THanks for your continued support of the Hygiene and Sanitation programs at Kalanjiya. With your support we are able to have a sustainable program in 20+ schools in Tamil Nadu- where we construct and renovate toilets, provide a sanitation worker for maininteinance of sanitation facilitties, provide cleaning and sanitary materials; and also conduct education to bring about behaivor and attitude changes related to hygiene and sanitation practices.
To assess the impact of our efforts, we conducted a survey on the status of hygiene and sanitation practices in a sample of schools. This survey was conducted among a random group of 100 students from all schools. The findings of the survey suggest:
A large proportion of students (89%) and teachers in all the surveyed schools reported that the toilets are clean. A majority of students reported that toilets are cleanest in the morning time. All schools are provided with hand washing liquid soap to promote handwashing habit; About 83% of the students surveyed wash their hands 3-6 times a day and 80% wash their hands with soap 3 or more times a day. These trends are indicative of the impact the hand washing intervention has made on the children. All the teachers at both schools believe that the handwashing has become habit for the children.
The project is also engaging with the students in the area of cleanliness and personal hygiene through different methods. About 45% of students surveyed and 100% of teachers believe that there is change in student attitude towards littering in the classroom and that littering in the classroom has indeed reduced. In the area of personal hygiene, 100% of students and teachers surveyed believe that there is positive change in the student attitude towards personal hygiene.
The project has been continuing to support all the schools for maintainance of the hygiene facilities. In the last quarter,nearly half of the school toilets went through the six monthy cleaning and followed by fixing repairs. Each school sanitation worker are motivated each month to do their best to keep the toilets and school enironment clean.
Promoting hygiene and sanitation practices among the students continued to be a major challenge in the projects schools despite continued engagement in the areas. Therefore, targeted interventions have been made in the project schools depending upon needs and specific problems.
Promoting Hand Washing: Washing one’s hands regularly is a very important hygiene practice which contributes greatly to good health. The children had been encouraged to wash their hands regularly by the teachers as well as the project staff. The project has provided hand washing liquid to the students. The initiative has been successful due to the full cooperation of teachers and interest of the students and students wash their hands thrice a day. The authorities at the project schools have also been consulted about the possibility of provision of soap for hand washing and discussions are going on about the same.
Improving Classroom Cleanliness: In order to encourage children keep their classroom clean competitions called are held ‘Clean Classroom Champions of the Week’ - this has been initiated wherein the classroom that is the cleanest during the course of the week will receive a rolling trophy. The trophy changes hands each week. This has been successful and slow changes in student attitude towards littering and cleanliness has been seen.
Improving Personal Hygiene of Children : In order to improve the level of personal hygiene among the students in some schools which were observed to be relatively worse off in this area, a system of stars for good turnout and black dots for poor turnout everyday has been started. At the end of the month, one girl and one boy from each class with the maximum stars were felicitated with a prize. This has promoted more students to follow hygienic practices every day and coming to school in prop
Best Hygiene and Sanitation worker: It was observed that the toilets in some schools were not being cleaned regularly. In order to improve the situation, a competition for the best hygiene-sanitation worker at the school was announced.
Poster Competition: A poster competition on personal hygiene practices was organised in some schools as part of the drawing competitions. Students are making posters in groups on various aspects of personal hygiene. The competition resulted in prizes and the winning posters were displayed in the school
The importance of proper hand washing with soap is not well understood and the actual practice is also very poor among the children in our rural schools. To improve the situation, we have intensified our health education classes and now teaching students to understand why one should wash with soap and the consequences of not doing so for their health and well-being. To facilitate the practice, we have started to provide liquid hand washing soap in all the project schools, and project staff assemble the children and ensure that they wash their hands with soap, prior to eating the school lunch. During after school tuition classes the messages on hand washing and hygiene are emphasized through stories and songs. The children are also provided these topics and they have to create stories and stage small skits, to tell the messages to other children. We find that this type of activity has a lot of impact on the children and they are less likely to forget the proper hygienic practices.
In the last few months, the project also provided the project supported schools with steel storage drums, so that drinking water can be kept in each class room. We also provided the class rooms with steel stand, on which the drums can be placed. The clean drinking water from Reverse Osmosis filtration system is collected in the drums each morning and placed in each class room. This ensures that children get drinking water in the classroom.
The school environment and the sanitation conditions continue to be the critical focus. All project placed sanitation workers, maintain the school premises as well as the school toilets. The activities of the project, have become a model for many other schools in the area, and we are getting considerable requests for support to improve the hygiene and sanitation conditions in other schools. With support from donors we hope to take up more schools in the coming year. Thanks to all donors for your generous contributions last year and particularly during the year end period.
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