My name is Nelly and I’m a Programme Officer at Dig Deep. With the arrival of the new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the life-changing progress we have made in recent months thanks to your ongoing support, and the work that we still need to do in schools in my community.
In my role, I train teachers, school committees, and pupils on how to use water and sanitation infrastructure and improve hygiene behaviour. As some of you may know, most schools in Bomet still lack adequate toilet facilities and clean water supplies - only 22% have access to basic water and 40% have access to basic sanitation.
This is a serious risk to health - diseases spread quickly and many children miss school due to illness or drop out entirely. Girls are the worst affected. On a recent visit, I went to Jubilee Amani Primary School. In the video below Emily, the headteacher explains the problems the children there are experiencing.
That afternoon, I then visited Sosik Primary School to celebrate the completion of their latrine blocks and clean water storage units. In early 2021, thanks to the Big Give Christmas Challenge, we were able to install girls’ latrines and during 2022 we finished the boys’ latrines.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is observing what we call instilled social behaviour change among the pupils in schools where we've implemented our programme; finding children instinctively washing their hands after visiting the toilet, finding toilet facilities clean, and seeing the pupils engaging with their learning. It is transformational for the school and beyond, as the children share what they have learned with their families, improving the hygiene behaviour of the wider community too.
In 2023, we want to work in more schools, just like Emily’s, to install safe toilets and clean water, and train the pupils on the critical times for handwashing, the proper use of latrines, and menstrual health.
On behalf of all the children and families in my community, thank you for your ongoing support. If you would like to support Dig Deep then please consider making a donation or joining one of our challenge events.
Written by Nelly Chepkorir, Programmes Officer