The Redemptorists through a partnership developed between SERVE and Caritas Zimbabwe Archdiocese of Harare (Caritas Harare) are continuously pioneering livelihoods and water and sanitation projects in Zimbabwe. This partnership which has been established since 2011 has witnessed transformation of the lives of the vulnerable communities in the Archdiocese of Harare. This year, Caritas has been closely working in Dangarendove providing access to clean water to communities and schools. Below are short stories of change from Caritas Harare compiled by Paida Motsi- Project Officer (Caritas Harare) on school hygiene clubs that promote sanitation and hygiene.
At Dangarendove Primary School in Manyame, Zimbabwe, Caritas Harare managed to rehabilitate one borehole inside the school with support from SERVE. In addition, 10 separate girls’ and boys’ toilets were constructed to serve the 290 students and 7 staff members. Caritas Harare facilitated the training of two school health coordinators (1male and 1 female); these coordinators would in turn go and establish a school health clubs. The student-run Hygiene club is there to make sure that the rehabilitated borehole and constructed latrines are used with care.
Just before break time, Masterpiece Maravanyika a grade 6 student aged 12 and other Hygiene club members make their way to the school borehole to make sure all students have a chance to drink.
“We encourage students to take responsibility for the borehole and latrines. We make sure they are kept clean.”
– Masterpiece Maravanyika, student and Hygiene club member, Dangarendove Primary School
“We were very happy when the borehole was repaired,” said Kudakwashe Chivhungulu a grade 5 student. “Last year we had to fetch water from an unprotected well as the water that came out of the borehole had rust. We had to fight to drink water before having to go back into class. If you were not strong or lucky you would not get any water. Then you had to sit through the next class thinking about how thirsty you were. We are so happy that Caritas came to help us”
Below are pictures of boreholes under rehabilitation, school children fetching water and school latrines constructed.
“Our duties as part of the Hygiene club include ensuring the proper use of the water and toilet facilities,” said Kuda. “We use the morning line up before the start of classes to inform students about sanitation and hygiene practices, including the importance of hand washing with soap or ash. We encourage students to take responsibility for the facilities and make sure they are kept clean.”
“Every week we organize a group to clean the toilets with detergents,” he said. “As a result, our school toilets are kept clean and students feel comfortable using them, which is a big change from before when the toilets had cracks and there was no privacy nobody wanted to use them.”
Masterpiece and Kudakwashe are students with ambitions.
“I am the first girl in my family to go to school,” Masterpiece said, “after the hygiene training I received from my school health coordinator, my dream is to be a doctor when I grow up.” As for Kuda: “I want to be either a scientist, or both. If I were a scientist, I would report and research about conserving water and global sanitation issues. Water is life, and we have to do everything to safeguard it.”