School Health and Hygiene for Mayan Children

 
$3,654
$1,346
Raised
Remaining
Sep 11, 2012

Getting ready for Global Handwashing Day

Just a couple weeks ago, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project held the third teacher training of the year with teachers at Tzanchaj Elementary School. Although we are several weeks away from Global Handwashing Day (October 15), Pueblo a Pueblo is busy getting teachers and students ready to have a fun-filled week of activities related to hand washing with soap. According to the organizers of Global Handwashing Day, only 0-34% of the population around the world uses soap when washing their hands even though handwashing with soap is the most cost-effective intervention for reducing illnesses due to diarrhea.  Because of this, Pueblo a Pueblo’s WASH Project is focusing heavily on increasing the use of soap in the schools it partners with. 


During the workshop, teachers came up with ideas for fun activities to engage students related to handwashing with soap. Pueblo a Pueblo’s staff also gave them a few ideas, including using glitter to represent germs and then having students wash their hands until all the glitter is removed. Watch this video of teachers practicing a game from the Global Handwashing Day website called “Get Bubbly.”


As covered in the teacher training, behavior change does not arrive simply by providing knowledge. Children also need to change their attitudes and be provided with the means to enact new behaviors. For this reason, the WASH Project also provides schools with support for increasing access to water and improving bathrooms. At Tzanchaj Elementary we recently installed a new handwashing station, built at the right height for the youngest children so that they can easily wash their hands. Now, thanks to support from our donors, over 190 students at Tzanchaj will be able to wash their hands.
Stay tuned for more fun activities as we get closer to Global Handwashing Day.

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!

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.

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. 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
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $300
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,500
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $300
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
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