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Apr 17, 2018

Improved hygiene through training of teachers

Teachers at a training in Kolkata
Teachers at a training in Kolkata

It’s an exciting time for Splash in India! Sarva Shiksha Mission (SSM), Kolkata (also known as the Department of School Education, West Bengal), asked Splash to conduct the city-wide teacher training with our hygiene curriculum. The trainings include over 1,800 teachers from 1,521 schools, and over 100 government staff from Siksha Bandhu.

This is a watershed moment for Splash in India – it is our hope that over time, this will herald in a new era for Splash with the government (and in the eyes of the teachers, headmasters, and school inspectors). The 38 scheduled trainings began in February and will stretch to the end of June. Our team in Kolkata has reported that the early trainings had great attendance and participation.

The goal of the Splash Hygiene Education program is to change the behaviors of students through applying proven behavioral theories and best practices to fit within the context of urban schools.  The primary targeted behavior is handwashing with soap, however the program also focuses on personal hygiene, menstrual hygiene management, drinking safe water, environmental hygiene, and domestic hygiene.  

The Splash Behavior Change Framework relies on three core programmatic approaches. The first is making changes to the physical school environment. The second is influencing children through cognitive approaches. The third is influencing and leveraging communities of adults through shifts in policies and norms. For any of this programming to be successful, It is critical for our hygiene curriculum to be understood and supported by focal teachers and educators.

This opportunity presented to Splash by SSM Kolkata is an incredible statement towards the regard the government has towards our teacher training program that we have this new role and responsibility. It is Splash’s hope that we will begin to have this sort of role in other key countries where we work in the years to come!

Apr 3, 2018

Strengthening the WASH Sector Through Sharing

The Splash Ethiopia team with MWA representatives
The Splash Ethiopia team with MWA representatives

On March 27th 2018, the Splash team in Ethiopia was invited by the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) to attend a learning exchange meeting with other MWA member organizations in Addis Ababa. The Millennium Water Alliance was formed in 2003 by the leading US-based non-governmental organizations working in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal to, “reduce by half, the proportion of people without access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation,” by the year 2015. The MWA exists to offer sustainable solutions through advocacy, shared knowledge, and collaborative programming.

The opportunity to participate in a learning exchange with key WASH players in Addis Ababa was a very welcome invitation for Splash. We engage with MWA to share knowledge, move towards a national WASH in Schools (WinS) model customized for urban and rural areas, and generate political support for WinS across the political landscape of Ethiopia. With core member representatives from World Vision, Water Aid, IRC, MWA, Food for the Hungry, CARE, HELVETAS, and Catholic Relief Services in attendance, this was an exciting occasion for information sharing among the industry’s top leaders. 

Meeting discussions were centered on WinS in urban settings, where, in the local context of Addis, the constitution mandates that every child has the right to having clean water and access to sanitation facilities at schools. However, this is not what the teams in Ethiopia are witnessing “on the ground”. Urban WinS lacks attention, therefore, MWA believes the combined efforts of different program implementers can bring a significant impact in improving urban WinS.

Representatives from member organizations shared their experiences implementing WinS (both rural and urban settings), and methods they have found most successful and challenges. Splash then shared our methods and learning from WinS in urban areas. The presentation included:

  • Brief global overview of Splash
  • Scope and methods for our work in Addis
  • Information about our new handwashing and drinking stations
  • Sustainability plans
  • Challenges and lessons learned
  • Progress and information about the collaborative work with CARE in Amhara

Splash’s Director of Ethiopia, Dawit Alemishet, reported that “the presentation went very well and Splash received heartfelt recognition from everyone for leading the urban WASH in schools in Addis Ababa, and for our innovative WASH solutions… all of the questions and feedback were very helpful. Let’s bring everyone’s effort together to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact in WASH.”

This sentiment was reinforced by MWA Program Director, Dr. Laura Brunson. Her closing remarks of the session reiterates the importance of collaboration and information sharing among WASH organizations. “We have a lot of work to do. We need to think about how we can do things differently and leverage  this partnership to strengthen WASH solutions.”

Splash thanks MWA’s invitation to participate and the member organizations for their warm welcome. We look forward to future opportunities to interact and share in the future!

Jan 19, 2018

More clean water for Kolkata's children in 2018

Soap drive day!
Soap drive day!

Splash is working hard to ensure kids living in urban poverty have clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets in eight different countries. In India, we’re 10% complete towards our target goal, so that means 2018 is a critical year to make big strides as we look to bring sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs to all 2,000 kindergarten and primary schools in Kolkata by 2025.

In this New Year, we're celebrating the 9,784 new kids Splash brought clean water, clean hands, clean toilets, and big smiles to in Kolkata in 2017. Thank you for being part of this success!

Today in Kolkata, Splash is serving clean water to over 40,000 in 148 schools, and we're just getting started! Splash has also lead hygiene education events and programs where 6,858 kids participated. We also rehabilitated 15 toilet and urinal stalls this year, making sure kids have access to safe, well-ventilated, clean stalls with proper lighting.

Splash continues to collaborate with West Bengal’s local government and other regional actors to strengthen partnerships and align goals with existing government priorities, all while targeting the largest number of children in the neediest areas. It's taken a lot of hard work and a lot of generous people, but we are making steady progress toward our goal of 100% coverage in Kolkata.

As a donor, you can be assured that Splash will continue to work tirelessly until every child in every school in Kolkata has safe water, clean toilets, and hygiene education.  

Thank you and Happy New Year!

 
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