Health and Water Foundation

HWF's mission is to promote and provide school sanitation, water and better health to the rural poor. The overreaching goal of the HWF's programs in health, education, water and sanitation is to promote gender equality and empower women through the elimination of gender disparity in primary education so that children, especially the girls can grow healthy, get educated and equally contribute to Kenya's development.
May 21, 2013

Hygiene attitude Change and increased retentions

Dear Partners,

This year our project has embarked on a different approach of ensuring that their is improved hygiene and   increased retention in primary schools among girls. Hygiene and Education are inter-linked in the development of girls,where one exists without the other, incases where there is Education and their is lack of proper Hygiene standards the girls Education is serverly hampered by high drop outs in schools and low enrolments. Our project has been tackling this issue by using Water and Sanitation as an entry point in schools in order to increase the demand of education among girls in basic education ( primary school).

Five specific primary school were targeted under this new approach in Kisii region,these were; Kiangoso, Kebobora, Bigogo, Nyakongo and Nyaisa. The new idea was welcomed by the 5 schools and through the collaboration of their school management committess we were able to do the following in each of the schools;

a) Formulate and initate 'girls club' concept in the school,where each school had 1 girls clubs with membership of 30 girls.

b) The girls members were trained on hygiene,reproductive health and specifically attitude change towards education.

 c) The girls were also trained on ways of conducting sensitization and self-esteem activities among other girls as well.

d) The girls were trained as trainers (TOT) so as to be able to sensitize out of school girls on importance of education and hygiene.

About 150 girls were trained from these activities.The main purpose of the girls club will be to;

a) Sensitize and build self-esteem of girls.

b) Sensitize the school community on the importance of girls education and hygiene.

This wil involve sensitizing activities aimed at teenaged girls both in and out of the primary schools.We are at the initial stage of the girls club and it is expected that through this approach where the girls themselves sensitize other girls in their school community,more girls out of school will be attracted into the schools and further more on the benefits of proper hygiene standards that the schools offer.

We plan to role out this activity to 7 other primary schools in region,the respective school committees have agreed with the new plan that will ultimetly increase both enrolment and retention while also improving the hygiene conditions of the schools in particulaly related to the girl child. With your contributions together we will see that more girls enroll and remain in school in Kisii region.

Mar 12, 2013

Learning materials for marginalised ECD orphans

In the last report we were able to implement two activities which conforms with the project's aim of sending and keeping orphans to schools, the activities were done in Kiangoso, Kiabiraa and Nyangorora primary schools and the beneficiaries were 33 orphans mostly under the age of 10 years old and attending the ECD classes.Our organization was able to provide uniforms for the orphans and on top of that supplement the schools feeding program with 40kg of porridge flour per school. Due to financial constrains by living family members and caretakers, they were not able to provide proper uniforms, learning materials, and good nutritional food to the children especially the orphans under their care. And as such most orphans could not enroll in primary schools even though it is freely offered by the government. Such lack of uniforms, need of food, lack of learning materials, and lack of self esteem and belonging made it difficult for orphans to rentent in schools once enrolled.

Since the last reporting period, our organization received disbursement from GlobalGiving through your donations. We resolved to provide learning materials (curriculum syllabus text books including story books,writing books,pens, pencils,rubbers,geometrical sets and charts) to the ECD classes, these were given out to the teachers of the ECD classes in the three schools. Instead of giving these learning stationary to the orphans targeted initially with uniforms, we opted to given overall to the class so that not only will the orphans benefit from them but the whole ECD pupils who are 10 years under. The schools whose ECD classes benefited were Kiangoso,Kiabiraa and Nyangorora primary schools. It should be noted that the ECD (Early Chilhood Education) is not under the free primary education being offered by the government of Kenya, therefore the financial support it requires is cumulatively provided by the parents through fees. Being a poor rural region many parents are not financial stable to support the ECD education and therefore their children are forced to miss ECD classes, Furthermore unless a child has passed through the ECD then the child cannot continue to access the free primary education. This poses a heavy challenge for parents who can't afford fees for their children, orphans face extreme difficulty continuing their education under these circumstances as they not only lack fees but parents.

We are glad to report to you that since the beginning of this year we have been able to send 33 orphans to ECD classes 10 from each school (3 schools) and provide them with nutritional porridge and learning materials. As a team we are volunteering and are willing to work extra hard to ensure that more orphans will be reached in Kisii District. Below are the comments we have from the beneficiaries:

"I was not able to take this nephew of mine to nursery school, since i have also my own 3 children to take to school,it saddened me much to see him here all the time even though i was trying hard to make sure one day he goes to school. I cant thank you enough for what you have done to my diseased brother's son, he is now going to school, has new uniforms and eats in school.i am grateful for the people who donated" An uncle to Osoro - ECD pupil.

