Hygiene Education Programme
This programme was started in 2007 by medical student Chiara Taylor while she was on her elective at the hospital. The aim was to develop a simple programme to educate people in the remote and poor areas around Gorkha on how to improve their living environment in terms of hygiene. Both The Youth Movement for Environment (TYME) and the Gorkha Women’s Association (GWA) became involved in the planning and implementation of this project.
The project is run in schools, providing access to a group of children who may be vulnerable to disease through poor hygiene practices, who could also pass on their knowledge to family and friends at home. Now the programme runs once or twice a year, rotating around different schools in poor areas of Gorkha and the surrounding villages, giving a ten-week course of once-weekly classes to children aged 9 to 11 in each school.
Lessons are run by volunteers from the GWA and others, covering topics such as clean drinking water, personal hygiene, keeping the home environment clean and use of toilets. They include practical and fun sessions, for example making water filters from plastic bottles. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies include a repeated short test, as a way of measuring how much the children had learnt during the programme. The school is also given buckets and sweeping brushes, and the children are each given a bar of soap, nail clippers, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste to encourage them to get into the habit of using these items. Schools visited:
- Shree Gorakh Kali Primary School, one hour’s walk from Gorkha town centre
- Shree Prthvi Narayan Bal Vikas Primary school, in Gorkha town with a low caste, poor catchment