Stories from The MENTOR Initiative programmes in Angola
The Principal of Bomba Baixa School Nº 291 was motivated by hearing about the experiences of other schools in implementing WASHE activities. In particular, she visited a school which had started to implement some of the WASHE principles such as handwashing and developing hygiene clubs. With this inspiration, but without previously having participated in a WASHE training, she requested a visit from the Municipal Education and MENTOR WASHE team. She wanted her school to be able to boast handwashing facilities and practice safe hygiene and sanitation practices. As part of the visit organised by the Municipal Education Department and MENTOR, equipment for a complete hygiene kit was donated (tippy tap, water storage containers, bleach, and soap). Technical support staff from MENTOR assisted in installing the tippy tap, as well as teaching other school staff about essential hygiene practices.
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At the beginning of the 2018 school year, the previous Principal of Funileiros School No. 126 was transferred. Due to this transfer, and the graduation of many of the student members of the school Hygiene Club, the new school Principal made a request to the Municipal Education Department: please help us! In response, the Municipal Education Department, along with MENTOR, organised a special visit to the school. Students and teachers received a lecture about WASHE and were trained on how to set up and use a tippy tap. The activity was very successful in motivating the students and encouraging the new school leadership to promote healthy hygiene practices and handwashing.
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Municipality of Kuimba; Terra Nova (New Land) High School
On the first visit by the DPE/MENTOR WASHE teams in October 2017, this school did not meet the WASHE criteria. The school grounds were dirty with rubbish and faeces, the long grass had not been cut, there was no hole for disposing of rubbish, and the tippy-tap for handwashing had not been installed. However, the students and teachers were well-informed about WASHE practices!
The WASHE team identified the areas in which the school was not meeting WASHE criteria and left recommendations for the work that should be done in order to improve the hygiene conditions in the school. On the second visit to Terra Nova High school, one month later, we found improvements in all the areas identified during the first visit. The toilets had been cleaned and the students were using them for their sanitation needs – they were no longer practicing open defecation. The grass had been cut, a hole for rubbish internment was dug, and a tippy-tap was installed near the toilets.
In addition to these infrastructural changes, we also found a well-formed Hygiene Club. This club is organised with leadership provided by the Pedagogy Director, and participation from two students from each classroom. The club rotates student members weekly to ensure that all students have a chance to be engaged in active hygiene promotion.
This school was able to rectify WASHE issues thanks to the On-the-Job Supervisions performed by DPE and MENTOR:
By: Tekadiomona Luís João, NTD/WASHE Program Manager Zaire