Long term SWASH goals in the community of Mlanga

7th December 2016

Team Mlanga are working to ensure that in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the work they have started is continued after the team leave. Built on Raleigh’s core principles, and the principles of WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene), the village will continue to work towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Over the project timeline Team Mlanga has been inspired by inclusive development, working through education, empowerment and a sense of responsibility to encourage active citizenship in the village.

Education lessons continue to be received eagerly by all pupils and teachers at Mlanga Primary School. The enthusiastic singing of the ‘We Wash Our Hands’ song, which has become somewhat of a Team Mlanga anthem, can be heard daily around the school grounds. Moreover, the ‘six stages of handwashing’ can now be conducted faultlessly by the school children, and is often performed both in class and on action days.

Action Day
Team Mlanga holding a community action day

As a product of fortnightly Teacher Training sessions the teaching staff are keen to build on the foundations of the aforementioned SDGs. Encouraging the youth of the village to become invaluable custodians of Raleigh’s principles and the ideals of sustainable development. Team Mlanga volunteer and assistant leader of the teacher training sessions, Ellen, says:

“Teacher training is a great way to involve the teachers in our project and to continue Raleigh’s work. They are extremely enthusiastic to use the resource pack and build on Team Mlanga’s foundations”.

As part of Team Mlanga’s Mobile Awareness campaign, similar SWASH lessons and sessions have been delivered elsewhere as well. Not only to a sub-village school, but the local high school in Kongwa as well. Weekly visits ensure that Team Mlanga, and Raleigh’s message is being received in an area much larger than originally estimated.

The continuation of Team Mlanga’s work will be facilitated through the creation and use of a ‘resource pack’. This is a compilation of all lesson plans, and details of community members responsible for the continuation of the Youth, Women’s and School WASH groups. It is hoped that the expression of responsibility and ownership will encourage the community to continue Team Mlanga’s work. Giving a sense of pride in ownership should lead to maintenance of the new eco latrine, regular litter sweeps, responsible recycling and an improvement in sanitation. This will ensure the sustainability of the project, and the longevity of Team Mlangas work.

With construction work now being completed, Team Mlanga’s project has not lost any motivation. Team Mlanga Volunteers have taken the initiative and arranged numerous side projects, including the renovation of land on the school grounds – a dry desolate piece of earth will soon be transformed into a recycling centre. Housing a compost heap, planting patch, and edged with recycled plastic bottles, all decorated with a ‘sustainability’ mural.

Action Day
Team Mlanga explaining the importance of nutrition

Also, the regular and continued meeting of the Youth Group, Women’s Group and SWASH Club continues to strengthen Team Mlanga’s belief that they and their message will not be forgotten. Team Mlanga has been reassured that upon departure, the school will continue to drive forwards in development. School teacher Safari Kambadu says:

“We will keep on teaching about the uses of tippy- taps, and will introduce SWASH lessons on Monday and Thursday every week. Meanwhile, we will keep emphasising latrine cleanliness to our pupils to ensure [the eco latrine’s] sustainability”

Team Mlanga are so proud of the work they have conducted in this small rural village. Despite arriving with an agenda to teach, they find that they have indeed learnt indispensable lessons from the people of Mlanga. The strong sense of community, fortified culture, and awe-inspiring welcome they have experienced has been overwhelming. And as we come closer to the time to leave, we wish to say ‘asante sana, Mlanga. Baadaye’

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