" i was wondering if i will ever go to Nursery  like the other children, now i am" Jeniffer - ECD pupil

" We as a school have been having difficulty in increasing number of pupils enrolling to primary school from ECD classes, this is because most parents were not able to take their children to ECD classes and send their children to begin standard 1 in primary school, we as a school do not accept pupils who haven't gone through ECD classes and have been sending this children away. But through this project we have noted that their is increase in enrollment of pupils in standard since last year 2012 and all this is attributed towards the project Health and Water Foundation are implementing in ECD classes in our school and neighbouring schools. We encourage the zeal and kindness of the donors and pray and thank that they continue this endeavour. " Samuel Arumba - Head Teacher Nyangorora Primary School

Feb 19, 2013

Sanitary pads for Nyangena Girls

a girls showing her packet
a girls showing her packet

Dear Partners,

Hope this finds you well, on November 28th last  year the project managed to support about 113 girls from Nyangena D.O.K Primary school  with  sanitary pads. This is the same school that during that hygiene training had been done to all the pupils on October last year.

Many girls in the upper classes of the primary school, often miss their classes during their periods due to the fact that they cannot afford sanitary pads, and feel ashamed of going to schools. Being a rural school and pupils come from poor households, the provision of sanitary towels is not a priority for the parents and in order to curb the issue, girls have no option but to use the tradition equivalent of sanitary towels which is medically harmfull and does not control the menstrual flow. More than often girls resort not to come to school during the period they are experiencing their menstruals. The government of Kenya acknowledges this to be a problem but has not yet provided a lasting solution to the lack of sanitary pads to girls especially in rural areas.

The project which is aimed at ensuring that girls in Kenya learn has been able to call on donors to support hygiene and sanitation in schools with particular focus to the girl child. Your contributions has over the years enabled us to provide sanitary pads to girls in schools in Kenya. Although this is not having a wider impact nationally but we are glad that the few who have received are able to continue with their education without fear of ridicule from boys,without having to absent classes, and a sense of belonging.

Two days prior of the  visiting of Nyangena Primary school for the delivery of sanitary towels, the Project Assistant informed the  school’s head teacher of the visit and the purpose of and requested for preparation and availability of the adolescent girls. On the material day the cartons containing the sanitary towels were loaded into the project vehicle as per the previous activities done for girls in other schools but with caution to add one more carton so as to cater for any increase in the number of girls. Upon arrival at the school, we held a brief meeting with the  head teacher  and thereafter the we were led by a female teacher to the class were the girls were  assembled. Being a sensitive issue our female collegues took  charge of this activity; take the girls through a brief guidance and counselling session and demonstration on the good use of the sanitary towels and  provision of  sanitary towels. A total of 113 girls received the sanitary pads and trained on the use, these were all the girls from Standar 4 to Standard 8 ( all adolescents).For hygiene purposes, the girls were advised to use at least 1-3 sanitary pads (depending on flow) per day at the beginning of their monthly period. Each girl was given on package of 8 sanitary pads meaning they will last for 3-5 days.

The teachers at the school attributed to 90% of girls absenteeism to lack of sanitary pads, girls interviewed also acknowledged that they do miss classes during their menstural cycle and were very grateful for the sanitary towels.

" We can't take the ridicules especially from boys when we are in menstrual cycle, they always know when they see blood on our skirts and we cant prevent it because we do not have sanitary towels. After this me and my friends will always come to school and learn as boys do without any fear" Esther Bosire - 14 years old pupils.

After the provision of the sanitary pads the headteacher called for a whole school meeting where all the pupils were in attendance, the boys especially were warned on ridiculing girls and other immoral behaivors towards girls during their menstrual cycle, toward the effect of the warning boys were told that displinary action would be taken including suspensions and explusions from school if found to ridicule and mock girls. We also talked to the pupils on the importance of treating one another equally and learing peacefully. The activity was very successfully conducted. In one instance old girls ( previous pupils from the school) from the community came dressed in school uniforms to receive the sanitary pads, luckily the extra box of sanitary pads catered for them.

girls learning on using the pads
girls learning on using the pads
a girl receiving the pads
a girl receiving the pads

donate now:

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?
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $20,000
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $20,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?