Introduction:Since submission of the last report, Knowledge for Children has continued with the motto:”Good Health for Quality Education” to expand her Health Education Project in 20 primary schools. Beginning January 2013 based on the results of the follow up survey conducted in April 2012 to assess project impact we had recently installed 20 more clubs in 20 new primary schools. Thus Health Education in 40 primary schools. We have selected the new schools with consideration of a networking and a buddy system with the pilot project schools. We believe that the impact of the project will be better felt if the clubs can share their resources.
Project Continuity:Immediately after the installation of the new clubs we organized Health Club workshops with the objective to build Club Coordinators and Health Scouts capacities for better project execution. A series of four workshops were organized that trained 80 club coordinators, all primary school teachers and 80 Health Scouts who are to serve as Health club Delegates. After the evaluation of the pilot phase we discovered some setbacks which could be improved on. As mentioned in the last report we have to pay more attention to the usage of the Love Check Game, HIV Action Readers and as a result the recent workshops focused more on the Proper Usage of these Health Club Resources. Particular attention was also given to examine the role of games and stories in HIV and AIDS education.
Another problem these workshops were addressing was project sustainability and community involvement. Looking back at the pilot project we observed that since our club coordinators are all primary school teachers, some of them already trained, are being transferred by basic education authorities. Over the past year about 15% of our Club coordinators have been moved. The solution as proposed by these teachers is for us to train community based club coordinators who are not necessarily teachers and who therefore will not be transferred.
These workshops according to the project implementation policy officially introduced WASH activities as part of the Health Club Curriculum. Communities are sensitized and encouraged to provide hand washing equipment to their school so as to improve on basic hygiene and sanitation habits.
We have continued having working sessions with individual Health Clubs to introduce new Health Related games which could be used for greater impact.
Follow Ups:As the main objective of our program being behavioral change, we want to keep track of our former Health Scouts who have already graduated from primary school and are now in secondary school. We are creating an Alumni Network that will serve as a bridge between the Primary and secondary school health clubs. The purpose is to have the secondary school Health Scouts be mentors to the primary school Health Scouts. We believe that this project impact will be more effective if the youths are directly involved as actors in project execution.
A system has been created where Health Club coordinators are able to report directly to the Knowledge for Children Health Officer. Through these reports, Knowledge for Children is more informed and updated by the situation out in the field and can improve where need be.
We hope to create a healthy environment by working with our youths for better healthy practices. The saying here goes “A Healthy Mind Can Only Be in a Healthy Body”
We will endlessly continue to extend our heart felt gratitude to all those who have and are still giving their financial and moral support to help us bring more healthy habits to primary school children so as to create an HIV Free Generation in the North West Region of Cameroon. Life is a learning process so any information or advice you may bring to help will be genuinely received. we need your suggestions and we need you to spread the word!
With the main objective of creating HIV/AIDS and Malaria awareness amongst primary school pupils by actively involving the health scouts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria, the Health Club project has continued to achieve remarkable progress under the Motto: “Good Health For Quality Education”. Last year saw the initiation, execution and the evaluation of the pilot phase of this project and given the success achieved, 20 more schools have been enrolled to benefit from this project. We are also moving to the North of Cameroon, extending to schools there.
We are also hiring! bringing in devoted individuals to enhance our work.
A system has also been created tomake maximum usage of the material donated to the health club like the HIVAction readers and the Love Check Game which is an HIV Prevention game. During the visits by the Knowledge for Children team for the launching of the Health Clubs, we spend alot of time with the Health Club Coordinators and the Health Scouts educating them on how to make the clubs more effective, we focus more on demonstrating how to play the love check game. This game is a great tool to facilitate interactive HIV education and well as break the silence about HIV since players are stimulated to discuss HIV related issues. We believe that this game will have a great positive impact in HIV Education in the communities where we work. Wehave also designed a Health toolkit which covers a wide range of health issues that will help a lot to build the capacity of the heal club coordinators.World AIDS DAY 2012!
