CESVI has been one of the realities present in Palestine since 1994, starting this year also with educational projects for girls and boys in fragile conditions, projects that promote integration and facilitate training courses aimed at learning health and hygiene practices.
In particular, in recent months, we have participated in a research project on behavior change issues within the hands4health initiative, aimed at developing and testing campaigns to change hand hygiene habits in the healthcare facilities and schools we follow. The project “Hands4health: hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care and schools not connected to functional water supply systems”, was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and developed in partnership with the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW), and includes educational activities particularly aimed at children attending school.
The goal is to improve hygiene practices in Palestinian schools, offering children safer access to water and sanitation, through thematic campaigns to teach children the correct way to wash their hands.
In the months of September and October, sixteen behavior change activities were tested in three different schools in Hebron (Akka School, Casablanca School, and Mercy School), during which the pupils learned while having fun, among other things, how to wash their hands correctly and how to make soap. All activities were integrated into science lessons or breaks between school hours. Thanks to these activities we have reached about 500 children who attend these schools.
On 17 October, local partners celebrated Global Handwashing Day at the Casablanca school and involved the children by helping them create splendid murals on the internal and external walls of the structure.
For the future of the project, another 30 schools will be selected, including 27 in Hebron, two in Ramallah and one in Nablus, with activities aimed at a total of 5100 children. New toilets will be built and the management of water transmission within the schools will be improved with significant advantages for water management.
To complete these infrastructural works, the CESVI staff has developed 16 behavior change methodologies to be applied in the schools where we operate in order to convey to children the importance of washing their hands correctly, in order to live a healthier life.