Harambee – Week two in Benditai

19 July 2009

Water tank + familyThis week in Benditai, the volunteers continued work on the water tanks in this area constructing new troughs at each of the existing water tanks. The community will come together on Sunday afternoon for a full training on the continuing maintenance and upkeep of these tanks. The users of each tank assisted this week with painting the roofs to protect them against rust and many of them used their donkeys to carry the stones and cement needed for the troughs.

The peer education team ran a training for the youth of the community in the areas of relationships, communications, gender roles, stages of development, STI’s, HIV &AIDS, family planning, living positively with HIV and maternal health. On Saturday 18th, they will begin two courses – one for men only and a separate course for women in the villages of Sachangwan and Chebaibai.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, FOL began Health surveys in the Londiani Division this week and FOL volunteers went out each day with the community health workers on these surveys. The villages of Kamwingi, Benditai, Farmers and Sachangwan were covered. Each survey has 32 questions which focus on the areas of education, health and sanitation in each household. The Ministry of Health plan to use this information to determine the best course of action in addressing the issues which face these communities. These include lack of sanitation, lack of a clean water source and related health problems.

Work with three of the local schools continued on the HECA clubs – Healthy Environments for Children Alliance. Each school has formed a HECA club among the students and they have focused on the practical side of producing a healthy environment in their school using cleaning equipment and gardening equipment provided by FOL to clean their schools and begin to prepare flower beds.

Adult classThe volunteers have also worked with the schools on awareness raising activities that will inform the students in the HECA clubs and also provide material for them to raise awareness through the rest of the school and out into the wider community. Each afternoon, a group of women have come to the FOL campsite to work on literacy. Most of these women are elders in the community and have never had the opportunity to attend school. Their aim is to work on basic literacy skills and be able to sign their own names at the end of the week.

Plans for the coming days include attendance at a schools variety show with the topic of Health or Peace, new peer education courses starting, four more village Health surveys and a final wrap up of all the water tanks in the area. The countdown has begun!

More updates in the next few days... If you would like to donate to our Harambee 2009 project please click here. If you would like to receive more information on Harambee 2009 please contact Friends of Londiani 9 Cois Cuain, Mosestown, Whitegate, Co. Cork ; Telephone: 021/4662730 or email harambee2009@friendsoflondiani.com