Chamwino is a peri-urban community situated just outside of Morogoro town that is in dire need of help from NGOs. After conducting research on how to make an impact in the area, International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) intern Jamie van Egmond decided that she could help raise the level of awareness and education on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) among students at three primary schools in the area. Chamwino A, Chamwino B, and Kambarage elementary schools all share one compound and have 2800 students between the three of them. Furthermore, they have no clean source of water and only 12 decrepit toilets causing most of the students to go to the washroom in the nearby field.
Currently, there are 4 billion cases of diarrheal disease around the world each year and it kills 2.2 million people (mostly children under 5 years old) worldwide each year. A simple solution is that if people wash their hands with soap at critical times they can reduce incidences of diarrhea by 44%. To help educate the three primary schools on the importance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Jamie recruited 15 secondary students to be peer educators and facilitators of the WASH clubs.
At the second leadership session for the peer educators held by YCI volunteers, here is what peer educator Grace Ramce has to say about the WASH programs and YCI.
Name: Grace Remce (Age 15)
Grade in School: Form 2
Future goal: Pilot
How and why did you get involved in WASH?
“There was an application posted at school which I followed up on, then had an interview and a training session through YCI. I found the work that WASH clubs was going to do interesting.”
What have you learned so far?
“I have gained more confidence in myself. I have also gained more skills in teaching, leadership and interpersonal skills.”
How has YCI helped to improve your leadership skills?
“Because they trained me through two leadership courses”
What have you enjoyed the most about the WASH program?
“I really enjoyed playing the games with the children and chatting with the students and Canadians. I also liked learning about WASH because it is important for the community.”
What has been the biggest difficulty with WASH?
“Arriving on time!”
What would you do to improve WASH?
“I would keep the kids more focused and concentrated on the lesson and practice more hand washing with the kids.”
How can YCI help you reach your goals?
“Through more training in leadership and strengthening my interpersonal skills.”
Currently Jamie is trying to raise an additional $25,000 USD to build new toilets and improve existing ones for these three very deserving schools. With generous donations from YCI alumni, Jamie has already been able to complete school improvements including installing doors on existing toilet stalls and creating soak pits for waste water; however, there are many more improvements to be made.
– Duncan McGuinty, Youth Ambassador, Tanzania 2011