India Yankee 9 Community Integration Hirehally 'A' Hadi – Week 1

31st October 2014

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We arrived into our village, Hirehally ‘A’ Hadi, on a hot Sunday afternoon and quickly prioritised setting up the volleyball net to get started with community integration. The next few days we dedicated to continuing this integration through lots of games and activities, particularly with the many children in the village. Through playing games we were able to encourage them to wash their hands using our tippy tap. Despite their being access to water through a few water tanks dotted around the village, the tippy tap seemed to be very successful, sparking a keen interest into the WASH program at such an early stage.

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We have also engaged with the rest of the villagers through conducting a transit walk mapping out the village. Later that day we used holi powder and chalk to begin creating a larger map on the ground in the village with the villagers joining in by drawing their homes on themselves and afterwards we ended up more colourful than the ground itself.

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 We arranged a community meeting with members from the village as well as several local leaders so as to discuss the government scheme that was available to the community. From this meeting we were able to find out who wanted to have their own toilet constructed.

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We used a litter pick in the mornings to help promote hygiene and for community integration, as well as conducting surveys for action research so as to gather data on their health, hygiene and sanitation. This allowed us to begin planning awareness raising activities based around topics that required a positive behaviour change in the village.

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We arranged a sports day which involved a Raleigh vs. Hirehally ‘A’ Hadi volleyball match as well as a game of cricket with the villagers which was played in a beautiful location.

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On the most recent Wednesday we were able to visit the Dam in the neighbouring village on our day off for Steph’s birthday. We started the morning watching an amazing sunrise which was followed by a banana porridge breakfast.

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We set off walking around 8:30am and got greeted by a stunning view once we finally reached the Dam. It was nice to meet up with one of the close by volunteer teams and spend the morning with them.