The Health scouts Knowledge for Children joint the population of Jakiri Subdivision in the North West Region of Cameroon to celebrate the international World AIDS Day on the 1st of December 2012 to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic.The clubs that were represented presented a lot of activities ranging from drama, songs, poems, traditional dances, debates and much more. Theseactivities covered a wide range of topics like, Knowing Your HIV Status,Preventing HIV, Experiences from HIV Action Readers, Caring for Someone Livingwith HIV, Fighting Against Stigma and Discrimination, Dialogue Between parents and children on HIV, Supporting orphans. It was so much fun to watch these children present their activities with a lot of self esteem. All our thanks goto the Health Club Coordinators who have always worked to help these children create more HIV/AIDs awareness.
We will endlessly continue to extend our heart felt gratitude to all those who have and are still giving their financial and moral support to help us bring more healthy habit to primary school children so as to create an HIV Free Generation in the North West Region of Cameroon. Life is a learning process so any information oradvice you may bring to help will be genuinely received.
Still under the banner “Good Health For Quality Education” the20 health clubs have continued to promote healthy habits in the schools andcommunities with Health Scouts. After the narrative report submitted recentlywe focused more on the analysis of the project evaluation.
Based on these results, wenoticed that basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS and Malaria was gained by the Health Scouts(HS) as well as the Health Club Coordinators (HCC) during the pilot phase ofproject execution. Looking at the analysis some clubs did better that othersand so we will have to focus more on those clubs that did not perform well while mentaining the standards of those that did well during the pilot phase of this project. (Seeevaluation analysis attached).
Future Plans:We plan to involve 20 moreschools to benefit from this project, thus a total of 40 schools with HealthClubs (HC). Based on the project design and execution Knowledge for Children (KforC)has set a criterion for the selection of the twenty new schools, which includesdemography, number of years the school has benefited from ourprojects and the dynamism of the staffing body of the school. The reason beingthat all of these aspects put together will contribute greatly to the successof project execution.
In order to better empower theHealth Club Coordinators (HCC) we have designed a health toolkit for all thehealth clubs which covers topics on HIV, Malaria, Nutrition, ReproductiveHealth, Gender, STDs, Roll Plays, Water Sanitation and Hygiene and much more.We have also compiled a learner’s activity book with class room basedactivities on HIV and AIDS and Malaria for pupils under 10 years of age, 10 to15 and above. With the help of a Belgian volunteer who worked with us, we havedesigned a game called “Healthy Youths” which will facilitate HIV and AIDSinteractive learning among rural primary school pupils. Plus we are preparing apackage of HIV Action Readers (HAR) from Junior African writers, charts, aswell as the “Love Check” games which we plan to teach the clubs by VideoProjections.
Workshops:In order to fully and effectivelyinvolve the new schools in the project, we intend to form a geographicalclustering (buddy system) which will enable the new and old schools to networkfor better output. In this light we are organizing 4 workshops in October 2012to bring health club coordinators and health scouts from all the clubs forcapacity building.
The aim of these workshops willbe to introduce health clubs in 20 new schools, introduce the health toolkit,the Healthy youth game and the learner’s activity book with HIV/AIDS classroombased activities. Furthermore we are already making plans for the celebrationof Worlds Aids Day with the Health scouts.
Appreciation:We still continue to extend our sincere appreciationto all those who have and are still supporting this project. Together we canbring more healthy habits to primary school children in the rural areas of theNorth West Region.
The main objective of this project was to create HIV/AIDS and Malaria awareness amongst primary school pupils by actively involving the health scouts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and Malaria. Following the last report submitted to Global Giving about the celebration of World Aids Day in December 2011, the project has continued to achieve much success in the 20 primary schools selected pilot phase.
With the motto “Good Health for Quality Education “ the health scouts since creation have been functioning for 12 months, and following this time frame the children proved to have acquired much knowledge on HIV and Malaria prevention. This is established from the questions they ask during our visits, the sketches, poems and songs they create so as to share information about HIV/AIDS and Malaria Prevention as well as the evaluation conducted by the Knowledge for Children (KforC) team in the month of March to assess project impact. Thanks to the health club coordinators trained by KforC the health scouts were able to formulate an anthem with the primary message that their goal is to be for ever healthy so as to shine like stars in the sky.
