Name of the donor: Hope for Children
Total amount of Grant received: Rs.53,43,893
Spent during the year (2019-2020) : Rs.59,39,426
To increase attendance and/or retention of students in schools and decrease absenteeism especially amongst girls through improved access to WASH and changed WASH behaviour leading towards better education and healthy habits and surroundings.
- Provide Child-Friendly WASH Infrastructure in Schools
- Ensure that the same are maintained well to the satisfaction of the children
- Increase the WASH awareness levels among the children and involve them actively in achieving behavioral change.
- Make school children as a media to take the awareness and behavioral change into their families and communities
AWARE I project is being implemented in Mulugu district and AWARE II project is being implemented in Jangaon district. MARI is implementing this project in 33 habitations in 8 mandals (Mangapeta, Tadvai and Govindaraopeta in Mulugu district and Chilpur, Station Ghanpur, Raghunathapalli, and Jangaon mandals of Jangaon district). Total MARI is covering 15 ZP High Schools, 20 Mandal Primary Schools and 20 Angalwadi Centres (Preschools) with a total strength of 7966 students.
Major activities implemented:
1. Baseline Survey
Baseline survey was implemented only in Jangaon district. MARI conducted baseline survey in the selected villages to get actual strength of the schools, availability and status of existing WASH infrastructure, assessing the knowledge and practice of WASH habits both at home and at school, availability of space for construction of new WASH infrastructure in the selected schools. Totally 30 villages were surveyed and identified the required number of High schools, Primary Schools and Preschools for implementation of the project.
The baseline survey revealed that the existing WASH infrastructure in schools was not only insufficient but also in a condition that children were not able to use the same. The children were practicing the open urination and defecation and the grown-up girls (adolescents) were going to their homes to attend to the nature calls. The teachers also felt that the children who go out for urination or defecation not only miss that particular class but also not likely to come back to the school as they could be engaged in their household tasks.
There were also umpteen number of occasions where children did not attend to the school during the water borne diseases and during menstruation.
Hence, this project was appropriately visualized conceptualized and designed to enable the children to spend most of their time in educational pursuits
A special baseline survey was conducted with women SHG members in all the project villages to assess the present knowledge and practices related to Menstrual Hygiene so that during the discussions with the SHGs their unhygienic practices could be highlighted and appropriate and acceptable practices can be promoted both with adult women and adolescent girls both school going and non-school going.
Construction of Child Friendly WASH Infrastructure in Schools
During the year 2019 ( April – Dec ), MARI constructed Child Friendly Toilet Infra-structures in 16 schools ( Pre-Schools = 1 ; Primary Schools = 8 and Secondary Schools =5 ) and also provided western toilets for disabled children in 5 schools (Primary and High schools in Pasra, Primary schools in Katapur and Kamalapur and Anganwadi centre in Tadvai in Mulugu district; High Schools in Chagal and Malkapur, Primary schools in Yerragollapahad, Nidigonda and Pallagutta). After the toilet construction was over, MARI handed over the same to HMs/AWTs and obtained an written assurance from them on proper maintenance.
2. Training of Stakeholders
MARI conducted Teachers’ training on “WASH practices in Schools” on 12th July, 2019 at MARI’s office-Jangaon. MARI made 38 participants aware of importance of 4 themes – toilet usage, handwashing, general hygiene and menstrual hygiene and promote their appropriate behavioural practices so that the children can participate in learning effectively and efficiently. Thirty Eight ( 38 ) Anganwadi Teachers, School teachers / HMs participated with enthusiasm. Later, the teachers were assigned the action plan regarding the above subject matter.
3. Conducting Awareness Sessions for Children
MARI has produced a set of 9 posters based on which the awareness could be promoted. The posters produced, depict the importance of the theme and identify the appropriate habits to be followed. Each awareness session in the class ended with selection of student volunteers, who can ensure that their classmates follow the habits identified.
4. Formation and functioning of WASH Clubs in Schools
The student volunteers from all the classes were formed into WASH clubs. In order to link the WASH awareness and practice with education, the clubs were appropriately called AWARE Clubs. There are 350 children from 15 high schools and 20 primary schools at the rate of 10 students in each school. These children were divided to 4 categories again to oversee the habits being practiced by all the children in all the project focused 4 themes.
5. Strengthening of School Management Committees
MARI has actively involved the School Management committees of High (12) and Primary (15) schools in the construction of WASH infrastructure, ensuring the transparency of the expenditure incurred in construction, ensuring the quality construction and also made them responsible for proper maintenance to meet the requirements of the children of their own village. SMCs in Mulugu district were totally inactive and could not be strengthened as they were made up of members from very backward tribal communities and were engaged in daily wage works to earn their daily bread and butter.
MARI conducted Special Grama Sabhas on a half yearly basis. Totally 52 Grama Sabhas were conducted in 33 villages where in the teachers and AWARE Club. The posters produced for promotion of awareness were also exhibited and the children impressed the participants in following appropriate WASH habits to lead a healthy life. Later the teachers project focus schools in each village highlighted the WASH problems in schools. Over 8000 persons participated in 66 gramasabhas in 33 villages. The Gramasabhas were not only the platforms for promotion of WASH awareness and practice but also involved the Grama Panchayaths to ensure water supply and supervising the SMC in proper maintenance of the WASH infrastructure in the schools.
7. Participation in SHG/VO Meetings
MARI project staff participated in the 107 VO meetings and informed them about the WASH interventions in the schools, where their children are studying. They were impressed upon the fact that it is not enough if children practice WASH habits only in schools. The whole village including adults and children irrespective of their age and gender are required to follow the same so that all people can live healthily. They were also informed about the importance of menstrual hygiene and practicing the same. Totally 800 members were covered.