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Nov 13, 2019

Data-Driven Success

Tomas presents WASH results at an staff meeting
Tomas presents WASH results at an staff meeting

Observing Our Impact

Throughout Pueblo a Pueblo's partnership with Agua Escondida Primary School, we have been measuring our impact on the school by making observations both before and after we implemented critical interventions related to student health.

Tomás Mendoza is our Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. He and his team use data collected in real time to make our projects more effective and more efficient each year. When Pueblo a Pueblo intervenes on behalf of rural Guatemalan families, we want to know that we are delivering positive results.

 

Reflecting on Our Results

Before our interventions, our team observed that only 55% of upper-school students washed their hands after using the restroom, and no students used hand soap. After Pueblo a Pueblo staff implemented sanitation improvements and hygiene education, those numbers rose dramatically: 99% of students washed their hands, and 94% used antibacterial hand soap.

 

A Real Win for Students

These results are helping improve students' health, happiness, and education. Diarrheal disease is considered a “major infectious disease” and significant public health risk in Guatemala and puts infected children at risk of long-term malnutrition and death. Furthermore, education is a precious resource here in Sololá, where more than one in three adults cannot read or write, and poor sanitation infrastructure at home and at school counts among the top reasons young Guatemalans perform poorly or drop out.

Proper handwashing hygiene has been found to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease by 31%, and Pueblo a Pueblo’s recent efforts have given students at Agua Escondida both the education and the infrastructure they need to protect themselves. Our post-intervention evaluation confirms a happier, healthier school, where students experience fewer interruptions to their education.

 

How YOU Can Help

We have completed Phase I of our collaboration with Agua Escondida Primary School—now our team is gearing up to double our impact with Phase II! Read more about what we've done and what we have planned here.

Can you help us make these plans a reality? Join us in making 2020 our most successful year yet! Click the button below to support our data-driven programming today.

Tomas observes students' behavior at the school
Tomas observes students' behavior at the school
A WASH team member conducts monitoring exercises
A WASH team member conducts monitoring exercises
Agua Escondida Primary School students
Agua Escondida Primary School students
Agua Escondida faculty attend a hygiene workshop
Agua Escondida faculty attend a hygiene workshop
New handwashing station at the upper school
New handwashing station at the upper school

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Nov 12, 2019

Women Supporting (Young) Women

Vilma introduces teen participants to the product
Vilma introduces teen participants to the product

Our team is hard at work spreading the word about menstrual health—and promoting our partners’ earth-friendly reusable menstrual pads among the young people of Santiago Atitlán.

In September, Vilma and Rebeca were invited to participate in a local health fair designed to introduce teens to a variety of topics related to sexual health. They were asked to present on reproductive anatomy and menstrual health.

Middle- and high-school students passed through the Pueblo a Pueblo tent all day. Rebeca gave each incoming group a brief introduction to the male and female reproductive systems, and Vilma spoke to them about the menstrual cycle.

At the end of Vilma’s presentation, she passed out cloth menstrual pads made by Ixaq Ch’ajch’oj, a local woman-led microbusiness and partner of Pueblo a Pueblo’s Woman’s Right to Health program. The teens looked closely at the pads, unsnapping each menstrual “pod” to inspect the detachable cloth tucked inside its impermeable protector.

Vilma and Rebeca are dedicated to equipping young people with the knowledge and tools they need to keep themselves healthy—and Ixaq Ch’ajch’oj is one of their key partners in this endeavor. By providing a low-waste, affordable alternative to disposable menstrual products—and challenging taboos around menstruation at the same time—Ixaq Ch’ajch’oj is making the world a better place for women of all ages.

Can you help us launch this new microbusiness into self-sufficiency? Your gift to Women’s Health Champions will help bring sustainable menstrual health products to women across the Lake Atitlán region and provide a source of sustainable income for the women who make them.

Rebeca and intern Denise at the fair
Rebeca and intern Denise at the fair
Rebeca speaks to teens about reproductive anatomy
Rebeca speaks to teens about reproductive anatomy
Vilma explains the menstrual cycle
Vilma explains the menstrual cycle
Reusable pads on display at the fair
Reusable pads on display at the fair

Links:

Sep 27, 2019

A New Toolbox for Moms

Two mothers participate in the workshop
Two mothers participate in the workshop

On Tuesday morning, Rebeca Sosof unlocked the Pueblo a Pueblo office early to set up for a Maternal Child Health project workshop. The participating moms arrived soon after; some of them held hands with little ones old enough to wobble in on their own feet, while others carried their babies wrapped up in blankets, snoozing away.

The women were gathering to learn about child development—one of the topics Rebeca and the Maternal Child Health team believe is vital to raising healthy kids. “I tell participants, ‘During the first five years of life, your child’s development is in your hands,’” Rebeca says. “‘You can do so much for your child just by engaging with them, playing with them.’” Mothers who have had an introduction to the topic are more likely to detect developmental abnormalities in their children, Rebeca adds, which can make a life-changing difference for kids who need specialized medical or therapeutic interventions.

During the workshop, Rebeca taught participants about four different areas of development and led them through a series of corresponding exercises. She started by discussing gross motor development and leading the mothers in a game of hopscotch—a great way for kids to gain the strength and coordination they need to perform everyday actions like walking, running, and sitting upright. After addressing fine motor skills and emotional development, Rebeca finished the workshop with a memory game to model positive cognitive development.

The morning was full of games and physical activities, with lots of laughter shared between the women in attendance. The tone of the workshop was intentional, says Rebeca. “When I visit these women at their homes, they tell me about the problems they face every day—problems with husbands and family members, health problems, money problems,” she says. “Many of them have told me that these workshops are like a refuge for them, so I try to make them fun and relaxing.”

But Rebeca is also glad to see participants inspired to apply what they’ve learned—like Elena, who told her after Tuesday’s session, “I'm definitely going to try these exercises with my little one—I just wish I had done more of them with my older children when they were younger!” We incorporate education across the majority of our projects because we believe in the power of moms like Elena to build healthier families and communities using what they learn. Thank you for believing in the Maternal Child Health project. Your support fuels our success!

Rebeca addresses participants
Rebeca addresses participants
Participants wait in line for an activity
Participants wait in line for an activity
Jumping through a mini-obstacle course
Jumping through a mini-obstacle course

Links:

 
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