School Health and Hygiene for Mayan Children

 
$3,354
$1,646
Raised
Remaining
Jun 27, 2012

Healthy Children: A Gift for Mothers

Children at the La Cumbre Elementary School actively participate in Pueblo a Pueblo’s WASH program all year around. But what about their parents?

Inspired by the trainings they received from Pueblo a Pueblo, teachers organized its first hygiene class for parents on the day before Mother’s Day and invited Pueblo a Pueblo to participate. Forty-one mothers packed into a school room to learn about topics such as proper hand washing techniques, the importance of personal hygiene and sending kids to school clean, healthy foods, values, and discipline. Three mothers chosen in advance to lead the discussion also talked about the importance of monitoring children’s free time in order to avoid problem behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.  Three teachers, Gaspar Boron Icaj, Francisco Cutzal Pop, and Josefa Virginia Boron, also spoke, supporting the mothers’ messages and talking about the classification and reuse of waste. In honor of Mother’s Day, the eldest mothers in the group were given small gifts and asked to say a few words about important values to teach children, such as respect, responsibility, prudence, honesty, and cooperation.

 

Also in May, Pueblo a Pueblo made its first monitoring visit to the Tzan Chaj School to inspect the bathrooms and observe hygiene behaviors. Rosario Ixbalan, a fourth grade teacher and the school’s Environmental Committee representative, answered questions about the WASH project. “What most motivates me is that the students are practicing these behaviors,” she said. “They will remind each other when one of them forgets to wash their hands or brush their teeth and they even remind me when I forget to do our daily hygiene inspection.”  Rosario added that she feels the steps for how to teach children to correctly brush their teeth has been the most helpful part of the WASH training she received from Pueblo a Pueblo.

Apr 9, 2012

Lessons that last

Last week we completed the first teacher training at Tzan Chaj Primary School, our newest WASH partner.

The training began with a discussion of what the school is already doing to improve hygiene among students. While all the teachers are implementing some amount of hygiene activities in their classrooms, they agreed they could do more and set objectives to work on throughout the year, including to increase drinking of purified water to 85% of students by the end of the school year and to increase correct disposal of trash by students to 80% by the end of the school year.

Teachers received a manual with a variety of lesson plans related to the importance of hygiene, washing hands, dental hygiene, and water-borne illnesses and how to avoid them. These activities can be adapted depending on the age of students and time available.

Teachers had a chance to create some materials for their classrooms, including a “hygiene wheel” used to monitor children’s personal hygiene on a daily basis in a fun, interactive way. The wheel has an arrow that students can spin, then depending on which part of the body it falls on the teacher and students will then inspect it and talk about how to improve their hygiene. Some of the areas included on the wheel are hands, hair, teeth and nails. Our next training will provide teachers with tools for how to teach students how to properly use a flush toilet, water conservation, and how to prepare and keep food clean and safe to eat.

Jan 23, 2012

All Pumped up About WASH!

This week we began installing a water tank at the La Cumbre School to pump much-needed water across the property. Due to low water pressure throughout town, the school often had very little water and toilets could not be flushed. Water is pumped from existing tanks at the school into this new tank, creating sufficient water pressure to ensure that the school will always have running water. We’re installing pipes from this tank to another set of bathrooms on another part of the property for the same reason. We should be done with construction by Monday—the first day of class!

Late last year we also built hand-washing stations for the children at La Cumbre. Where they once had one, not-so-child-friendly place to wash their hands, they now have four child-friendly wash stations.

Other WASH activities this week include the creation of the first teacher training manual and training at two schools. We are excited to be conducting these trainings that will make the WASH project sustainable beyond Pueblo a Pueblo’s presence. There will be three trainings during the school year, focusing on different hygiene topics and providing teachers with tools for incorporating these topics into their daily lesson plans. Keep watching the blog for updates.

Nov 25, 2011

WASH Activities during school holiday

During the November and December school recess, Pueblo a Pueblo is implementing a vacation program at the four schools where we have organic gardens as well as at the school with a Pueblo a Pueblo supported library. We took advantage of these activities to reinforce correct and consistent dental hygiene.

Using a short story developed in Bolivia and adapted by Peace Corps Guatemala, “Mariquita and Margarita,” we engaged the children in a discussion about what leads to unhealthy teeth and what they can do to improve their dental hygiene. Due to the impoverished situation most of the students live in, we also discussed alternatives to toothpaste, including salt and baking soda. After a demonstration of how to brush your teeth, students were all given their own brushes thanks to a generous in-kind donation from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Youth Group from Bellingham, WA. So far we have distributed over 100 toothbrushes to children between the ages of 4 and 14 and hope to make it to 130 by the end of the vacation activities.

After brushing our teeth as a group with baking soda we reviewed why and how many times we should brush our teeth, and when to change our toothbrushes. The kids had differing reactions to the baking soda-some spat it right out and asked for Colgate and others really liked it!

In addition, as we mentioned in our previous report, we have focused our efforts on improving sanitation facilities at La Cumbre School.  Construction of washbasins for one block of bathrooms is now complete. The new washbasins have been built at the right height for elementary school aged children, meaning children will no longer have to climb into the pila (large washbasin used for laundry and dishes) to reach the faucet. Soon, we will begin work on the second block of bathrooms to ensure daily access to water and will also repair some of the toilets. Check back soon for more details!

Sep 21, 2011

WASH in Chacaya School

Pueblo a Pueblo began the School Health and Hygiene activities by completing a needs assessment in two primary schools in communities close to Santiago Atitlan. These assessments helped us identify where and how to begin our work. In order to have the greatest impact, we chose to focus first on Escuela Chacayá. This school already had access to clean water as well as adequate sanitary facilities for the size of the student population.  However, they still had pressing and legitimate needs, including the need to install a water storage tank and renovate the bathroom and sink facilities.  Any time the electricity went out in the school (which was quite a common occurrence because of its rural location), the water filter would stop working and the students would be left without clean water.  A water storage tank would ensure that when the electricity went out, they would still have access to potable water.  In addition, the bathroom and sink facilities needed renovations, as there were only two toilets working properly for a school population of 131 students and several faucets that needed replacing.

               Installation of the water storage tank has been completed and a roof is being installed this week to ensure that the tank cannot be removed from the school premises.  Pueblo a Pueblo provided the funds for the tank while the director and teachers of the school helped to coordinate the installment. In addition, renovation of the bathroom and sink facilities has been completed, providing an additional 3 toilets and 4 faucets for the students.

               Having access to safe water, toilets and hand washing facilities doesn’t automatically mean that hygiene and health will improve.  When Pueblo a Pueblo first began working with Escuela Chacayá, lessons on health and hygiene were being taught to the students only sporadically and students’ hygiene behaviors and knowledge were strong in some areas and weaker in others. A volunteer at Pueblo a Pueblo created an initial hygiene curriculum and piloted it in the school in addition to launching a dental hygiene initiative.  As a part of this initiative, every student received a toothbrush and every teacher, toothpaste.  The teachers ensure their students brush their teeth every day after snack time.

               In the coming months, Pueblo a Pueblo will focus on improving facilities at the second school, Escuela La Cumbre, and improving and formalizing the hygiene curriculum in order to offer it to teachers at both schools.

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $150
  • $300
  • $500
  • $1,500
  • $10
    each month
  • $25
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $150
    each month
  • $300
    each month
  • $500
    each month
  • $1,500
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Organization

Project Leader

Rosemary Trent

Executive Director
Washington, DC Guatemala

Where is this project located?

Map of School Health and Hygiene for Mayan Children