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Hygiene must be inclusive for all

The Healthier Lives, Happier Homes project is being delivered by Raleigh Tanzania, in partnership with RB. This was a result of WASH interventions which were designed by young people following research on the most effective behaviour change interventions. The project is designed to provide equal opportunity for diverse groups of people – such as children, elders (men and women) and young people – to learn about safe sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as to practice and take action to share them with their communities.

In Tanzanian society, it is widely believed that that women are solely responsible for home sanitation and hygiene. The Healthier Lives, Happier Homes project explains this matter differently as it includes all genders, ages, as well as cultures, to be responsible and take initiative towards good practice of sanitation and hygiene.

This Global Handwashing Day, we are celebrating the amazing work done by the young people, children, babas (men) and women on our project in spreading proper sanitation and hygiene practices within their communities.

SWASH heroes

Meet Najma, a Schools Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) ‘hero’ at Lukolongo primary school. Najma feels good being among the SWASH heroes as she gets an opportunity to educate others and be more educated herself on hygiene and sanitation issues. She excited to be part of the wider education of her community in this area. Najma says: “I have learned a lot of things such as water hygiene, handwashing and food preservations”.

Najma, SWASH hero Lukolongo primary school

Najma continue by saying: “It is best to learn handwashing because we can be educated and protect ourselves from various diseases. For example, if you come out of the toilet you have germs and it is very easy to spread them by holding hands and not only after toilet use but also you can be contaminated from various activities so it is important to wash your hands regularly.

“As a SWASH hero I have shared hygiene education in my school especially about handwashing. I have also communicated proper ways of preserving food and how to purify water in my community. For example, in my home previously we used to drink non-purified water, but since I learnt about WASH education with Raleigh Tanzania and how to share it in my home, we now boil water for drinking.

“Being a WASH ambassador is a huge responsibility for me as a child but I am glad to have learnt about it at a young age which means that I am going to be part of change in my community and the future generation”.

Najma shares their commitment to promoting good sanitation and hygiene as a SWASH hero by saying that: “At the moment we 20 SWASH heroes at Lukolongo primary school have agreed to meet once in a week to share WASH education and experiences while reminding ourselves of the responsibilities we have to share the education that we have received from the Healthier Lives, Happier Homes project to make it sustainable and change our community.”

Babas role in hygiene

The Healthier Lives, Happier Homes project also worked with babas (men) in the community to engage them on their role in ensuring proper sanitation and hygiene for all. We caught up with a baba who was taking part in an awareness raising event of Global Handwashing Day

Silvanus WASH ambassador in Chonde community

“My name is Silvanus Mwalivalila, WASH ambassador in Chonde community. Being a WASH ambassador in my community has given me the opportunity to realise the importance of hygiene through the training that we receive from the Raleigh Tanzania youth.

“I have learned a lot things such as handwashing, and safe food and water storage. There is a great deal of importance in the matter of handwashing to prevent various diseases. Here in the village we have succeeded in educating the community. I started with my household and then people around me. Through this education we encouraged people to wash their hands with clean running water and soap, following all the steps of handwashing, and we also succeeded in making handwashing stations in some of the households.

“I manage the issue of handwashing at the family level by putting in place suitable equipment for handwashing such as running water, and soap. I will also provide appropriate education on handwashing steps. As a father and WASH ambassador I want to make sure I protect my family from the disease caused by poor sanitation.”

The role of women

Tausi is leader of Tumaini Primary School. She manages the SWASH heroes in her school in Mang’ula A village and worked with the Raleigh Tanzania volunteers on the Healthier Lives, Happier Homes project. Tausi explains her role as a woman leader and a teacher to SWASH heroes in ensuring hygiene within their school and community at large.

Tausi Wangaza, SWASH hero teacher, Mang’ula A.

“SWASH heroes make my work a lot easier as they take the lead on ensuring good sanitation and hygiene in our schools. They have demonstrated an example that it is possible to have good health and spread this knowledge at home.”

In celebrating Global Handwashing Day 2020 Raleigh Tanzania reminds everyone that it is possible to have good health and happier homes if we all take initiative to ensure clean sanitation and #HYGIENEFORALL.

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