India Kilo 12 – Bommadu Update 3

18th November 2014

8th November 2014

We’ve had a really productive week with much of our time planning lessons and sessions coming into use. We’ve all been heavily involved in the tasks and activities, to maximise our effect on the community which comes very easily due to how close we have become.

In one school lesson this week we played some numerical games by doing 1-10 with them. We ended our lesson by promoting our message of health and sanitation by playing hand washing games in the school yard. This was really pleasing for us all as by using a hand washing song we had all of the children copying our actions and washing their hands thoroughly. The teachers of the school were also very pleased with our work as they invited us back to do another lesson on Friday. Our second lesson was much more productive regarding health and sanitation as we specifically targeted Diarrhoea and Vomiting. After going over some basic facts and ways to prevent them, which we tried to make as interactive as possible to keep the children engaged, we acted out a small Skit for them using local Rangoli powder to show how easily both Diarrhoea and Vomiting is spread. We’ve all been really proud of our work in the school and have organised with the head teacher to have another lesson the first day back from field base.

In the last blog we mentioned how successful the first youth group last Friday had been, going into the meeting on Monday we were still curious to see if people would attend and if it would be successful. Fortunately, the community have definitely taken to the idea of having a youth group, a few more people turned up to our permanent meeting for the group on the field, meaning that in total 28 people signed up. This made us hugely happy because not only does it mean that the community are responding to our effort but they also see the benefits themselves, as we hope to educate them on social and health issues. The group began with us taking note of the people who attended, then with us choosing a date for election. Something that we learned from discussing with the locals was that there had previously been a youth group which failed due to lack of leadership. By making the group have an election, it means that there will be a president and vice-president that can take charge of the group, and this will not only give them ownership of the group but also ensure that it lasts even when we leave Bommadu. After the paperwork was completed, we discussed them what the Youth group would be made up of every week, with sport and discussions being a prevalent part of each session we hold. The Youth group ended, with a local Stick-dance which was really great and further evidence of our acceptance into the village, this was followed by a volleyball game which everyone got involved in.

This week we have spent a lot of time on our mid-phase work (Village presentation, Secondary Project work and the Skit.) We have worked for a few days creating videos on a small tour of our accommodation, challenges we have faced and how have overcome them. We’ve done this to ensure that everyone at field-base has a clear insight into our life in Bommadu and can gain any suggestions they have for us. Our secondary project presentation is also made up of many videos. Firstly, we hope to be able to provide the local school with a water tank as they have requested our help with it due to the fact that the water runs out halfway through a day, a new water tank will ensure they have this supply of water throughout the day which we all highlighted as important and agreed to target it. We also have minor secondary projects which are more related to physical work as opposed to investing money. For example, we have decided to tackle malnutrition (something the Asha worker informed of us) by making vegetable gardens in some of the homes around the village as it would act a sustainable source of food for a long time. We have also decided to build Tippy Taps around the village to help the community with their hand washing throughout the day. Finally, we will also be making burn-pits around the village as we have targeted litter as an issue, so this will benefit general health and the environment. Hopefully, we are able to implement all these and ensure further positive change and improvement to the community.