Olsen September 2009

Name: Kristen Olsen
Post: Tonri

Brief Project Description:

“Promoting Healthy Bodies Through Hand Washing”. On October 15th, Global Hand Washing Day, three hand washing stations will be installed in the primary school (Ecole Primaire) located in the village of Tonri. A small presentation of the importance of hand-washing with soap will be demonstrated to all classes of the prmary school during the school day. This will include the proper usage of the hand-washing stations, how to refill these stations, as well as how to environmentally consciously dispose of grey (used) water and/or reuse this water for other purposes. Collaborating with teachers, children will have a hands-on visual of the positive effects of using soap. We will use children volunteers to demonstrate the difference in cleanliness by adding soap to the daily hand washing routine by having two volunteers with mud stained hands wash their hands, one without soap and one with. The children will be able to see the difference prompting them to consider using soap more often while simultaneously having fun. Later that day, a volunteer led session for mothers will take place stressing the use of soap around the home including all family members washing with soap before meals and after using the restroom as an important preventive for common sickness. The women will also have the opportunity to see the differences between hands cleaned with soap and those cleaned without as we hold a similar participatory hand washing session as that held with the students. Simultaneously, we will emphasize that germs exist even when hands appear clean, therefore it is always important to clean with soap when preparing or eating meals, after changing diapers, and using the restroom. The impact of decreased frequency of disease when using soap will be emphasized as well as the ease to which sickness is passed between mothers and children, and therefore the importance of using soap as a daily child-care method. Because hand washing is an easy way to prevent easily-passed sicknesses such as the common “hand to mouth” diarrheal and common-cold or respitory infections, the installation of hand-washing stations in the primary school where typically many germs are passed child to child will be an easy and sustainable way to prevent some of these illnesses from occurring allowing students to frequent school more often.

Dates of Project: October 15th
Number of People Involved: 6 teachers (male) and 1 director (male)- Teachers and director will co-collaborate with volunteer for project. Helping to facilitate its continuation after the volunteer has departed.
383 primary school students (approximately 3/4ths male)- These students will benefit from the knowledge of the importance of proper hand washing with soap and will hopefully experience fewer illnesses throughout the school year.
Approximately 20 women mothers- The mothers of the community will benefit from the demonstration and presentation hopefully prompting them to choose to utilize soap in their daily lives and with their children, prompting fewer illnesses to be passed around the household and specifically to children creating healthier lifestyles. If change occurs with the mother, change will occur throughout the whole family.

Item Number Unit Price Cost
Faucets 3 3.000 CFA 9.000 CFA
Plastic Bucket Large 3 2.500 CFA 7.500 CFA
Plastic Bucket Small 3 1.500 CFA 4.500 CFA
Metal Stands 3 10.000 CFA 30.000 CFA
Soap 3 200 CFA 600 CFA
Total Cost 51.600 CFA

Amount Requested: 50.000 CFA


GAD Coordinator: This sounds like a great and fun project! I particularly like the activity idea of washing muddy hands with and without soap. I wonder how they can convince the mothers (and the children) that hands can carry germs even when they look clean. Would it be possible to find a “maman modele” to lead the session with the mothers? They may be more receptive to a message from another mother, and that would involve another woman in a leadership role. Recommend funding.
GAD Finance: I was hoping someone would do a project from Global Hand Washing Day! It might be beneficial to sensibilize the teachers at the primary school before doing the actual hand washing demonstration with the children. That way the teachers understand the importance of hand washing and can hopefully continue to encourage the children to wash their hands. Recommend funding.
GAD Specialist: I was hoping someone would do an activity too. Recommend funding when above questions are answered.

Closing Report

Brief Project Description:

In collaboration with the director and teachers of the Tonri Primary School, we installed 3 hand-washing stations to be utilized by the approximate 380 students currently attending the school. To celebrate International hand washing day, we held a formation for the students emphasizing the importance of hand-washing with soap, including the necessary situations that require hand-washing, followed by the proper use of the new hand-washing stations. The following morning, in collaboration with one of the primary school teachers, we held a formation for mothers of the community emphasizing their integral role in contributing to the overall health of their family by promoting hand washing with soap around the home.

Dates of Project: October 16-17
Number of People Involved: Directly, there were approximately 70 children, 7 men, and 40 women involved. Indirectly, the entire population of the primary school, approximately 380 students are involved on a daily basis as well as an inestimable number of villagers.

Goals of Project:

The goal of this project was to have a higher number of primary school-aged children washing their hands with soap. The objectives were to provide the infrastructure necessary for the students of the primary school to have access to hand washing with soap during the hours they attend school. Also to provide them with the information necessary by way of an interactive formation to promote behavior change in the way of hand washing. Another goal was to gain the support of mothers in the village in order to make the behavior change regarding hand-washing at school extend into the home as well. In order to reach this goal our objective was to create an interactive formation for mothers to participate.

The overall goal was met because both the objectives of providing the infrastructure and information leading to better choices made by students by way of a formation was successfully completed. Our final goal and objective of including behavior change at the home by including mothers of the community was met as well.

Strengths of Project:

The strengths of this project included the positive participation exhibited by the teachers and director of the school. The lessons of the importance of hand washing were continued on through regular school lessons weeks after the project was concluded. To me, this proved the commitment the leaders of the school had towards this project and the overall health of their students, suggesting a high possibility for sustainability. There was also a positive response from villagers. The students seemed excited by the new hand-washing stations and our interactive method of teaching the new information was fun. For the formation given to women community members, we had a diverse range of women attending, from older more respected community members to young members, creating more possibility for widespread change.

Challenges of Project:

The challenges were that some of the young students spoke only Bariba or Peul. While one of the teachers served as translator, it was still difficult to make sure all students understood the importance of hand washing. Not only was comprehension a worry on a language level, but also just generally subject matter as well because hand-washing with soap is not a part of the village’s culture, behavior change is always a challenge. For the mothers of the community I believe they need continual sessions to fully understand the importance of this behavior change for the health of their family and to realize that the benefits of regular hand washing will highly outweigh the economic output of regular soap purchase.


Item Number Unit Price Cost
Large Plastic Buckets 3 3.325 CFA 10.000 CFA
Small Plastic Buckets 3 2.000 CFA 6.000 CFA
Metal Stands 3 9.000 CFA 27.000 CFA
Packets of OMO soap 3 250 CFA 750 CFA
Plastic soap dishes 3 100 CFA 300 CFA
Glue/materials/labor for faucet installation 1.350 CFA + 650 CFA 2.000 CFA
Faucets and washers 3 3.000 CFA 9.000 CFA
Total Cost 55.050 CFA
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