Newmont Goldcorp began its partnership with Project WET in March 2018 to increase community awareness and science-based knowledge of water use, management and protection. Harnessing Project WET’s more than 30 years of experience in training educators globally, we began piloting the programs in Peru at the Yanacocha site, South America’s largest gold mine, and in Suriname, to support communities living and working in those regions.
In Peru, Project WET’s approach to innovative and interactive curriculum was well aligned with the water and sanitation education program already put in place by the Asociación Los Andes de Cajamarca (ALAC), Yanacocha’s community foundation, along with partners the Ministry of Education and the local water company, SEDACAJ.
Focusing on children and the long-term opportunity for collaboration in watershed management, the Project WET partnership in Peru builds local capacity to understand water from a science-based perspective. Concepts such as how the water cycle enables the replenishment of water provide foundational knowledge about the community’s valuable resource.
In September 2018, Project WET trained 64 teachers and ALAC facilitators. The ALAC facilitators then surveyed the teachers in the first quarter of 2019. In-classroom quizzes demonstrated that children are learning new material, such as the availability of the earth’s consumable water. Also noted are changing behaviors and attitudes toward water. Teachers observed that even if students got distracted while playing with the water during handwashing and forgot to turn off the faucet, they quickly remembered the importance of water conservation and adjusted their behavior accordingly.
Thanks to virtual technology, Project WET provides follow-up support and monitoring to the ALAC team, who continue to work with teachers on the curriculum. Teachers have identified the need to expand the knowledge to the parents of the students, demonstrating the potential widespread influence this could have on communities in the region.
Click here to read more about the state-of-the-art Museum of Water and Earth, which partners with the Ministry of Education, SEDACAJ and Project WET to develop a curriculum that deepens scientific knowledge and encourages environmental stewardship.