The enthusiasm of the children towards this project is also noted through personal interviews with the health scouts.
Take for example Ngangeh Jule who is 10 years old and a class six pupils in GS Mbirboh. He has attended a KforC capacity building workshop on the importance of health clubs, has participated in the celebration of World Aids Day and now serves as a health club team leader in his school. He also aspires to be a manager when he grows up. When asked how he feels to be a health scout, he responded: “Good health for quality education is important because the only way we can stay in school and benefit from books is if we are healthy. I feel happy as I learn about the importance of abstinence from sex and also being able to talk to my friends about this.” Jule is also very excited to teach his friends the Love Check game which was donated by KforC to promote interactive HIV education among children. His last words were thanking KforC for making him a health scout and he promised to continue in this spirit when he goes to secondary school hopefully next academic year.
Secondly is Nchukwi Ruth, an 11 year old in class six of GS Kikaikelaki. Also a health club delegate in her school, she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. When asked how the health club project has benefited her, she said “I like the books given to us by KforC especially the one entitled the Sugar Daddy, the story about how a girl’s future is destroyed when she gets HIV from a sugar daddy has taught me a lesson about the importance of abstinence. I will make sure I do not have sex while I’m still in schools” Ruth also enjoys playing the Love Check game as well as playing sketches on HIV/AIDS and Malaria Prevention.
Nji Cletus is a class five teacher and the health club coordinator of GS Mbirboh. He has a passion for this project and this is what he says: “I like the motto of the health scouts. Good health for Quality Education. Children can only learn well if they are healthy. My relationship with my pupils has greatly improved since I started working with them in the health club. I think they now trust me more since I can talk with them about sex related issues which is a very sensitive subject in our communities. Customs and traditions do not allow open discussions on HIV related matters but the health clubs have made it possible”. He also admits that he has learned a lot from KforC capacity building workshops and the health club material donated by KforC has be an excellent source for him to increase his knowledge on HIV and Malaria
The year 2011 was the pilot phase of this project. In order to determine the impact, KforC conducted an evaluation in all the 20 primary schools in March 2012. Our team gave out 240 questionnaires on HIV and Malaria combined to 100 health scouts and 40 health club coordinators. We randomly sampled 25% of the total number of Health Scouts. After analysis we are convinced that our activities have led to increased levels of knowledge on HIV and Malaria. Therefore we plan to add 20 new primary schools to the project in 2012, as many more children should have access to HIV and Malaria education.
We sincerely thank all those who have and are still supporting this project. Together we can bring more healthy habits to primary school children in the rural areas of the North West Region.
We believe in structural knowledge exchange and will gladly accept any information or advice you have to share for the success of this project.
Knowledge for Children celebrated the 23rd annual World AIDS Day (with the theme of this year being “Getting to Zero”) in the Donga-Mantung area of the North West Region of Cameroon, specifically in the town of Nkambe. This Region, located approximately 50 kilometers to the North of Kumbo (where we are based here in Cameroon) was chosen for several reasons; the first being that it is one of the zones where we presently work and have several schools, and the second being that we wanted to bring our message of HIV/AIDS education to an area that would not have access to it otherwise.
Preparation for the day began several weeks prior to the first of December, with the recruitment of volunteer lab technicians (from four local hospitals and health institutions), the donation of 1,300 HIV/AIDS screening tests (given by the Donga-Mantung Hospital, Banso Baptist Hospital in Kumbo, and the Catholic Hospital in Shisong), the logistical organization of inviting, transporting, feeding (two meals in total), and clothing (T-Shirts were made especially for the day and distributed) one hundred primary school children, twenty health club coordinators, as well as six additional volunteers for the day, as well as working in conjunction with the District Medical Officer of the Donga-Mantung Division as well as other important traditional leaders and prominent figure heads as a means of engaging the community to which this occasion took place.
