Field trip American International School

15-11-2012 Field trip American International School

On October 15 the project HCMC organized a field trip for the American International School (AIS) together with the Association of Regional Water Authorities in the Netherlands (Dutch: Unie van Waterschappen). In total, 51 children from the 4th grade, 5 teachers and 4 supervisors from the HCMC project, participated in the field trip. The main aim of the fieldtrip was to raise awareness for environmental issues and climate change amongst the children.

Martijn van de Groep, Chief Technical Advisor to the project, started the day in the early morning with an presentation on the use of household water and the water cycles. Together with the kids we were discussing, which actions in their house use water. After this introduction the children left in four busses to District 4. District 4 was chosen because the area has many environmental issues, is near to the AIS and is a rapidly development area with many people. District 4 is located near the centre of HCMC and is a really popular area to life.

The children visited four different locations within District 4. The first location was along a canal, were we discussed the bad relations between the water and the residential area (there are slums located next to the canal, which make it impossible to see the water from the residential area). At this location also a sewage pipe was visible which is discharging directly into the canals. The children were surprised about the situation (‘It is terrible for the families who are living in slums along canal networks. How can they survive with this kind of smell? We have to start dredging the canals now!”)

Location two was a narrow residential area, where no emergency services can come. At this location the kids also saw houses with elevated floors which protect the houses against flooding. Point three was a polluted ditch, where we discussed the behaviour of people related to waste. The children were shocked and wondered “I have never been to this awful area. Is it a part of our beautiful city?”. The last stop on the trip was a green street, where we told about the necessity of green in HCMC.

Altogether the field trip was a great success (One of the kids: “Now I know who I want to be in the future. I will be a designer for District 4! ”). Not only the children of AIS, but also the inhabitants of District 4 were very curious about the field trip. Hopefully the children will remember their experiences during the field trip when they are wearing their t-shirts in the future!

Look for more information about the Association of Regional Water Authorities in the Netherlands (Dutch: Unie van Waterschappen) on: http://www.uvw.nl/droppie-water.html.