Thank you all for your generous support between the last few months. We have been able to support more schools with your contributions, and ensured that more children in our village have clean drinking water.
We extended our support to new schools in Maduranthakam taluk, based on the request placed from the schools. Five deserving schools were selected and Reverse osmosis filtration system with one year of servicing contract was placed in each of these schools. The School Headmaster and the students were very thankful for the support and they have promised that they will take over the maintenance costs after the first year of support.
The 10 families who were supported to construct toilets in their homes were monitored; many of them are in the process of finalizing the construction with their share of contribution for completion.
Despite engaging with the students in the schools, it continues to be difficult to get them to maintain personal hygiene. Many of the students have problems at home which hinder their parents from focussing on the hygiene levels of the child. Therefore, the project has set up some a mechanism for staff in schools to have a set of items such as nail cutters, soap, washing soap, oil, needle and thread, toothpaste, comb, etc. Whenever needed the staff are being asked to do it at school. We hope that this initiative will help to reinforce for parents to change their practices. To facilitate this, we are also planning on having parent meetings so that they can also be encouraged to change.
As presented in our last report, we have started a process for building individual toilets for select families. After the assessment we shortlisted 10 families with girl children who are willing to bear 50% of the cost for the building. The selected families were asked to design the toilet themselves and initiate the process of building, first with their own funds. Following this, our team assessed the progress and disbursed the part cost to support the toilets. Presently all the families are in the process of completed the construction. We hope to come back to you with stories about some of these individual families.
In addition the project has initiated the setting up of clean drinking water in three more rural schools in our coverage area. After assessment of the need, the schools were selected and an RO water filtration system has been put up. Routine servicing and repairs of existing filtration systems is also done to ensure uninterrupted supply of drinking water.
All other activities for cleaning of school toilets are implemented regularly, thanks to all your continued support.
Thanks for your support of our efforts to improve hygiene and Sanitation in our project schools in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.
As the new school began in June, we started to do some assessment of needs on hygiene and sanitation in all the supported schools - 17 primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools. Some of the issues identified were poor maintenance of the school grounds, problems with water source, repairs of motor/ water tanks, and availability of cleaning supplies. In addition, we also found the need to renew the children's awareness levels and ability to take actions on poor hygiene issues. A program has been developed for improving the situation in each school, which will be implanted in the course of the school year.
In the month of June, we started conducting the awareness session in each school, talking to children about their views on hygiene and what challenges they have to maintain good personal hygiene. It was identified, that educating parents on these issues is also very important. But since the issue is considered to basic and not a serious issue at the community level, there is significant level of apathy. To get through to them, we have started to conduct some competitions, storytelling, plays/ skits, where parents can be invited as well. These activities are only now being initiated and we hope to assess the extent of change among the parents and community over the next few months.
In addition, the project is also now trying to select some families to provide support on building individual toilets for homes; to develop a model for improving functional use of latrines among rural communities. One of the main challenges in this faced is the attitude towards maintenance of toilets at the household level. We are hoping that the above intervention will also help to address this issue. Based on the success we hope to scale up these activities. We will update the status of both these initiatives in the next report.
Thanks to all of you who continue to support our efforts.
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