Coaching health volunteers
In 2006 Project Share started a health programme in Pumo. This mainly involved education on health issues (nutrition, malaria, hygiene) and assisting them in finding help (supporting an application for a borehole). In all this stimulating people to take action themselves, rather than just waiting for things to happen, played an important role. The programme seems to have helped the village greatly and the villagers became more and more enthousiastic and active. Project Share would like to see similar programmes in other villages.
We want to stimulate people to share the knowledge they acquire, so that the process can be continued sustainably. So in 2007 we started our coaching efforts. 5 volunteers were appointed in Pumo to do health education in other villages. Since they could see the benefits of the education they had received, they were eager to share this knowledge. At the same time a start was made to a health programme in Zanteli, a neighbouring village.
The 5 health volunteers met about 5 times to discuss how to set up such a programme and especially how to give workshops. The knowledge they had picked up from the workshops themselves was still readily available, so we did not focus on training for content. In the various meetings we discussed different styles of educating, such as pictures, stories, songs and drama, and also we dealt with structuring your workshop. After a practice round for a small group and then for Pumo village they went over to Zanteli and ran a workshop almost independently!
In Zanteli we had previously done a little research, interviewing villagers concerning the health situation and needs. The health volunteers from Pumo were involved in this and so were part of how to go about a needs assessment.
As a result of this process, the 5 volunteers have become very enthousiastic about sharing their knowledge and after some initial hesitation on the part of Zanteli, they were able to share in this enthousiasm. In the beginning they were not very open, since they preferred to be educated by us white people. But after the first workshop they too were excited and wanted to learn more from their ‘equals’!
The good thing about this project is that anyone can do this! Only 2 out of the 5 volunteers can read, but the five of them together form a good team! We have given them a handbook with information and pictures, as well as ideas to use for workshops.
So let’s hope they continue and impact many more villages in this way! [Wunzooya]