Chapter 4 – Waterschool Starting
4.1 Waterschool Contract Preparation and Negotiation
A contract is an optional instrument, recommended here. The mobilizer can assist and guide the community executive in drafting a contract, based upon the project design.
Its wording should be simple and it should be short, while the proposal or project design can be attached as an appendix.
The signatories of the contract should be representatives from all the stake holders, and this phase can be blended into the negotiation phase listed above.
The negotiations ensure that there is public transparency about the proposed project, that all concerned (all stakeholders) have access to understanding the aims and actions of the community project.
4.2 Waterschool Contract Signing
The signatories include representatives of all the stakeholders (community executive, district officers, local leaders, agency officers, mobilizers).
The meeting for signing the contract can be an opportunity for all of them to meet face-to-face at one time.
This is therefore an opportunity for the mobilizer to keep the community involvement in its own project (civic engagement; community participation) as a high profile characteristic of development.
If it is assured that all signatories previously agree to the contract, then the signing can be a ceremony, and included with in the following public ceremony.
Setting aside an inside room, such as in a classroom block, may be appreciated by the signatories.
Making it part of a public ceremony increases its legitimacy, and raises public awareness about the methodology of community empowerment.
TIP 10 ⇒ Sample of Waterschool Partnership Agreement.
4.3 Waterschool Launch Ceremony
Once you have signed the partnership agreement, you are ready to organize an official project public ceremony to launch your school Waterschool project.
Otherwise, you can decide to choose, for your kick-off meeting, the moment when you install the first equipments to drink tap water in your school, but the modalities are substantially similar.
If the partnership is able to get external financial resources for the Waterschool project, then the first instalment of payment can be used as an opportunity for your kick-off meeting (maybe coinciding with the contract signing).
Entertainment, perhaps in the form of singing, dancing, drumming and skits, performed by local cultural groups, school children, or voluntary groups, is an opportunity to strengthen pride and loyalty in the community linked to your school. You can take videos to be posted on the social media.
Press must be invited so the event can be mentioned on radio, in the local newspaper, and even on television: this way, you enhance transparency, raise the profile of the project, awareness, participation and empowerment by your local community.