Additional community sensitization was conducted through radio interviews, CRTV (Cameroon Radio and Television) presence and recording of the event as well as the delivery of invitations to primary and secondary schools and technical colleges in the Nkambe area.
You can surmise from the information provided above, that we succeeded in engaging many local health institutions, recruited volunteers spanning the entire North West Region, as well as received the “in-kind” donations of screening tests from other institutions that were not able to be present. We were also supported in the presence of the Fon of Nkambe and his nobles (who, it should be noted, all freely decided to get their first HIV/AIDS test at our event). One main goal of the Knowledge for Children team is to work closely with an enthusiastic community who show their support in many ways, one of which being their simple appearance at our events. We feel as though a community which is engaged is a community where real difference can be made, and in that, the day was successful.
We decided that it was vital to have present with us on December 1st, representatives from all twenty health clubs to which our pilot project is currently running. Out of the twenty health clubs, five schools were invited to prepare presentations for the day which would showcase what they have learned thus far in their individual health clubs. The presentations consisted of skits (themes of the skits included “The Immune System” and “Children Orphaned due to HIV”), speeches on how HIV has effected their lives, poems, songs, and pledges. It should be noted that the schools which presented were invited to bring eleven representatives with them for the day, ten Health Scouts and one Health Club Coordinator and the remaining fifteen schools were invited to bring two Health Scouts and one Health Club coordinator, totaling one hundred invitees in all from the schools.
The schools were excitedly preparing their presentations for weeks before the actual day, and we made it a priority to witness all of the presentations at school level before December first. Watching the effect that this had on the schools as a whole was remarkable; the excitement and pride that existed throughout all of the schools was palpable. Children who previously had had no HIV/AIDS education, and who were not even members of their own schools health clubs were extremely enthusiastic audience members. They were reciting lines of poems along with those on stage, they were engaged in each skit they saw, and they were openly encouraging to their classmates who were hard at work preparing for this big day. Also, the simple act of being invited to another village, representing their school, and being asked to perform instilled a sense of pride in each and every one of them. Rewarding their commitment to the health clubs set a tone of encouragement for members of their schools who previously had not been interested in school clubs. It also spread their successfully gained education on the subject of HIV/AIDS to others in the school as well as their families. Several schools decided to present their work to their own communities at large the day before World AIDS Day, as a means of practicing, but also as a way to share knowledge gained. We view this as a success.
The actual day consisted of a March-Pass (a common occurrence here in Cameroon, where all of the children march through the town center with banners depicting their various schools as well as messages on HIV/AIDS they would like to share with the community), speeches from the District Medical Officer (DMO) of Nkambe (who spoke of African HIV/AIDS statistics) and the Board Chairman of Knowledge for Children, Cameroon (who spoke of the importance of creating open dialog with our children and how World AIDS Day is an opportunity to begin this dialog, for it can save lives). We also had on-site AIDS testing, which occurred due to the volunteer assistance of several lab technicians as well as counselors. We were able to test 200 people on that specific day, but with the DMO and his team who traveled to various secondary schools through out the week proceeding December 1st, there were 900 tested in total. This on-site testing included pre and post counseling. We also had, across the street from the Nkambe Grandstand, condom demonstrations and free distribution. These two aspects, the condom demonstration and the on-site testing, occurred throughout the day while the main events were going on.
The event concluded with a speech by another doctor from the Nkambe hospital. We then felt free to feed the children as well as the health club coordinators with food that was prepared and brought with us from Kumbo, then loaded up the four buses with the children and sent them back on their long journey home. We as a team here in Cameroon plan on taking several of the items from our World AIDS Day event with us when we have our book drops, one of which is on-site testing. We hope to be able to link up with various local health institutions in the locations in which we have schools as a means to facilitate this. The fact that this was, by far the biggest event Knowledge for Children has organized and run, we view it as a complete success and are highly looking forward to the 24th annual World AIDS Day celebration. A word of gratitude also goes to all those who have contributed in any way to make this project a success.
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North West region,
North West Region