The WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Program

Blog post was written by Michael Mawira

My name is Michael Mawira and I am a 23-year-old Counsellor and Public Health Officer.  I have been working with Village HopeCore International since January 2016 as a WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Monitor. I like music and acting because I am creative, funny, and never boring.

ABOUT THE WASH PROGRAM

The WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Program started because HopeCore staff noticed high rates of preventable diseases within the schools and throughout the local population. Particularly, water-borne diseases and diarrhea-related preventable illnesses in school-aged children were prevalent. HopeCore staff also noted that these kinds of illnesses led to a lot of absences in schools, and as a result, lower test scores. After this observation, HopeCore made it a priority to offer hand washing stations with soap and clean, treated drinking water in large tanks to schools in the Maara Sub-County.

HopeCore’s WASH Program is generously funded by Children’s Hunger Relief Fund of the United States, and Giving Hands/Gebende Haende of Germany. These charitable organizations have helped to make HopeCore’s dream of bringing clean water to every school in the Maara Sub-County a reality.

The program initially started in approximately 20 schools, then underwent 4 phases of installation. By the end of 2014, tanks had been installed in every registered school in the Sub-County.

Since the end of 2014, 27 schools have registered in the Sub-County and now Hopecore plans to expand this program to cover all the new schools in the Maara Sub-County, thus once again achieving the goal of covering the entire Sub-county.

WHAT THE WASH MONITOR DOES

My job is to monitor the tanks, both handwashing and clean drinking water, supplied by HopeCore. I also ensure that schools have a sufficient supply of soap and WaterGuard to treat the drinking water in their tanks.

In addition, I offer education on health and hygiene at schools and enjoy marketing HopeCore in every school I visit. Sometimes people stop me on the road and ask me about what HopeCore does, I always take the time to stop and tell them about the HopeCore’s mission and programs, as I enjoy informing people about my work.

I visit all the schools in the Maara Sub-County at least twice a term, approximately 200 right now. I am happy when students, teachers, community members, and administration express their appreciation for the work HopeCore does, and I am proud to know that I am part of that success. My fellow employees are goal-oriented, social, and very cooperative, motivate me greatly.

Reaching over 42,000 students and teachers, and ensuring that each of the 200 schools has soap available for hand washing and WaterGuard throughout the term, makes me feel successful.

Working with HopeCore has helped me to build my technical and social skills significantly. Some of these skills include team building, initiative, public relations, responsibility, and self-confidence.

Special regards to Anne Gildea, Faith Kainyu and Dr. KK Mugambi for being great mentors and supporting me.

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