“Fit for School” learning event: Fostering exchange between Africa and Asia
The “Fit for School” programme, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), aims at improving pupils’ access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The programme held its regional conference 2022 on 22nd – 24th November in Bangkok, Thailand. The main goal of the event was to consolidate the wealth of learning gleaned from the last eleven years of implementation, while providing partners with a forum to explore ideas for regional and global collaboration on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools and related emerging thematic areas.”
“Fit For School” has supported Ministries of Education in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos in their rollout of national policies, implementing guidelines, and monitoring systems for WASH in schools since 2011. Since 2021, the “Fit for School Africa Initiative” has extended this support to different African countries, adapting the successful approach to the respective contexts on the ground. Among others, the programme has extended its support to Zambia by supporting the implementation of Phase 4 of the Safe Back to School campaign under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative(LuWSI).
A delegation from Zambia, including the Town Clerk for Lusaka City Council, the District Education Board Secretary, the program manager from Water Aid Zambia and an advisor from GIZ NatuReS attended the conference. Also in attendance were representatives from Malawi, South Sudan, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
The learning event offered an opportunity to foster a stronger exchange between different African and Asian countries facing similar challenges, and to enable them to draw lessons from each other’s experiences and tools. This exchange stimulates and facilitates sustainable scaling-up of “WASH in School” programming in their respective countries.
Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia