Monday, February 2, 2009

Going Clean

This month was the official kick off to our Term 1 Full Circle afterschool program. We spent the first week of school dividing into groups, choosing group names, which range from Tembo (elephant) to Manchester, and discussing what the kids would like to learn. The younger kids, as I suspected, are game for anything, while the older kids had some great ideas. This month is Go Clean, which has us focused on hygiene and how to take care of ourselves.

We've now covered how to wash our hands properly and how to brush our teeth. Both weeks have proved to be pretty successful and entertaining! It's easy to forget that our kids don't have anyone teaching them such basic hygiene outside of the aunties at school, who I imagine are pretty busy.

Add some singing, soap and fun in the water and you've got yourself a TFFT Full Circle afternoon. First the kids all learned a song that Lou and I made up in Swahili, telling them to wash the front, backs, middle (in between their fingers), nails and wrists. Then we had them sing the song while demonstrating their new hand washing technique individually for me. Of course we had breaks for biscuits and changing the water in the basins which added to the fun. However, I think they all walked away with a better concept of when, why and how we wash our hands!

This past week we learned how to brush our teeth properly. Again, we hit the songs, this time in English (to switch it up a bit). The kids had a great discussion about why it's important to brush their teeth (bacteria being a central theme here) with Lou and then they all got their own paper toothbrush to color. They wrote their names and "Brush 3x Every Day" on them and loved showing off their many colors.

We then had a "re-cap" day while the older kids were with the Support for International Change HIV Counselor that falls into their Go Clean curriculum. We're going to do a science experiment with eggs and vinegar to show what happens if we don't take care of our teeth (I know a little extreme) and make signs to hang up around campus reminding everyone to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Now we just need to cover feet, bodies, clothes and all the other dirty situations kids get themselves into!

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