The circular economy? Child’s play!

Posted on 30 December 2015.

30,000 Latin American children took part in the 2015 edition of "Alrededor de Iberoamerica" - an awareness campaign organized by Veolia which this year focused on the circular economy.

How do you raise children's awareness about protecting the environment? How do you interest them in complex issues such as climate change, water scarcity, or air, soil and ocean pollution?

In Latin America, Veolia has found great way of awakening the younger generation to these issues with "Alrededor de Iberoamerica" (in English: "Around Ibero-America"): an innovative and fun educational project, which calls on the children’s abundant creativity and imagination. The 2015 edition on the theme of the circular economy, and as in previous years conducted in partnership with the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), was organized in schools in seven Latin American countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. It attracted nearly 30,000 children aged 10 and 11.

The operation took place in several stages. The schools involved in the operation are provided with educational materials especially designed by the OEI to enable teachers to prompt reflection in class and educate their pupils about environmental issues. Through story-telling and practical workshops, the children explore a variety of topics such as natural processes (photosynthesis, water cycle, etc.), and the depletion and recovery of resources. Then it’s their turn to come up with their own story! The operation continued with a writing and drawing contest, in which the children were asked to write a story about water conservation, waste management, or clean energy - as they wished. The best was selected from each country and then the finalists met and talked about their experiences during an amazing educational trip to Machu Pichu.

Given the success of "Alrededor de Iberoamerica", Veolia and OEI have already agreed to renew their partnership in 2016, which this time will be on the theme of renewable energy.