Oscar 4: Secondary Projects

27th July 2015

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The Mid-Phase review with all other Raleigh teams had provided new ideas and fresh goals that Oscar 4 took no time in starting. Before some members even arrived back in what most of the team now view as home, Megaladoddi, a meeting with the Zilla Panchayat of Karnataka state was arranged.

The Zilla Panchayat is the highest form of council within states in India – so this was a big deal to get changes for the community. From this meeting the village were promised all water tanks to be cleaned, the drains cleaned, broken taps to be fixed and street lighting maintained all within 20 days. To keep Oscar 4 hitting the ground running toilet construction and the secondary project murals were set into full motion.

Construction of the three toilets is now almost complete with the team helping with construction daily. The work of toilet repairing has commenced and the team’s ‘sticker poster’ has been printed ready to give to each household at the end of project. The poster’s show benefits of toilet use, the 7 steps of hand washing as well as many other useful information villagers can display on their toilet door for the whole family to see. Murals have also started to be painted on the water tanks in the village; displaying images of all issues to team have educated the community on so far; hand washing, benefits of soap, recycling, bag reuse, healthy diet and mouth hygiene.

The team arranged a cross cultural fashion show for the weekend which was a great hit with the villagers. The girls all dressed up in Sari’s and the boys assured great effort was made in all categories; tribal, Hollywood and Bollywood, sari’s, lunghi’s and children. Over 80 villagers attended the event all looking beautiful and well turned-out and even offered to give jewellery and flowers to complete the outfits.

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Within 4 days of returning, the Peer to Peer committee succeeded in obtaining approval to take sessions on menstrual health to high school girls at the Don Bosco School. The first lesson was a huge success. The session provided a safe and comfortable environment for the girls to learn about the topic and ask questions that is rarely discussed in India. Future sessions for other years at the school have now been approved. To top of this good work in the schools the WASH sessions were finished with great appreciation and success. The key step now within the schools is to ensure the successful continued implantation of soap for the future.

Another key goal of Phase 2 was to improve our integration with the underdeveloped Tamilian side of the village. To enable the gaps in health and hygiene for that half to be kick started a home stay was arranged. This demonstrated to the group the families’ generosity hospitality. The second idea was to do a ‘day in the life’ day as farmers. The team donned work boots and cleared fields of large rocks in order for the land to be farmed.  

With the school sessions finished, the Awareness Raising committee wanted to make sure the whole village all had the same level of education on health and hygiene. The group combined with the Peer to Peer committee and launched a WASH mobile awareness campaign to each household. These personal sessions have enabled us to educate successfully especially those who had not attended any Raleigh meetings or Community Action Days, whilst getting to know villagers better and sometimes finding out new problems that potentially we can help with. These sessions will be continued throughout Phase 2 until every household has been educated.

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Although this was the hardest week to date for the team, the incredible amount of achievements that we have gained during negative circumstances can only pave the way for the next final three weeks being an even bigger success. The team have adapted to change, dealt with hard times and still produced excellent results. A lot has been achieved and the project is on course to be very successful.