Today’s trip started early in the morning – we left our hotel in Kuito at 6am for our first real practical field trip – a visit of a school in another municipality called N’harea. When we finally reached the school in N’harea we almost cried. The children from the school had prepared a beautiful welcoming song for us, it was so moving.
The N’harea school is at the beginning of cooperation with UNICEF – so they are struggling with some initial difficulties. They have to build separate bathrooms for boys and girls. First they wanted to build them near the well to have the easy access to the water, but it was forbidden because of the risk of contamination of drinking water from the facilities. So they started to build it at the other side of the school yard – afterwards they found out that the water resource is not strong enough to reach this place. So now they will build the new bathrooms somewhere in the middle of the area.
After this the teachers and the children presented us with the new way of focusing on hand hygiene. This programme is connected to the sanitation campaign of UNICEF called WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene). In Angola there is a huge problem with diseases caused by poor hand hygiene. So children of this school showed us how they can clean their hands with new devices for pouring water, and also singing a beautiful song about the importance of hand washing hygiene.
Then it was time to visit a few classrooms and talk with children. We had the opportunity to ask them questions and they welcomed us to do so. Afterwards we had the meeting with the teachers-parents committee. Our colleague from UNICEF Angola, Carlos, told us that there was no working connection between the local communities (parents) and the teachers before the N’harea school started to work with UNICEF. Now it seems they collaborate with each other very well.