From mid-January to mid-March this year, Village Impact organized the distribution of Emergency Hygiene Kits and three litres of all-purpose liquid soap to each student in our 13 schools. We reached 4,300 students in all our schools before schools went for a break.
Since then, we have been visiting some communities to see and assess the impact these items have on students’ lives.
Children Taking Charge of Their Hygiene
In Lemolo B and San Marco communities, we found students that are very proud of the items they got from the Hygiene pack. Parents talked about how the children take care of all the items they received and are very vigilant. The children are taking care of their hygiene without waiting for their parents’ direction.
Soap Helps Families Maintain High Standards of Hygiene
Last year Village Impact distributed a supply of liquid soap to all students’ families through the parents. This time, our distribution of the soap and hygiene kits was delivered through the children.
Each family got soap they can use communally through the kids that attend Village Impact-partner schools. Each child also got some items that are crucial to improving their personal hygiene. We see that this has fostered a sense of ownership and inclusivity in the children in maintaining a high level of hygiene in the family. The items in the hygiene kits are generally kept by the students in their personal spaces, and thus, the students tend to use them more often because they see these items as their own to use.
Usually, only older kids have personal hygiene items because they have earned some monies in their free time and purchase these items independent of the family. Now even younger kids have this privilege, and thus, they have reported feeling empowered to maintain a high level of cleanliness in their lives.
Thanks to all those who made this possible, everyone in our village is grateful!
Empowerment an Incredible By-Product
The goal of our distributions is mainly to provide essential resources helpful in elevating the hygiene standards in the communities, specifically to help keep students fit and healthy for learning.
Empowerment is an incredible by-product that we never explicitly set out to achieve. However, the hygiene kits have cultivated an attitude, capability and opportunities for empowerment. Children are taking charge of their hygiene and cleanliness.
This sense of empowerment is something we are keen to cultivate and explorer further with the help of our partners. We plan to carry out more distributions this year further to equip our students and their families with essential resources to ensure children and youth stay in school.
By Sam Wangunyu, Senior Field Representative, Village Impact
Cover Photo: Miriam aged 7 from Lemolo showing us how she likes to brush her teeth.