The aim of Millennium Development target 10 has been to cut in half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. More ambitious targets are needed for the future and it is widely recognised that education provides a crucial component in meeting these challenges. The Organisation Mondiale Pour L’Education Prescolaire (OMEP) has been in the forefront of efforts to ensure that all those involved in the drafting of the next round of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ are aware of the contribution that early childhood education has to make to these efforts (Pramling-Samuelsson and Wagner, 2012).
More effort is required to deal with these problems and a strong case for expanding WASH efforts significantly into the preschool phase of education can be made on two grounds:
1. Ethical practice requires our efforts be focused upon the youngest children as they are the principle victims.
2. It has been established that investments in early childhood education are more economic and effective.
WASH from the START – An OMEP-UNICEF Collaboration
WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. The purpose of OMEP’s and UNICEF’s WASH from the START initiative is to extend UNICEF’s successful WASH in Schools (WinS) programs and services into early childhood settings, including homes, communities, health centers, and preschools. WASH from the START includes anything and everything OMEP members are doing around the world to ensure children’s basic right to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
For the PowerPoint presented at UNICEF’s meeting with other WASH partners on September 17, 2014, please click here.
For the full rationale and arguments for supporting WASH from the START, please click here.