Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria

by Hope and Dreams Initiative
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria
Provide WASH libraries and Pads4Girls in Nigeria

Hope and Dreams Initiative

Global Hand Washing Day, 2017

~Our Hands Our Future

A report on Hope and Dreams Initiative’ Celebration of Global Hand wash Day

Prepared by: Nguzo Ogbodo

1.0   INTRODUCTION

Global Hand washing Day is a way to support a global and local culture of hand washing with soap; it shines a spotlight on the state of hand washing in each country and raises awareness about the benefits of hand washing with soap. Since 2008, Global Hand washing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15 worldwide. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap founded Global Hand washing Day and encourages school children, teachers and families to get involved.

On Global Hand Washing Day we joined partners around the world to celebrate the importance of hand washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.  This years’ celebration themed “Our Hands Our Future” was celebrated in six schools we have been working with, from Monday 16th- Friday 20th October 15, 2017.

Our WASH team visited partner schools, sensitizing their students’ WASH clubs on  

  • Why It is Important for us to wash our hands with soap.
  • When to wash our hands, especially the critical moments
  • How to wash our hands
  • How proper hand washing habit reduces ones’ chances of contacting monkey pox

 

2.0    THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND WASHING WITH SOAP

Hand washing with soap works by interrupting the transmission of disease. Hands often act as vectors that carry disease-causing pathogens from person to person, either through direct contact or indirectly via surfaces. When not washed with soap, hands that have been in contact with human or animal faeces, bodily fluids like nasal excretions, and contaminated foods or water can transport bacteria, viruses and parasites to unwitting hosts.

Hand washing is a cornerstone of public health, hand washing with soap is one of the most effective ways to prevent diarrheal diseases; it is also the cheapest way. In addition, hand washing with soap can limit the transmission of respiratory disease, the largest killer of children under five. Hand washing with soap is also a formidable ally in efforts to combat a host of other illnesses, such as helminths (Worms), eye infections like trachoma and skin infections like impetigo.

  • 1.4 million Children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world.
  • Hand washing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 10 episodes of diarrheal illnesses and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infection like pneumonia.

2.1    Washing hands alone with water is not enough!

Washing hands with water alone, a common practice around the world is significantly less effective than washing hands with soap. Proper hand washing requires soap and only a small amount of water. Using soap works by breaking down the grease and dirt that carry most germs, facilitating the rubbing and friction that dislodge them and leaving hands smelling pleasant. The clean smell and feeling that soap creates are incentives for its use. With proper use, all soaps are equally effective at rinsing away disease-causing germs.

3.0   WHEN TO WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP

The critical moments of hand washing with soap are, after using the toilet and or cleaning a child and before handling food.

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Hands are the principal carriers of disease-causing germs. It is important to ensure that people have a way to wash their hands at these critical moments. Simple, low-cost solutions like Tippy Taps are within the financial and technological reach of even the poorest communities.

 

4.0   HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS

  • Wet your hands with clean, water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry the hands

5.0   COLLABORATING SCHOOLS

Hope and Dreams Initiative celebrated the Global Hand washing day with six schools with the participation of 782 students. Drama and poetry were performed by students, as they demonstrated the importance of hand washing with soap.

 This celebration was enjoined and participated by 6 schools in Delta State Nigeria, Namely:

  • Dore-Numa College, Warri
  • Yonwuren College, Warri;
  • Ogiame Primary School, Warri;
  • Otsoron Primary School, Egbokodo Warri;
  • Egbokodo Secondary School, Warri
  • Tobrise basic Secondary School, Oghara, Delta State.

5.1    Dore Numa College, Warri

We created a WASH library filled with age appropriate materials on hand washing literacy and installed a hand washing station in February 2016. This WASH facility has been a useful channel through which school students learn about hand washing and hygiene.

On Monday 16th of October 2017, members of the Hope and Dreams’ WASH team supported Dore Numa WASH club in celebrating Global Hand washing Day by sensitizing JSS1 students of the school on the importance of Hand washing with soap. A group presentation was carried out to enlighten school students on the importance of hand washing, when to wash our hands and practical steps on how to wash hands properly with soap were presented before the school students (156 students).

5.2    Yonwuren College, Warri

We created a WASH library filled with age appropriate materials on hand washing, literacy, hygiene and installed a hand washing station in October, 2016.  

