Our team looked enthusiastic with renewed energy after we returned to our community of Dada Gaun and began the next day by organising focus group discussions with community members. The aim of our water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project was to build handwashing stations which are needed in the community, so these group discussion would provide training to the community on the use of handwashing stations.
As part of the focus group discussion, our team was delivering a WASH awareness session on issues such as: water purification and personal hygiene; as well as water borne diseases. During the event we were amazed by the participation of children from the community. They were excited and committed that they would use the seven handwashing steps in their daily lives. The most beautiful part is that when we see them around the community, they demonstrate the steps they learned through their gestures, even when there is no water or soap around.
Alongside our awareness programme, planning and infrastructure work continued in the water source area. We completed a new water tank by levelling with stones and cement and finally achieved the six foot depth required for public toilets in the community. We implemented a rotation system in our team, which allowed each team member the chance to challenge themselves and build new skills – an idea adopted from our mid-phase review – whereby every hour we swapped our duties and responsibilities.
We delivered sanitary pad making training sessions for the girls in the local lower secondary school and received positive feedback from the teachers. One teacher said, “We’ve never had this type of training before and we would be really glad to have this again in the future so that we can teach the children”. Many of the students said they were looking forward to sharing what they have learned with their families and thanked us for showing them how to make their own pads. One girl said, “We cannot afford to buy sanitary pads in our local shop so this is economical and accessible at the same time”. Having delivered a successful sanitary pad-making training session for the girls at the secondary school, we began planning to deliver another similar session in our community.
We finished the week with more infrastructure work as we confirmed the locations of all the handwashing stations which are to be built and we built our first handwashing station after receiving training from the mason. The next day, we began building hand washing stations for the most disadvantaged households in the community. The community members were pleased to have a station installed in their homes and actively participated in the construction by collecting stones, sand, grit and cement, as well as getting involved in the construction process. All the people from the community were happy to work with us and support us in making a lasting impact in the community. Even though we have just started building a handwashing stations, it’s a great feeling walking around and seeing them use their hand washing stations.
Blog by ICS volunteers, Ritik and Supriya (Team Dadagaon).