Mr.Castro at Totolya School
One thing we always strive for in our projects at Pueblo a Pueblo is autonomous, sustainable, community-driven success. As we wrapped up the 2015 school year, we checked in with some of the students and teachers at our partner schools to see how the WASH in Schools Project has been progressing. We’re happy to see them taking charge of the project and spreading their new knowledge!
When we spoke to Ruben Castro, a preschool teacher at the Totolya School, he told us he has seen changes in himself, his students, and his community. After participating in trainings and workshops about the importance of WASH, he told us that his outlook has changed. He now feels more personal responsibility for caring for his school and community:
“I have been a part of the process, and I look out for the kids. [...] Now it is my responsibility to be vigilant. [...] I have found a new interest in personal hygiene and for keeping spaces clean. [...] Now I can say that a WASH representative doesn’t necessarily have to come. It’s enough that I am here to instill values about hygiene in the kids. I will be calling their attention when they don’t keep a space clean.”
Mr. Castro has taken charge of making sure the lessons imparted at the Totolya School about WASH are carried out. He hopes that his students will keep practicing good hygiene habits, and tells us he has already seen positive results! Many times, he has seen students encouraging WASH habits with their peers and their family members:
“I’ve observed that my own students are calling each other’s attention about picking up trash, and the importance of using soap. And they don’t just practice those habits at school--but also in their homes. I have a few nieces in our school, and my sisters tell me that the girls always ask for soap to wash their hands. They take care of themselves, they brush their hair, they brush their teeth--and those changes are really significant.”
After speaking to Mr. Castro, we made our way to the Nueva Vida School, where we installed WASH facilities and began trainings just this past summer. Loida, a 5th-grader at Nueva Vida, told us the lessons she has learned have already made a big difference in her life.
“I am healthier now because I practice good hygiene in school and at home. [...] Now I brush my teeth and wash my hands with soap because at school there is soap. Now I use toilet paper since we have rolls of toilet paper at school.”
Loida told us she has already seen a difference in her own life, and thinks it is important to share her new knowledge with her classmates and encourage them to keep practicing good hygiene and sanitation:
“We have to teach others to be hygienic too because they can also get sick from bacteria. [...] What they have taught me, I have taught to others. And because of that I am proud of myself, because I am helping my classmates and showing them the right way to wash their hands.”
In addition to encouraging her peers, Loida has also brought the lessons she has learned home with her:
“I also talked to my parents a little bit about hygiene because they have to be hygienic too, and practice good hygiene at home. [...] I have seen changes with my family members: my aunts, my uncles, my siblings. They have practiced good hygiene because I told them they could get sick, and that’s why they should always wash our food. Now they are healthier because [...] I always tell them about hygiene and help them in all that I can.”
We are excited by the success stories of Mr. Castro and Loida--and look forward to more WASH successes in 2016!
Loida on the road to Nueva Vida School
Nueva Vida kids raise awareness in the community
Nueva Vida teachers learn about WASH