Community Training at St. James Inanga

Our implementing team recently spent the day with the community of St. James Inanga church in Western Kenya.  In a few weeks, this community will be receiving their new well.  To prepare them for this and to ensure the impact of the project is as great as possible, WaSH training (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) is carried out.

Here is the unedited report from the team…

The Ack church and community members came in large numbers for the Education and were willing to learn on Hygiene and sanitation. From the discussions and the picture codes most of them related to the pictures and discussed freely  on the unhealthy ways they live . This made the discussions more participatory and open.

The church leadership appreciated the education and willing to have  such sessions to the rest of the congregation and community at large since they felt most of the responsibility was in their hands. The watsan committee had already been formed we helped them to understand their responsibility as a committee. Both members appreciated the drilling of clean water at church compound since it was central for many community members.

WATSAN Training at Bishop Sulumeti Girls School

Our partner in the field filed this report about the WATSAN (Water and Sanitation) training held recently at the Bishop Sulumeti Girls School near Kakamega, Kenya.

Unedited report…

Community education has been done today 4TH MAY 2010, at Bishop sulumeti Girls high school. The school response was positive and encouraging.  The lessons were attended by the school principal, lab technician, boarding mistress, Director of studies and students.

During the lessons, the participants were able to discuss about :

  • The sanitation of their school environment.
  • Personal body hygiene.
  • Maintenance of the new water system.
  • The participants were able to realize some of the sanitation and hygienically practices failed to be done in their school like drainage of stagnant water and to do that immediately.
  • The students expressed their need to sensitize and educate their people back in their communities on hygiene and sanitation claiming that more has to be done to avoid issues of open defecation, poor disposal of litter, and lack of dish racks among other poor practices.

On acknowledgment

1.    PRINCIPAL:  She said that the provision of the water system will bring more          benefits to the school more so in the school performance.
2.    DIRECTOR OF STUDIES:  He expressed his joy by saying that students have been dosing /sleeping in class at 8 am in the morning due to searching for water until late nights. Now he was sure that would end as soon as the water system is ready.
3.    LAB TECHNICIAN:  He was happy and said that his students will enjoy science practical lessons unlike before when things were very hard due to lack of water.
4.    BOARDING MISTRESS:  She expressed her joy and said that it will now be easy for  her to provide clean food and on time.
5.    HEAD GIRL:  On behalf of other students, the head girl promised that come next year the school will come up with 7.8 points in k.c.s.e(Kenya certificate of secondary education).

Congregation Kol Ami helps build a well.

We love getting notes and pictures from schools and groups raising money for The Water Project. After all,  this is a shared story – from raising funds to building wells to seeing the outcome. Together, your community, ours and the one’s we serve are working together to make a real difference.  So…don’t forget to send your stories too!

3rd Graders at Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound, Texas raised $130.88 from Tzdekah at Sunday School.

Tzdekah is a Jewish term.  It is a collection of money that is donated to a good cause.  Our 3rd graders had a choice of about five different places to contribute to at the beginning of the school year.  They voted for The Water Project.

— Maryanne Katz

Brennen Elementary Gives Up (and then Gives Away)

We just got this great note from Brennen Elementary School who jumped in with both feet again this year to help build a well in Kenya.  We’re so thankful for committed teams like Brennen.  Without them, we couldn’t do any of this.  Their students gave up snacks, lunch money, allowance, even a tooth, so they could give it away and help give clean, safe water.

Here’s what Janet and Susan wrote about their most recent “Water Challenge”:

We had a great time.  We held our Water Project in conjunction with Earth Day this year.  We were one of the stations that the children rotated to.  Usually the PTO buys Popsicles for all the children at Earth day, but again this year the children  all AGREED to forgo the small treat and have tap water. At our station they had water and put the money their class had collected into the “well” that we made.  The PTO then graciously agreed to write the check instead to the Water Project.  They gave us $200.00.  In that way EVERY child at the school participated in giving up something for the well.

We also put a “bank” one of the children made at the lunch counter.  Two days a week the children are allowed to buy cookies or ice cream in addition to their lunch.  Many of them chose to put their money in the box and forgo the treat.  Others, put the change they received.  We had one child who on the last day was excited to put in his “tooth fairy money”.  I asked him if he had pulled the tooth so he could get the money.  He said. “no, my friend had kicked it out while we were wrestling!”  🙂  We had several groups of friends make lemonade stands and water stands in their neighborhoods.  This was their idea.  I’ve attached a pic of 2 first  graders that one of the parents sent.  Several families were very supportive and all gave up everything except tap water for the duration of the project.  We had several children empty their piggy banks.  They loved our Water Project T-shirts.  Susan (other sponsoring teacher) and I wore them every day!!  We told them  we were saving water on laundry!!  🙂  We have one child who is  saving his allowance for several weeks so he can get one!

Incredibly, the featured article in the 5th grade “Weekly Reader” for Fri. Apr. 23 (day we collected the money) was “Water Woes” and stated many of the same facts that I shared with the children to explain the project. It had several pics of children carrying water….and explained the magnitude of the problem.  We used it to reinforce what we had told the children.

I’m sure you hear these kinds of “stories” every day but we wanted you to know that you are not only helping children without clean water, you are also helping to educate the minds and hearts of our children who are blessed with much.

Thank you for the bracelets. The children like them a lot.  You are wonderful to work with.  Hopefully, we’ll be allowed to do this next year too!!

The children are looking forward to SEEING where they help to build a well!!  Me  too!!

– Jan Scott and Susan Jordan