For the past 3 years, the GHEI Health team has motivated the youth in Humjibre to become involved in their hand washing program as Hand Washing Monitors. The Hand Washing Monitor’s job is to encourage their fellow peers to learn the best way to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs by encouraging them to wash their hands with soap at the appropriate times. This may seem like a simple feat, however in a village with as limited resources as Humjibre, finding clean water and soap can be quite a challenge.
GHEI has provided 5 local schools with Polytanks that hold fresh water for this very purpose and conducted educational outreaches to help prevent the spread of illnesses caused by lack of cleanliness. Over the years, the program has increased to 13 Hand Washings Monitors who are selected by the head teachers of each school. These children make sure the schools provide both hand washing basins with fresh water as well as soap each day and act as role models to their peer groups, demonstrating the correct way to wash their hands at the correct times.
To evaluate the success of this peer based program, the GHEI Health team conducted interviews with 129 students selected from each school to see if they could name the correct times to wash their hands. 96% of these students knew that after going to the bathroom was a crucial time, 75% of the students were able to list before eating as also an important time, and 25% said before cooking.
We here at GHEI believe that the best way to promote true change in a community is to plant a seed and cultivate it into fruition. We invest in the smallest individual to empower an entire community.
Above is the smiling face of a recent graduate from our Hand Washing Monitor Program, Godfred Gyening. With the help of the other Hand Washing Monitors, we bid him a happy farewell and all the best in the future. Enjoy!