Poetry, drama, quiz, speeches and entertainment were the order of the day at the recently ended School Training for Resilience in Emergencies through Nutrition and Good Health (STRENGTH in children) project high school competitions held in Chirumanzu district.
The competitions were held with a thrust to test and expand learners’ in-depth knowledge on health, water, sanitation, and hygiene after they had undergone extensive trainings on the areas at their respective school health clubs.
Various stakeholders from Government Ministries such as The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education were in attendance at the schools’ competitions to support the initiative.
Schools Inspector Mr Tigere, commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for its timely interventions through the project.
“The support we received from the organisation had a positive result on the learning experience of school children, reduced disease outbreaks and contributed to the reduction of girls drop-out rates at secondary schools in the district.
“You have set a good path for the children and we can only pray for the extension of the STRENGTH in children project,” he said.
The STRENGTH in children project addresses food insecurity, deteriorating water, sanitation, and hygiene standards, decreasing motivation and lack of hope, due to poor education quality and deteriorating school environments that school-going students are subjected to.
It also provides children with the life skills and motivation required to overcome the daily struggles in rural Zimbabwe. The project is funded by Radiohjalpen.
In his remarks, Emmanuel Makiwa, the Director of programs at Hand in Hand Zimbabwe said, the project offers secure access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all learners.
“Access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is essential for children in schools, particularly for girls as well as children with disabilities.
“Contaminated water, poor sanitation or unhealthy hygiene behaviours increases the risk of contracting WASH-related diseases, making it more difficult for children to stay in school and become empowered through education. This is an even greater challenge for girls – especially girls who are menstruating – as they often face more barriers to enrol, stay in school, learn and perform.
“It is in this regard that Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has constructed and rehabilited ablution blocks and provided hand washing facilities at selected secondary schools in Chirumanzu and Shurugwi district,” he said.