Team Nhamagumo discuss their project and the issue of sustainability as they prepare to leave their village…

12th December 2014

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It is now only a matter of days before Team Nhamagumo bids goodbye to Nhamagumo and with preparations for our departure well underway, the time has come to stop and reflect in what we have accomplished here and what sort of legacy we will be leaving behind. The question of sustainability is an important one; as any change we create needs to be lasting in order to have a real long term impact and be seen as worthwhile.

Developing lasting resources has helped us to build this legacy. For example, painting our mural (which tells the story of the heroic exploits of Marvellous Maji (water) and Superman Sabuni (soap) and how washing hands saves lives) leaves a prominent physical reminder of the importance of good hygiene practices that will be seen by the many hundreds of people that pass by Nhamagumo primary school in the years to come. In a similar vein, the poster campaign we have started also leaves a permanent example of our sanitation message across the village – using numerous locations to influence as many people as possible, including those that we may not have been able to reach during our time here.

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Another important way in which our work in the community can be maintained is through providing them with a sense of ownership over their development. The foundation of a local women’s group, and our work alongside influential members of the community (such as the head teacher of Nhamagumo primary school) has increased the participatory nature of our work, giving a sense of ownership and involvement to these individuals, and turning them into ambassadors of the sanitation message.

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Activities we have been involved with such as Nhamagumo school netball team and water monitor/prefect system have also helped to empower the youth of Nhamagumo as well as widening the sense of ownership over sanitation awareness; making it easier for our work in the community to continue after our departure. Assisting these groups in electing leaders and creating a schedule has been a good way of passing on the baton and making sure these activities can be sustained once we leave the village next week.