Ndoto in Action, in collaboration with Made with Hope, implemented the School Water Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) project in the government primary schools of Umoja and Manyire. The schools are in Arumeru District. This District is well known for having Maasai and Waarusha (traditional tribes from Tanzania) who rely on agriculture and livestock keeping.
Notably, schools usually have very populated classrooms. In Umoja, there are 626 students, while in Manyire there are 596. Too many challenges prevent children from receiving the right to education in good conditions, such as high enrollment and only ten or fewer teachers, tiny classrooms with large numbers of students, insecurity in damaged or lack of restrooms.
It is essential to highlight the lack of basic needs in schools, such as access to water and sanitation. Today more than ever, it is vital to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 and the communicable diseases that affect the region. We keep students informed through the wash sessions and the construction of handwashing stations; hence, they can practice being healthy and safe in schools.
Ndoto in Action implemented the project in July and August. This project included WASH sessions and the construction of a handwashing station in each school. Volunteers from Ndoto in Action delivered the sessions to 200 students of Manyire and Umoja. The methodology we practice is to train 200 students from each school who become ambassadors at the end of the project and share what they learned with the rest of the students.
The volunteers conducted six sessions. They used different techniques to help the students understand the topic in a fun and unconventional way. The students were always curious, active, and eager to learn. The students and volunteers had fun with songs, games, writing, and reading poems; all these activities were related to the themes of the sessions.
One pupil from Manyire school, Noreen, was impressed when handwashing was emphasized and commented that she was committed to spreading this information and the steps of handwashing to her family and friends.
On the other hand, Lilian, a current volunteer of NIA, shared her experience as a facilitator; she learned that water, sanitation, and hygiene are just as important as books and classrooms to students when getting a quality education. She also said that this experience helped her to gain vital leadership, communication, and organization skills.