On Tuesday 17th of October 2017, our WASH team collaborated with the Yonwuren students’ WASH club in celebrating Global Hand wash day (2017), themed “Our hands Our Future”. The Hope and Dreams WASH team and Yonwuren college WASH club educated the entire school assembly on the importance of washing hands with soap, when and how to wash your hands properly. The Yonwuren WASH club also gave a drama presentation on the importance of Hand washing with soap. Attendance: 223 students

5.3    Ogiame primary school, Warri

On Wednesday 18th of October, we visited Ogiame Primary school (a beneficiary of our WASH library project) and joined them to celebrate Global Hand wash Day.

We sensitized primary 5 and 6  pupils and they were glad to receive us, and listening with keen interest as we educated them on the importance of washing our hands with soap, when to wash our hands and how to properly wash our hands. Attendance: 94

5.4    Otsoron Primary School, Warri

On Thursday 19th of October, we visited Otsoron Primary School (a beneficiary of our WASH library project) and joined them to celebrate Global Hand Wash Day, 2017.

Dr Emiko Esisi and Mr Weyinmi Okotie addressed the pupils on the importance of washing hands with soap, when and how to properly wash hands. Pupils were also sensitized on this years’ Global Hand Wash theme: Our Hands Our Future, as students were made to understand that if we keep our hands clean we will live healthier lives and have a better chance at achieving whatever we want to.

Attendance: 217

5.5    Tobrise Basic College

On Thursday 19th of October, we also visited Tobrise Basic secondary school, Oghara-efe, (also a beneficiary of our WASH library project) which is in a rural community.

Mr Weyinmi Okotie, Dr Emiko Esisi and Mrs Constance Enite Inojulagho, introduced the staff and students to the concept of the Global hand wash Day event. Dr Emiko and Mrs Inojulagho sensitized the students on the importance of washing hands with soap, when and how to properly wash our hands. The students were excited as they were given an opportunity to learn practically. We also learnt how to say “For truly clean hands, always use soap” in the urhobo dialect.Attendance: 9

5.6  Egbokodo Secondary school

We visited Egbokodo Secondary (a beneficiary of our WASH library) school on the 20th of October to celebrate Global Hand washing Day with the school.

Mr Weyinmi and Dr Emiko sensitized the students on the importance of maintaining proper hand washing practices, when and how to wash their hands with soap.  Attendance: 83

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SUMMER STEM/MENSTRUEL HYGIENE PROGRAMME

STEM is a term used to collectively refer to a group of subjects which are all about applying logic and theories in innovative and creative ways. These are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These subjects are at the forefront of our rapidly growing and advancing world hence it is important to ensure that there are enough people who are going into these professions to sustain this growth. In addition to this, the number of girls who are going into these fields needs to rapidly increase to see a sustained social effect. The aim of this programme is to support this.

In August 2017, two three-day STEM programmes where run in Queen Amina College, Kaduna and then a few days later at the PIND ATED Centre, Warri. Although both programmes had their clear differences, the underlying aim was to promote STEM education in Nigerian children and empower them to believe that they are intelligent and capable enough to pursue their goals and ambitions regardless of which field they lie in.

The Kaduna programme happened first at an all-girls government boarding school in North Kaduna where the age range of the students who participated were 11 to 15. Tied within this programme was a session on feminine hygiene as well as female empowerment where the girls were thought about menstruation and the importance of keeping during and after menstruation, the girls had the opportunity to share their views on our International Menstrual Hygiene Day event held in May 25th this year.  The major barrier to girls not going on to achieve as highly as their male counterparts in developing countries such as Nigeria is due to the general mind-sets girls have about themselves as well as issues relating to menstruation. After mixing the girls up into different groups with people they may not have necessary worked with before, the girls were introduced to brand new theory on electricity generation which covered the forms of energy, the principle of energy, the benefits of electrical energy and a role-play demonstration about fossil fuel based electricity generation. The girls then got into groups to read about, thus tackling the literacy aspect, four renewable types of energy before giving a small presentation about this. It was at this point one of the major challenges of the Kaduna programme was revealed. Knowledge taught in the Key Stage Three Curriculum in England, the education background the facilitator had, was absent in most of the young minds at QAC. Terms such as fossil fuel, global warming, and volcanoes were new to majority of girls which raised the issue of students coming from developing countries performing on the global scale. Even if students in developing countries are going to school, how will they fare globally when their international counterparts are five or so years ahead of them I terms of scientific knowledge? These kinds of things can then go on to affect the rate at which some of these countries develop in the long term. Speaking at international talks on things concerning the environment, can leave these nations in the dark as it is not something highly emphasised although it is something very relevant to them. The global energy economy is a huge one and it would be a shame if Nigerian students won’t be able to seize the opportunity in quite the same way as those from other countries especially as Nigeria can play a substantial part in solar energy due to their long daylight periods.

