Joining hands for WASH
Blog by Celestine Nzaro
The Football for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (F4WASH) is, since 2012, partnering with Moving the Goalposts (MTG) to promote health information on sanitation through football drills. It is a program focused on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene involving football as a vehicle for promoting hygiene, education and awareness in schools and communities.
F4WASH is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative that aims at linking the Dutch Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure provision and the Royal Netherlands Football Association's (KNVB) expertise in football-based life-skills training within the international World Coaches program.
In October 2013, MTG organized as part of the WASH project a World Coaches training for nineteen participants: eight male primary teachers, seven female primary teachers, two volunteers and two MTG staff members. The KNVB trainers, Mr. Francis Kimanzi, a former Harambee Stars coach and currently the coach of Kenya Premier League side Tusker FC, and former national team player Martha Karimi facilitated the training. The trainees were introduced in basic football coaching skills combined with hygiene and sanitation information.
"I have never played football in my life and I was afraid when the headmaster told me to attend the WASH training! But now I feel empowered, because I have learned a lot. Now I can now use the skills to teach my fellow teachers and pupils on hygiene and sanitation through football drills," said madam Patience Tsuma from Ndugumnani primary school in Vitengeni division.
On the last day of the training, forty pupils from Mnarani primary were invited for a session on football drills by the new World Coaches. "If I look at the practice that we have had with these pupils, I think there will be a great impact when we will coach our own pupils in our schools", said one of the teachers. The World Coaches also organized a 4 versus 4 tournament, where 4 students played against 4 other students, as their major assignment.
One month later when the World Coaches attended the World Toilet Day, a UN recognized event, observed that aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge in Dzikunze in Vitengeni division one of the them said in an interview that I had with them. "After the World Coaches training, I formed two football teams with my pupils and facilitated the drills on sanitation and hygiene. The teams participated in the MTG Champions League and qualified for the finals. The community is now well informed. There are now toilets in the villages and the pupils are washing their hands after visiting the toilets for proper hygiene. I would like to encourage the rest of the community to ensure that they build toilets, just like the Dzikunze community. In Dzikunze toilets with hand washing facilities have been constructed in every village, as we have witnessed today. Let us join hands and promote good health, hygiene and sanitation," said Mr. Joachim Sanzua from Vitengeni primary school.
Moving the Goalposts will in 2014 continue partnering with F4WASH to promote better hygiene and sanitation. Sixteen primary schools in Kilifi and Mombasa county are targeted.