Clean water, better sanitation, teacher training, and hygiene education in schools can improve the health and education of children by creating a cycle of opportunity: improved education, increased school attendance, and improved academic performance.

What is the WASH in Schools Target Challenge?

The WASH in Schools Target Challenge is a pilot program created to motivate Rotary clubs to develop sustainable water, sanitation, hygiene (collectively referred to as WASH), and education projects using the expertise and resources available through two of Rotary’s areas of focus: basic education and literacy and water and sanitation.

The program will focus on measuring the impact that WASH and basic education and literacy initiatives have on school attendance. Rotary and UNICEF will recognize Rotary clubs and schools whose WASH in Schools projects achieve the benchmarks outlined below.

During the pilot phase, the program will run through July 2020 in five countries, all chosen for their strong, active involvement in school sanitation efforts: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Kenya.

Recognition levels: A three-star approach

The first two levels (Rotary One Star and Rotary Two Stars) set benchmarks for water and sanitation facility upgrades, hygiene and menstrual hygiene education, and teacher training, along with key behavior change components; the third level (Rotary Three Stars) emphasizes incorporation into government initiatives and curriculum enhancement. Rotary and UNICEF will recognize Rotary clubs and schools that meet the requirements for the second and third levels.

Rotary One Star: Rotary district governor recognition

Education: Teachers trained to teach hand washing, begin taking daily attendance, and supervise daily group hand washing at mealtimes.

Facilities: Establish low-cost, improved water supply, hand washing facilities, and gender-segregated toilets.

Behavior change: Daily supervised hand washing before school meals and at group toilet times.

Management: Plans created for operational maintenance and menstrual hygiene management.

Rotary Two Stars: Rotary and UNICEF recognition

Education: Teachers trained in hygiene and menstrual hygiene management education. Improved attendance and follow-up with absent students.

Facilities: Safe drinking water is available. WASH conditions meet the pilot country's national standards.

Behavior change: All students use the sanitation facilities at all times and actively participate in tasks to keep the facilities clean.

Management: Menstrual hygiene management plan implemented and training provided to maintain sanitation facilities.

Rotary Three Stars: Rotary and UNICEF recognition

Education: WASH lessons integrated into curriculums and complementary teacher training provided.

Facilities: WASH conditions meet national or World Health Organization standards and regular maintenance is ensured.

Behavior change: Community members involved.

Management: Continuous monitoring and evaluating to check compliance with national standards; data reported to government.

The Target Challenge — Step by Step

Follow these steps to help your club achieve the Target Challenge and improve the lives of students in the community:

  1. Know your WASH in Schools country or district-level recognition committee. It is a valuable resource for helping with the Target Challenge in your area.
  2. Assess the school’s needs and understand its long-term goals. Gather baseline data to help you evaluate your project’s measurable outcomes.
  3. Submit baseline data, required for recognition. Contact your recognition committee to learn how.
  4. Use the information from the school assessment, and collaborate with the community to plan and implement your project’s activities.
  5. Continuously gather outcome measurements and submit data every six months.
  6. Complete and submit recognition applications to your recognition committee.

Get involved as international sponsors

Even if your club or district isn't in a pilot country, you can still support a project as an international sponsor. International sponsors collaborate with a host club or district in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India, or Kenya to support projects in the pilot country. Contact to learn more.

WASH in schools project kit

Get everything you need to take your project from idea to completion. Find information, resources, and tools to help you plan and achieve the WASH in Schools Target Challenge:

Resources & Reference

Rotary support

Send questions about the pilot program or Rotary’s areas of focus to