The teachers at Kanga Primary School are crucial to the sustainability of the project, they have already provided an overwhelming level of support to us in delivering SWASH lessons at the school, which the plan is for them to continue running after we leave.
It was pleasing to find out that due to the ongoing SWASH lessons, the head teacher has already noticed that there has been an increase in school attendance. We are positive that this trend will also continue to rise for the duration for our stay and beyond. When asked what key differences the SWASH lessons have already made and will make, he said, “I am an advocate for the importance of the school children knowing the variety of different water-borne diseases and the correct measures to take in order to control their spread.” This was great to hear and is an encouraging step towards the sustainability of the SWASH programme for the future.
In order for the teachers to continue with the SWASH sessions after we leave we have already started working with them to share knowledge. We have covered key topics that are taught during the sessions and engaged them with the ideas and goals behind setting up a SWASH club. The teachers are confident in delivering sessions and excited to continue the programme after we leave. This will ensure the continuity of the SWASH programme, which is brilliant news. Having already experienced sessions alongside the teachers they definitely add a new dimension, keeping the children engaged.
Since being in the village, we have strived to create a positive and cooperative environment where we all work together towards a shared goal. An encouraging moment for us was to know how positive the teachers experience has been so far. The head teacher commented, “the whole team has already had an impact on the society through the work that has been done in the village.”
The knock-on effect of the SWASH lessons can also already be seen within the community. Children have been seen running through the 6-stages of hand washing with their elders after school. When discussing this with the teachers they agreed that it’s easier to see these immediate changes, however the results of eliminating long-term habits like not using soap, will take longer.
Teachers have a large part in moulding and influencing the young people in Kanga village, they spend eight hours a day in school and the teachers are often role models for the children. Due to their assurances of continuing SWASH lessons once we have left, we can be sure that awareness raising of good health, hygiene and sanitation practices will long continue into the future resulting in long-term behavioural change within the village.