There has been a high prevalence of diseases related to poor sanitation and hygiene in different communities of Uganda. This has been predominantly due to lack of access to safe drinking water. It is also coupled by poor behavioral practices by the community in promoting good sanitation and hygiene.
Olivia, Ese-Onosen, Isabelle and Abigail were students from Notre Dame University who participated in FSD virtual internship program. They were hosted by St Francis Health Care services that allocated them to work with a community group that benefits from their services in Malindi.
The students project in the community focused on improving community knowledge on the importance of practicing WASH principles. The community assessment activity involved students asking community members a variety of questions in a bid to properly analyze their need. Based on the community dire need to improve their hygiene practices, it was decided the best way is to provide the community training workshops to increase their knowledge on WASH information which they could then use to help their community. Their project goal was to improve community access to proper sanitation and hygiene through education.
The workshops associated with the project focused on the background knowledge and importance of WASH, proper sanitation and hygiene, as well as practical applications of principles by the community members. The WASH trainer led the first two WASH workshops, focusing on the background knowledge of the community as well as the positive effects on better sanitation practices they can have. The Notre Dame students followed this by conducting their own workshop focusing both on the importance of WASH as well as good leadership practices. Later the community was carried through an informal training on how they can make liquid soap and how to construct a tippy-tap.
The sustainability of the project was demonstrated in the final evaluation session the students carried out with the community members. The community members were able to accurately recall the information taught in the project’s workshops. This included WASH knowledge, instructions on how to create liquid soap and tippy taps, as well as implementation of better leadership practices. The knowledge and information acquired by the community members would be used to empower the rest of the community to change their behavioral practices in the promotion of proper sanitation and hygiene in the community.