With regards to the explanation of how the renewable sources of energy work, after hearing the facilitator’s explanation, the teacher (who too may have been unfamiliar with the topic) were then able support the facilitator to explain it the girls. Progress was made finally as soon as the girls started asking questions which showed that they at least partially understood enough to ask questions and could iron out anything which may have confused them by asking questions. During the wind turbine task, the girls could see the theory about electricity generation put into practise with systems they made with their own hand. One of the advantages of this task is the flexibility of it. The only required materials are motors, wires, a mustimeter and a fan. All other materials are what you can source. The girls experimented with bottles, foam, toilet roll, plastic cups etc. to make the wind turbine design considering things such as blade length, blade shape and stand design. However, what added a different twist to the task is that the girls had to work on presentations to deliver which required them to explain how wind turbines work and how they came about their final design. This provided a different dimension to the programme as it required the girls to speak out with confidence about their project as well as meet with inspiring women (the judges), one of which even attended QAC in her youth. Although the facilitator, dedicated a time in the programme to focus on the empowerment aspect, it was very inspiring for them girls to hear these words again come from these now very successful women showing just how important good, strong role models are.

Although the Warri programme followed the same general outline, there were some key differences between the two programmes. The main two being that this was a mixed programme with an almost even split of boys and girls (with a few more girls than boys) and the students were older ranging from 15 to 18. Although not having much impact, these students also came from different schools and there was one extra group (five mores student). The fact that the students were older meant that they had already began to make choices about their future career path and had chosen either the arts, social sciences or science route. Most students at the programme had chosen the science route so had had the opportunity to dive deeper into the world of science. Being older, they were also able to digest more complex ideas better which meant that the theory aspect of the course was well understood by them. However, a few students who were not science students seemed to struggle more with the theory aspect. Being a mixed group of students, we felt that it was not appropriate to talk about the feminine hygiene issues as although it is information boys need to be aware of us as well, it may put the girls in an uncomfortable position to talk about such a personal topic with boys they had known for two days.  However, the same encouragement was given to both sexes, again at the end of the programme by the judges on their own accord/… encouraging the students to continue to pursue their goals whatever that may be. The issue of the gender discrimination was also brought up and both boys and girls were invited to give their views on this. Unfortunately, only the worst /… was confirmed as the girls believed that the boys ‘liked to be in charge’, or ‘did not allow them to speak’ and this could even be seen in the group work were the boys went off with turbines to work on the engineering aspect leaving the girls to stick the sequins on the structure. However, after the discussion, both the boys and girls ‘made peace’ as the girls felt more empowered after getting out their views and seeing the views of the boys change and the boys left understanding that girls can be just as intelligent as them and are as capable to take on other roles than just ‘stay at home and cook food’.

Overall, both programmes were very successful meeting their original aims of giving Nigerian students the opportunity to engage in activities they may not have had the opportunity to engage in before. All students left with an increased amount of knowledge about energy: its forms, its advantages and it issues. The students could work with groups of people they hadn’t worked with before learning important skills such as teamwork, communication, time management and leadership. However, most importantly the students became more confident and more self-assured in their capabilities helping them to truly believe that they ‘smart, strong and able’.

However, the journey to get here wasn’t an easy one. ….

To see a sustained change in the mind-set and attitudes of children in areas such as Nigeria, programmes like this need to be run regularly to try and reach as many children as possible so that those children can then take it back to their schools and help to continue to encourage more and more students in STEM as well make them more confident. Hence, in years to come, capacity building programmes may need to be organised to allow both students and teachers to continue to promote STEM in school as it would not be sustainable to do it in the way it was done this year nor will it reach the potential number of students it ovule reach. So it is true that this has proved to be an excellent pilot scheme, which showed the impact schemes like this can be but has taught us a lot about how to ensure efforts such as these can go from strength to strength in meeting their aims.

 

 

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May 28, 2017 was observed globally as Menstrual Hygiene Day. It is a global platform for partners across all sectors to engage in awareness, advocacy and knowledge sharing around the importance of menstrual hygiene management. Hope and Dreams Initiative celebrated with 70 girls from different public schools in  FCT, Abuja and Warri, Delta State.

