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Change is Today Not Tomorrow

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Dalitso Mndala

When I look back and reflect on the time I have spent with the children at Tsalani Primary School, I don’t regret the decision to volunteer to teach. Not only did it help me to integrate but it has also brought joy in the good moments I share with the children both inside and outside of the classroom. Whenever I take a walk in the community, the kids always greet me with smiling faces and I never get tired of greeting them back.

Nevertheless, something has been happening that makes me sad. In the past two months, there have been 2 or 3 children returning home from school because they have fallen sick. I tried to find out the possible risks of sickness at the school. That’s when I observed that most of them don’t wash hands after visiting the toilet. This also meant some might even eat porridge provided at the school without washing hands, which is bad for their health.

Luckily enough, I had a new skill I learned from my fellow volunteers at PST; making hand washing facilities from locally found resources. I imagined this will not only be beneficial in the sense that it would help to reduce cases of sickness, but it would also be a great time to bond and have fun with my pupils.

So, I offered my suggestion to make the facilities available to the children. It came with a lesson on personal hygiene, and it turns out most of them were quite aware of what they have to do each time they visit the toilet. The challenge, however, was that the borehole is some minutes away from the school. Due to the distance, the children would rather just go straight to class than go through washing their hands.

The children were excited about the idea and volunteered to find the resources. We then had a good time making the hand washing facility, and now the children are happy that they clean their hands after visiting the toilet. Some of them loved the facility so much that they will make them at their homes together with their parents.


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