On our CWW trip to Ghana this year, Claire Cole, Anja Doolan, Chloe Hindes and I decided that we wanted to pursue a focused, personal project that was slightly separate from the rest of the participants. After talking with Mr. Hovey at various points and discussing ideas with each other, we decided to make health and hygiene our project topic. It is a relevant issue in the rural area of Bosomtwe, where health information and aid is not as well spread as in Switzerland. Our goal was to use our knowledge on the subject and our resources to assist the school and children, and eventually the entire community.
There were a few different aspects of health that we wanted to address and improve during our trip, which included giving lessons to the kids at BCS as well as bringing hygiene and first aid supplies to the school. Before the trip began, we worked to obtain important health supplies to bring along on our trip. Chloe was able to contact Zahnart Korn, a local dentist, and received a donation of toothbrushes, toothpastes, and mouth wash to distribute to every student at BCS. Additionally, her younger sister Lily and her friends held a Rainbow Looms sale at the ZIS Lower School and raised over 500 CHF to buy first aid kits and hand sanitizer for the school’s use.
In addition to bringing these supplies we planned lessons to give to the students about hygiene which we would teach when we visited the school. For the first, second, and third graders we used the information in their school books to create our lessons and incorporated songs and games to make them more interesting.
A big issue that we wanted to address on our trip was sexually transmitted diseases and other sexual education that students may not have been getting at BCS. As we are not qualified in this area, we worked with BCS and a local health clinic to plan a field trip for the fourth and fifth grade students, where they would have a full sexual education and hygiene class and learn about their health options for any future needs they may have.
During the trip it was wonderful to see how our planning paid off and how quickly we saw our supplies used. The trip to the clinic was a huge success, and it was interesting to learn what students already knew as well as see their engagement and eagerness to learn. It was also very important to us to understand how this information would positively impact the lives of these kids and hopefully protect them from unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases that may otherwise affect them. We also had very positive experiences with the younger children who thoroughly enjoyed the lessons, especially the songs, and were overjoyed at the gifts of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
This is a project that we hope will have long term benefits for the students and the school, through both information and supplies. As the hand sanitizer is used and first aid kits need restocking, ZIS trips will continue to bring these supplies. We also hope that the clinic field trip will be continued every year so that every student that leaves the school will receive the sexual and health education that they need. Overall we are very happy with the results of our project, and we hope that we have helped to fill a need in the most effective way possible.
– Kate Monson