FCT, Abuja
We organized a TED interactive talk at the FCT Education Resource Centre, City Library, Abuja. on the theme: “Education to create awareness among girls on the need to observe hygiene during their menstrual period through sharing of our period experiences,
Dr. Vera Okpede, Medical Doctor of Ministry of Defense Medical Center FCT Abuja, took the girls through the proper use of sanitary pad, advised them to wash their hands with soap and running water before putting on their sanitary pads and ensure proper use of the sanitary pads to prevent leakages.
Dr. Okpede educated the girls on why we menstruate and other health relate issues also said “the celebration of the day would help break the silence and build awareness of menstruation to enable women and girls to reach their full potential.She called on policy makers to encourage menstrual education among boys, men, teachers, health workers and other professionals to help break negative social norms and provide accurate information and support to the women.
We had adult participant share their period experiences with us, Ifeoma Emelife, Energy Sector Coordinator & PPP Advisor and a mother of three young girls while sharing her period experience with the girls also called on the government to render education on menstrual hygiene to enable women and girls to feel confident and empowered to make informed decisions about how to manage their menstruation. Mrs. Emelife also told the girls to consider them luck for having these stuffs of workshops because she had none during her time growing up.
Doris Shann Program Coordinator for Center for water and environment development while also sharing her period experience made the call to parents, teachers and residents of the community to advocate for all schools to have a menstrual-friendly environment by having changing rooms for girls to change while in their menses at school to make them feel comfortable.
We had students from Queen Amina college, LEA Primary School, Aleytia, LEA Primary School, Gosa and Government Girls Secondary School Kaduna shared their period experience and read a poem about period, both starts were very happy to be at the event but also started that when they started their period they had no clue what was happening to them, no one taught anything period or what to do so therefore they hid it from their parents and resorted to using tissues/rags due to lack of funds and access to clean sanitary products. 11 Years old Amina stated that she personally uses rag because she is from a single parent home and her mother has no money to buy sanitary pads for her. She was particularly happy to have received our hygiene bag filled with sanitary pads, deodorant, toothpaste/brush and soap, we had 30 students from 5 different schools from the northern parts of Nigeria and each student received a hygiene bag with sanitary pads, deodorant, toothpaste/brush and soap
Mr. Anais a teacher from one of the schools in Kaduna called for increased public awareness to eradicate the misconceptions, myths and negative perceptions about menstruation. And express gratefulness to Hope and Dreams Initiative for having such a wonderful event.

Warri Delta State.
We had a similar event at PIND conference training hall in Warri, Delta State with 40 students from seven different schools namely Toberise BASIC School Oghara, Ogiame Primary School, Dora Numa College, Egbokogdo Secondary and Primary School, Younna Secondary School. Dr. Elohor Imiruaye of Lee Clinic, Warri in Delta State. Dr. Elohor stated during the workshop that wrong attitude would continue if girls and boys were not given adequate education concerning menstruation and how to handle challenges associated with it. She gave a simple explanatory lecture on why we have menstruation and the importance of keeping clean during and after menstruation.
Faith, a junior student from Tobrise Basic School, Oghara in Delta State shared her period experience with us and stated that when she started her period, she thought she was hurt and was bleeding and she would cut pieces of rags to protect the blood from staining her uniform. but unknown to her as was explained to her by her friend that she had stated menstruating and could get pregnant if a man touches her. Laura a student from Egbokogdo Secondary School, also shared that she uses rag for her sanitary products and has no access to sanitary pads because her family is very poor.
These 40 students all went home with an individual hygiene bags filled with sanitary pads both reusable and disposal one, deodorant, toothpaste/brush.
For Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017, Hope and Dreams Imitative distributed 70 hygiene bags to 70 students from 12 different schools.
The goal for these International Hygiene Menstruation Celebration was to bring young girls from different schools together and educate them about their menstrual cycle, the importance of Menstruation and other health related issues and as an organization whose main goals are EDUCATION, MENSTRUTAION AND HYGIENE we believe that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities with soap should be provided in the schools as part of efforts to make them menstrual friendly to encourage girls to be in school during their menstrual periods, since most girls stayed away from school during their menses which consequently affects their academic performance.
And these three key elements are important, which included awareness creation on menstruation and a menstrual-friendly environment in schools, would help empower girls to stay in schools and help improve their academic performance.
‘Education about Menstruation changes everything and it starts with YOU and I

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Organization Information

Hope and Dreams Initiative

Location: Bronx, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @hope_Dreams.org
Nguzo Ogbodo
Project Leader:
Nguzo Ogbodo
Bronx, NY United States

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