Chapter 2 – Waterschool Start
2.1 How to start
The following are the first points you will have to take into consideration:
- assess situations (needs and potentials);
- determine priority problems;
- possibile contributions of resources (e.g. donations, communal labour, sponsors, etc.): dialogue and consultation with external actors are encouraged.
TIP 1 ⇒ A good way to quickly have an idea about the possibility to succeed in your school is to have a SWOT analysis.
2.2 Clearance and Sensitization
The Waterschool mobilizers must be recognized by authority and obtain legal status from the school or other local managing authority.
Sensitization is not just a formality, but must be well planned and executed. The counteracting of rumours and false assumptions must be integral to the sensitization strategy.
In our course you could find all the materials needed to appropriately operate for sensitization of stakeholders (teachers, pupils, families, schoolmaster, etc.
TIP 2 ⇒ A good way to sensitize your colleagues, students and their family is to launch the idea of a preliminary survey on the use of drinking water in your school.
2.3 Awareness Raising
Before encouraging the community to act (and therefore learn and become fully motivated) the mobilizer must make the community members aware of the specific conditions of your school.
The preliminary survey we suggested above could be very usefully exploited in this phase: you could create an event where to discuss the results of the survey, raising the question about the possibility to resort to tap water for drinking.
During this step, it is important to avoid raising false expectations, and actively counteract the inevitable assumptions and rumours about the kind of initiative you are taking.
TIP 3 ⇒ It is just in that phase that you can offer our e-learning course as a tool to improve awareness about this issue.
2.4 Unity Organizing
No community is unified; there are schisms and factions in every one work environment... only the degree varies!
For instance, when there is much social disparity, it is more difficult to reach a community consensus about the priority problem, and thus the priority goal.
Unity organizing is a necessary precedent to most community mobilization, and continues throughout the cycle as needed.
TIP 4 ⇒ Creating an interclass working group in your school could be give you a strong support to involve your school in the initiative (teachers, students, families, non-teaching staff).