash! in 2012. This interactive storybook is a resource for Teachers & Parents,

It can be used in the classroom or with family to teach kids about the importance of water in our society, how to use it in moderation, the impact of polluted water on wildlife and habitats and the benefits we get from clean water.

Target: 7-11 years-old

Levels: Primary education; Elementary education.

Languages: Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish.

Devices: iPhone; iPad; smartphones.

Download: Free

Zoe Makes a Splash! is an interactive digital storybook aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 11 and is free to download. 

To read the book here. There some Teaching notes here.

I hope that this app Zoe Makes a Splash! and other resources on this post help teachers for inspire projects and actions about Water Day and wastewater. 

Young students will have fun learning about how they can care about how important water is and many children and young people have no water or comsumme pollutes water. They will be caring on wasterwater.

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Schools : And now, World Poetry Day !

World Poetry Day 

We have not wings, 
we cannot soar; 
But we have feet to scale and climb 
By slow degrees, by more and more, 
The cloudy summits of our time.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Poetry is a window onto the breath-taking diversity of humanity."

Irina Bokova, Director General 

Message on World Poetry Day 2017

At a time when the challenges we face – from climate change, inequality and poverty to violent extremism – seem so steep, the words of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow give us hope.

Those are the first words from Irina Bokova's message for World Poetry Day 2017.

Held every year on 21 March, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. 

Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

World Poetry Day
credits: UN

World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.  As poetry continues to bring people together across continents, all are invited to join in.

The poet Pablo Neruda wrote, “poetry is an act of peace.” Poetry is unique in its ability to speak across time, space and culture, to reach directly the hearts of people everywhere. This is a wellspring for dialogue and understanding – this has always been a force to challenge injustice and advance freedom. 

As UNESCO’s new Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, Deeyah Khan, has said, all art, including poetry, “has the extraordinary capacity to express resistance and rebellion, protest and hope.” 

Nowruz 2017

"Nowruz is a field wherereconciliation and dialogue can take their roots."

Irina Bokova, Director General 
Message on International Day of Nowruz 2017

March 21, is also International Day of NowruzFor more than 3,000 years, people of Persian ancestry have been celebrating Nowruz, the return of spring and the start of a new year. 

Google celebrates as well the 21 March Nowruz Day with springtime flowers, like the hyacinths and tulips in today’s Doodle.

A combination of the Persian words “now” for new and “ruz” for day, it is often celebrated at the exact moment of the vernal (spring) equinox, when the days start getting longer, and the celebrations can continue for up to two weeks.

Nowruz is a time of joyous renewal. Visits with friends and family, a clean house and new clothes, and special spring foods are traditional ways to celebrate the holiday. 

Perhaps the most enduring image of Nowruz is gathering together with friends and family around a bonfire. People also like to decorate with springtime flowers, like the hyacinths and tulips in today’s Doodle.

Nowruz traditions

Inscribed in 2009, and extended in 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature.

It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communitie.

Persian Poetry: Omar Khayyam. Rubáiyát
Translated by Edward FitzGerald with illustrations by Arthur Szyk 
New York: Heritage Press, ca. 1946

The rich Persian poetry is an ancestral art. The modern Persian speaker comprehends the literature of the earliest Persian poets including founder of the Persian poetry and literature Rudaki (approximately 1150 years ago) all the way down to the works of modern Persian poets. 

I saw a bird near the city of Sarakhs
It had raised its song to the clouds
I saw a colorful chador on it
So many colors on its chador

Abū ‘Abdallāh Rūdakī (858–ca. 941)

Often referred to as the father of modern Persian poetry, the ninth-century Persian poet Abū ‘Abdallāh Rūdakī (858–ca. 941) 

World Poetry Day
credits: Elyx

So, on World Poetry Day, teachers promote teaching poetry, restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and other arts to  create an attractive image of poetry in the school so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art but one.


For different activities, you will find some interesting proposals on my Poetry Day post (2016) here

Poetry Day, UK


World Poetry Day is an opportunity for children to be introduced to poetry in at school (all levels). It is a time when classrooms are busy with lessons related to poetry, in which students examine poets and learn about different types of poetry. 

Students love poetry! Poetry is a good part or Languages and Literature
So here are some ideas that teachers can include into curriculum.

I love poetry. I read often poetry books. Here the reason why I'm always write 
about World Poetry Day and the importance of Poetry in our life. Poetry must be a part of children's education for the next citizen generation, women and men.
In adult life, they will be women and men of dialogue. Only dialogue can be established in difference and respect for difference. And who knows some among our students will be writers and poets.
All the Activities must be adapted to the levels you teach, of course. You will do wonderful I know. Include attractive poems into your lessons, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated from of art but one. Poetry is a fundamental expression of peace.

World Poetry Day is symbolic. We can celebrate poetry every day.
"Poetry is not a luxury. It lies at the heart of who we are as women and men, living together today, drawing on the heritage of past generations, custodians of the world for our children and grandchildren. 
By celebrating poetry today, we celebrate our ability to join together, in a spirit of solidarity, to scale and climb “the cloudy summits of our time.” 
We need this to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, to ensure no woman or man is left behind."
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Copyright © 2017G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License
Schools : And now World Poetry Day ! bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.