Dig Deep undertakes training in three areas:
Hygiene and Handwashing promotion
Menstrual Hygiene Management
Community-Led Total Sanitation
All training is delivered by our Kenyan Staff to ensure that it is suitable for the local context and culturally sensitive. Where appropriate we employ a model whereby we train teachers, community leaders and local officials. This means the expertise required to promote vital knowledge to prevent disease, and maximise the potential of people to learn and earn, is retained in the communities for generations to come. Take a look below for more information on all our training elements.
“100% of surveyed headteachers agreed with the statement that absenteeism due to ill health had reduced as a result of our training on handwashing at their schools”
Monitoring Report March 2019
Hygiene promotion is vital to the success of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions and is widely recognised as one of the most cost effective public health interventions. A study by Curtis (2003) found that the simple act of hand washing with soap could reduce the risk of diarrhoeal disease by up to 42-45%, and interventions that promote hand washing could save millions of lives.
Dig Deep’s hygiene promotion syllabus includes strategies that encourage or facilitate a process whereby people assess, make considered choices, effect, and sustain hygienic and healthy behaviours. In effect this is about promoting hand washing with soap at key times and understanding how diseases are transmitted.
We adopt a Training of Teachers approach to ensure that the teachers at every school, and the Community Health Volunteers employed by the County Government, have the capacity to influence positive behaviour change long after the project is completed. Our syllabus has been developed through experience working with the communities and customised to take into account local cultural context. The scope of the training is contained within our Hygiene Promotion Manual here.
"The impact of the project has been that the number of girls has gone up...they are empowered and they become self-reliant so it has made a big positive impact. "
Catherine Kuria, Headteacher Kagasik Girls' Secondary School
Menstrual Health Management
Kenyan girls believe that menstruation is the most significant barrier to their schooling. Dig Deep is working to keep girls in school through our Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) programme. MHM gives access to adequate information, preparation, and support to manage menstruation in a healthy, safe, and dignified manner.
Our educational programme equips girls with the information they need to manage their periods effectively. We educate girls about their bodies; teaching them about the biological function of periods and how they can manage and prepare for their menstruation. Dig Deep also provides safe and private female latrines which include shower rooms and clean running water.
Our programme is designed so that some of our sessions involve boys and men too. The importance of boys understanding that periods are natural and that they must support and care for their sisters and future daughters is critical to the success of the training. Menstruation is not something that should be seen as a woman’s problem. By normalising the conversation around menstruation and giving girls confidence in themselves we are laying the path for them to succeed.
Our aim is to keep girls learning so that they can earn more in the future to lift their families out of poverty. You can read more about the research we have undertaken on MHM here.
"The villages have been engaged by Dig Deep and have now understood the importance of household latrines. Over 420 new latrines have been built. In many cases the communities are coming together to assist the needy. They have the knowledge now to fix the problem."
Quote from County Health Official
Community Led Total Sanitation
Access to sanitation in Kenya continues to be a major challenge. In Bomet County, where we do most of our work, the County is ranked 35 out of 47 in the county sanitation benchmarking done by Ministy Of Health. 600 million KES each year is lost due to poor sanitation. This is primarily due to the lack of household latrines within the communities.
Unimproved sanitation and open defecation have been linked to low height for age scores in children. Stunted children suffer a higher mortality due to infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and measles as well as being more likely to have poorer cognitive and educational outcomes. It is estimated that about 39.8% of children in Bomet are stunted.
Our program seeks to expand its hygiene promotion activities to reach the wider community using Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as the entry point. The CLTS approach concentrates on ending open defecation by highlighting the effects the practice has on their health and wellbeing. The aim is for every household to build their own latrine village by village. These latrines must have a cover to stop flies from getting in and out of the pit, privacy and a hand washing facility to qualify. The villages race against one another to make sure that every household has a loo of its own and to be accredited Open Defecation Free.
CLTS is a highly effective intervention that offers excellent value for money. You can support this work by Linking Your Loo today.