Published in September 2020

All around the world, children are going back to school. The current pandemic has been keeping an extraordinary 90% of students out of the classroom, but now schools are cautiously opening their doors and welcoming back their pupils.

Sadly, this isn’t the case everywhere. In some places the threat of COVID-19 is keeping schools closed. In many countries and cultures, it is common for children to live with both their parents and grandparents, which means there is an understandable wariness about opening schools again. In Kenya for example, most schools are unlikely to open until January 2021, the start of their next academic year.

"Getting children’s education back on track in developing parts of the world will require combined efforts from all corners, but one thing that will help make a difference is water."

Some children might be delighted by what they see as a sustained break from education and a chance to escape the classroom, but the reality is that a decent education is a pathway out of poverty for so many of the world’s poorest children (whose attendance in school also enables their parents to return to work and earn a livelihood for the family). And whilst some students will have the chance to catch up on months of missed education, this sadly won’t be the case for the most vulnerable. 

Against this background it is likely that the UN goal of a good quality education for all by 2030 will fall further behind and a generation of young people will miss out. 

Getting children’s education back on track in developing parts of the world will require combined efforts from all corners of communities, but one thing that will help make a difference is water. 

A dependable on-site supply of clean water means that children can wash their hands, something we know is critical for reducing the spread of disease. But many schools in impoverished dryland regions lack this basic facility. In sub-Saharan Africa for example, nearly 300 million children don’t have access to basic handwashing facilities at school.

That’s why Excellent Development is continuing to enable the construction of sand dams, but we’re also committed to funding and building more school water tanks. It’s a simple solution. The tanks collect rainwater from school roofs so teachers and children are able to wash their hands, access regular drinking water, and keep classrooms clean. 

While some children are walking through the school gates in their fresh school uniforms, spare a thought for those many miles away whose chances of fulfilling their potential, and living a long and healthy life in general, are limited because of a lack of clean water.

Education is a basic human right and with your help we are determined to get more children back to school.

Please donate what you can today and protect children’s health and education with school water tanks and access to clean water

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