Handwashing. You Made It All Possible.
It's all because of you!
Recently, Cait Fallone decided to join the Humans for Education team. With extensive training and knowledge in Medical Anthropology, she dedicated herself to figuring out how to build cheap, sustainable handwashing stations.
The handwashing stations were built from wood that was already on the school grounds, then the only extra pieces to buy were five jugs, rope, and soap. Humans for Education is committed to paying for soap for the entire school for the next six months until the school makes income from their Revenue Generating Program (cow program).
Building the Handwashing Stations
We wanted the handwashing stations to be simple to build so that the students could re-build or fix them easily after the Humans for Education staff were gone.
In fact, the handwashing stations were so simple to make that many of the students wanted to build them for their parents and communities.
These 8 students volunteered their recess, lunch, and after school hours to help us build handwashing stations which means easy access to cleanliness and the decrease of disease for them and their peers. They worked under the intense Kenyan sun because they are so incredibly dedicated to providing their classmates and themselves a sustainable healthy environment.
Even though it was over 100 degrees outside, the students made building the stations lots of fun. With some dancing and lots of jokes told the students were able to have a great time.They began the day with cutting down trees that were within the school grounds. Luckily, the school has so many trees, bushes, and weeds that we had more material than we needed.
We cut down about ten trees the first day. Amazingly, these trees are more like weeds and will regrow after being planted back into the ground even without their roots. Thus, these handwashing stations will eventually become living structures.
These amazing students were able to build five handwashing stations all around the school so that students can have access to handwashing whenever they need it.
Teaching the Ambassadors
To ensure that the students knew how to properly wash their hands and the long-term success of this program we gathered a group of dedicated students.
These 10 students were taught our handwashing curriculum built by Cait Fallone. The curriculum teaches why handwashing is important, what germs are, and how to teach the lesson to other students.
These students were selected because of their deep commitment to their school and because most of them want to work in the health industry.
At each handwashing station, we have put in a laminated handwashing protocol for all of the students to read. As well, there is a bar of soap and a counting clicker at each station.
Two students are responsible for each station. Each day the students refill the jugs with water and put in a new soap bar, if needed. Plus, they keep track of how many girl and boy students use the station by reading a counting clicker we have at each station.
The ambassadors learned how to teach our germs and handwashing lessons and then two of the ambassadors taught the lesson to three classes while the Humans for Education staff was there.
The ambassadors will teach these lessons twice a semester, once at the beginning and once in the middle of the semester. At the end of each semester, new ambassadors will be chosen so many students will have the opportunity to work as an ambassador.
As a token of our appreciation, each ambassador student will receive one semester's worth of supplies:
The supplies include:
- 1 bottle of Colgate
- 200mL of Body Lotion
- 40mL of Shoe Polish and Brush
- Toilet Paper
- Personal Bar Soap
- Plastic Container for Food
- Laundry Soap
Reaction to Handwashing Stations
The very first day the handwashing stations were put up, they were used so many times that within 30 minutes we had to replace the bars of soap at each station.
The stations were built within the first few days that we arrived at school and each day we returned to school there was always a line of students at the stations.
Even though the Humans for Education team left on March 7th, the students at Mpopongi Primary School fill out Google Forms each Sunday to let the team know when they need more soap and how many students are using each station.