Flower Picking and Toilet Digging

14th July 2015

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The exciting news is that we have finalised our three toilet beneficiaries. So we are eagerly looking forward to construction getting underway. So much has happened this week we will try and paint the best picture of it we can.

On the first day of week 4 we hosted our Community Action Day in Karattu Kovil, at this event we focused on the importance of soap and hand washing practices; it was great that 225 people from the community came out.As part of our water saving week, our school session in Martalli and 2nd Community Action Day included rainwater collection and tips on how to save water. The second Community Action Day allowed us to reach out with our WASH related messages to adults we had not yet met, in the nearby community of Otterthotti. Lots of serious WASH, health advice and toilet scheme information was given out on this day, it was positively received and people were engaging with the information.

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School sessions this week moved from the playground to the classroom. As a team we have delivered lessons to over five hundred students in two schools in just one week to students ranging from four to eighteen years of age. We still got the children out of the classroom for a litter pick and a march related to toilet schemes and using a toilet. Youth in the college now also have the opportunity to be part of a youth group; we look forward to facilitating them in achieving their goals and having fun.

Throughout this week Cross Culture has ensured that we’ve all had a good taste of local life and food, as part of their ‘day in the life’ we went flower picking. Flower picking may sound dandy but under the midday sun it is hard graft. This happened to be sandwiched between two days of bore well pipe pulling which involved us pulling a 500ft pipe from the ground to the surface, in what seemed like a perpetual tug of war, us and the locals chanting ailasa, a local phrase so we could pull in time!

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There was yet more manual work in the week, as we were approached for help in digging foundations/pit for a toilet construction in our village under the Gram Panchayth scheme which allows families to get toilets paid for by the government and which we are promoting to the villagers so that they know how to access the schemes. Toothbrush club has continued this week and it is great to see the success it is becoming. This week we had home stays, where we stayed in the community and found out that village hospitality is synonymous with food and sharing.

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Litter collected by school children has been sold for scrap. Soap related game had the children in Karattu Kovil involving a hunt for soap around the village in teams, this was after a soap related lesson, everyone who participated got a bar of soap and there was much excitement.