Mahnam Jamshaid, a Class 9 student from TCS Cantt Prep Branch, Rawalpindi, attended the South Asian Student Conference on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 16-17 June 2015.
The trip and conference were sponsored by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Seven countries participated in the conference – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan and India. Mahnam was part of a 4-member delegation with students from urban and rural regions of Pakistan.
A week before the conference, a meeting with UNICEF representatives was organised to discuss the main agenda and the students’ role. On the first day, the students walked from the Ministry of Education to Ape Gama – the conference venue. The President of Sri Lanka was invited to the inaugural session as the Chief Guest. Sri Lankan students gave presentations about the situation of WASH in their country and the facilities available. In the evening, there was a cultural show highlighting the cultures and traditions of Sri Lanka, featuring various dance performances and songs.
The presentation given by the delegates from Pakistan on the second day was highly appreciated and it received positive feedback. In the evening, all foreign delegates were invited to dine with the Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage. On the last day, the students visited some schools to check their WASH situation.