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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