| May 3, 2016
Progress on hygiene and sanitation
Dear Well Wishers:
The project has been providing sustained efforts for ensuring good hygiene and sanitaiton in all the supported schools. As a main component of the program is increasing awarenss and bringing behavior change, we have focused on addressing attitudes and proper practices among children, their parents and other school officials as well.
Monthly sessions were conducted in the schools and in the local villages for increasing awareness. Specific topics such as benefits of proper hand washing, environmental cleanliness, how to make sure your drinking water is safe, and other topics were covered in these sessions. The activity was not just conducted as education, but also as entertainment, by singing songs with the critical messages, stories that can make people relate their behaviiors etc.
After a year of interventions, we assessed the knownledge and practices among our schools students. A sample of 75 students from different schools were asked to rate the quality of their school toilets, and on their handwashing practices. Over 90% of children consistently rated their toilets as being very clean, and 100% reported that running water was always awailable in the toilet. 80% of children aslo reported that the toilets were cleaned three times a day and on all days of the week. Since the project provides soap in project schools, we also asked about the availablity of handwashing soap - to which over 75% that handwashing soap was always awailable. The knowledge and practices among children were also very positive. More than 85% of children reported that they always washed their hands with soap after toileting, and 90% reported washing their hands prior to eating.
To encourage the studeints, the project supports programs such as ‘Tidy Star of the Month’ initiative to promote personal hygiene practices among children is being continued. One girl and one boy from each class with the maximum amount of red stars are felicitated with prizes on a regular basis. Similarly to encourage the santiation workers, every month one prize was given to sanitation worker, who did the best job of cleaning the toilets and bathrooms.
Currently all the school toilets are getting their annual cleanining, prior to starting of school. This includes, thorough washing, fixing any broken fittings, providing new accessories, and cleaning of the septic tansk and water tanks. All the water filtration systems are also getting serviced for annual mainteinance work, prior to starting of school.
We strongly believe that the efforts of the project are making a difference, and we thank all of your for your continued support.