Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Water Awareness Day....What A Success!

What an amazing day......on Friday 20th August we held a Water Awareness Day at Pre-school. Around seventy members from the local community came along to learn about water hygiene and health. This fantastic attendence was due to the volunteer's hard work planning and making leaflets, which were handed out the day before during a 'walkabout' around Mahake. The volunteers worked in four groups to plan and make resources for an informative and fun stand, each on a different aspect of water awareness. They kept it visual and fun, with lots of demonstations and also free samples of soap. Everybody had such a fanatastic morning and at the end a lady thanked the volunteers for putting on the event for the community. She explained that although they already knew they should wash their hands properly with soap, many people do not and that it was interesting to find out about the diseases and how to prevent them. She also expressed her general appreciation for our Water Awareness Day. Below are the volunteer's summaries of their information stands.

  • Handwashing (written by Danielle Bailey, Heledd Owain and Nina Baur):

The aim of our stall was to educate the community on when and why they should wash their hands and the consequences of not using soap. On our stand the group were shown a series of prompt cards with different activities on e.g. administering first aid or going to the toilet. They were then asked to decide whether they should wash their hands, before, after or both. We had a bowl of soap and water and asked them to wash their hands if they thought the answer was yes, but they were a little shy. Once the prompt cards were completed we explained the diseases that they could catch if they didn't use soap, which caused a few surprised faces. At the end we gave out free soap, but the demand was so high we had to cut them into smaller pieces.

  • Drink Water, Clean Water (written by Johanna Oblund, Megan Jones and Maroeska Van Oosten):

We wanted to inform about the importance of drinking water so we had one poster with 'Why' it's important and also 'How to know I'm drinking enough' facts. The second poster was about safe/clean water, informing about how to make sure the water is safe to drink. We divided this poster into three parts: water from the river, the pump and rainwater. The third poster explained why clean water is so important; informing about diseases and again emphasising checking the water source and what to do if they're unsure the water is safe. We also illustrated how much a person should drink each day by using the male and female puppets. Deolinda did a fantastic job translating for us and everybody seemed very interested in the information we provided.

  • Storing Your Water (written by Katie Hood, Emilie Mesmans and Laura Barton):

We aimed to explain how to keep your water clean in a container and safe from contamination. The main message was 'Keep it clean and keep it covered'. We gave some examples of daily activities such as: farming, using the toilet and playing, and explained how you should always wash your hands with soap and water. We also showed a clean bucket with a lid, explaining how an open bucket risks the water getting dirty and contaminated, leading to illness. The visitors seemed very interested in the advice and the morning was very successful.

  • Cleaning With Water And Soap (written by Catriona Currie, Kelly Bolhuis and Ilona Elferie):

Our Water Awareness Day stand was a great success. We used colourful posters, visual aids and props to explain the best ways to clean your body, teeth and house. We explained that you should always use clean water and soap, toothpaste or washing up liquid. The group were very attentive and engaged in discussions about whether you could use soap and washing up liquid interchangeably. The group seemed to appreciate the advice we gave.

The morning was a huge success and thank you very much to everyone involved!

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