Our ICS volunteer group recently conducted a successful awareness raising session on the ‘seven steps of handwashing’ at the Kisedi village school. Our work recognises the need to share good hygiene practices with young people to ensure a healthy future for communities in Nepal, particularly in schools where education is so vital to future prosperity.
We arrived at the school at midday, just before a break started. This time allowed us to introduce ourselves to school children before the session began. We also got some time to set up the colourful, informative posters we had made.
The start of our lesson was marked with a song in Nepali, developed by Nepali ICS volunteers. The song takes the children through the seven steps and explains the purpose of each step. The song proved very memorable, as we heard some of the children singing the song after our session. After the song, we emphasised the importance of handwashing and discussed the consequences for your health of not washing your hands after defecation, before food and throughout the day.
We asked the students questions to gauge their understanding and asked how many had washed their hands before lunch. There were only a limited number of hands – but this is what we have come to help them change!
Splitting the children into their year groups, we started the interactive session. We guided the children to practice the seven steps of handwashing by lining up in front of buckets and we were mirroring the seven steps for them. Everyone was keen to have a go, and by the end of each line the children who had been watching were aware of the sequence of actions involved in order to get their hands perfectly clean.
With a final rendition of our song we finished our session with a feeling of accomplishment.
Later that day, we met our host sister who had mirrored the seven handwashing steps during the session. She was very pleased to relay the seven steps ‘Ek, dui, tin, char, pach, cha, saat’ (one, two…. seven) with no errors at all.
The school children are the best means to spread this knowledge to others. They can easily influence their family members, friend circles and other community members as well.
The volunteers are also constructing hand-washing stations and tap stations along with working on supplying water sources for communities that are in need of water.