At our Mbinga site in Tanzania, life already isn’t easy for many schoolchildren. Rural Tanzanian students often live in poverty, while their parents struggle to afford school fees. Children often drop out, further widening the poverty cycle. Around 70% of schoolchildren ages 14-17 aren’t enrolled in secondary education.
When COVID-19 swept the world, it certainly hit Tanzania. Handwashing and keeping schools hygienic became more important than ever.
Enter: the SWASH club.
The clubs were set up at a couple primary and one secondary school near our Mbinga site. Chalice staff formed 157 clubs of ‘ambassadors of cleanliness’ across the clubs, and each club received buckets, water tanks and even training on how to make their own soap!
The motto of each club: “Be Clean, Eat Right, Be Smart!”
Club leaders came up with entertaining skits and games, and with their help, cleaning began to look fun. Students looked forward to doing their part.
Before the clubs took off, students didn’t have the right products to properly clean, and it wasn’t done very often. They didn’t even have the means to clean their hands properly.
Thanks to the clubs, hundreds of children at the schools are prepared to be watchdogs over their own health, and that of their classmates. The whole school has access to plenty of soap and cleaners, made with natural ingredients, and students are much more diligent in handwashing – especially around mealtimes!