Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Songs and Ice Cream

Pictures (top to bottom):
Animators created songs to teach kids about using the latrines. It makes the topic just a little more fun.
Tony Hoffman, a child psychologist and lecturer at UCSC, is volunteering with us. This week he taught Animators how to teach children to use the new latrines.

It’s now been four weeks since I first arrived in Haiti. Today was very exciting for me because we did our first training with the Animators in the child-friendly spaces. A professor and child psychologist from UCSC in California is here for a visit and to support the program. He helped do a training with the teachers and explain to them the standards we are trying to reach.

It was very well received and the Animators were happy to be a part of making the spaces better and more accessible for children. They also felt more valued by the organization. We gave them name tags, t-shirts, and some plastic sheeting to thank them for their commitment. Each and every one of them really appreciated the gesture and that we are trying to professionalize the team.

One activity that went over very well was when we showed them how to teach children to use a latrine. We put a slab on the floor and demonstrated how to correctly stand and aim in order not to miss the hole in the ground. Everyone found this very amusing and fun, so afterwards we asked the Animators to create songs for teaching children how to correctly go to the bathroom. By the end, each of the centers came up with their own jingle that they are going to teach to the children.

This will surely be an easy and quick way for them to learn about a very important issue in the camp, hygiene and sanitation. Today gave me a bit more energy and made me excited about the team that I am working with and all we have been able to accomplish.

Plus, I was able to get some ice cream this afternoon in celebration of our driver’s birthday. It was just what I needed to get me through the end of the week.

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