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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