Last week Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Chirumanzu district held its first Primary schools’ competition at Ortons Drift Primary school as part of the STRENGTH in school project’s aim to cultivate awareness on health, sanitation and hygiene amongst school children.
The competitions were packed with a hive of activity as school children from the four participating schools showcased their various talents on drama, poetry, dance and quiz.
Ortons Drift Primary school received the best overall school in all its STRENGTH activities and role play prize, while Chiweshe Primary school won in the quiz category. Mazvimba Primary school took the poetry category prize while Simon Muzenda Primary school received a consolation prize.
Felix Tete, the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who was also the guest speaker at the event said through the Schools Training for Resilience in Emergencies through Nutrition and Good Health (STRENGTH in children) project, the organisation hopes to stimulate interest that will inspire learners to take an active role in safeguarding their health, become environmentally friendly and value cleanliness.
“We would like to thank our entrusted mentors in schools who have been actively involved in teaching the children on the significance of nutrition, health, motivation, confidence, self-esteem and hygiene in their day-to-day lives.
“Children who learn about safe water, sanitation and hygiene habits at school will in turn reinforce positive life-long behaviours in their homes and their communities,” he said.
Valeria Gumbu, the teacher in charge of Ortons Drift Primary school said the competitions are a good platform for students to showcase their talent, build confidence and self-esteem in their learning activities.
“She also commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for its interventions through the projects as this has made a positive impact at her school.
Hand in Hand Zimbabwe built an 8 squat hole toilet block for ECD learners, provided food hampers for a feeding program they introduced and established a nutritional garden for students at our school.
As if that was not enough, the organisation also introduced nutrition and health school clubs where students were taught life skills in relation to health, nutrition, motivation, sanitation and hygiene.
Valeria added that their school enrolment increased from 141 to 192 ECD learners in 2 terms, as a result of the STRENGTH in children project interventions.
Through the STRENGTH in children project, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has introduced Nutrition and Health Clubs in 8 primary schools where they trained students on practical activities connected to nutrition, health and life skills, motivation, sanitation and hygiene.
The organisation has also introduced an emergency feeding programme in its targeted 8 primary schools in a bid to curb malnutrition amongst school children. Student managed- nutritional gardens have also been established at the 8 primary schools through the project and the produce from the gardens are used to feed school children while excess is sold in the local markets. The organisation has also rehabilitated boreholes and ablution blocks in order to provide safe water sources and improve the hygiene and sanitation conditions at the schools.