NEWS – Organisation of a photo exhibition about water and the environment in Bukavu by UNICEF, in partnership with the French Institute and the Swiss Cooperation.
Water at the heart of science
This exhibition is an opportunity to organise proper handwashing sessions. Among the group of students, Rehema, 18, is smiling.
“I always wash my hands before or after going to the toilet. But today, I realised that I haven’t been washing my hands properly” she admitted at the end of a tour she did with her friends at the Cirezi high school of Bukavu (South-Kivu).
Like Rehema, about 150 middle and high school students from Bukavu are welcomed every day in a big room that shelters the travelling exhibition on the theme: “water at the heart of science”.
“We picked this theme to draw the attention of children, this country’s future leaders, to the necessity of preserving the environment and water resource” Arsene Azandossessi explained, the head of the provincial office of UNICEF in South Kivu. “We aim at encouraging the taste for science in schools and particularly make students and teachers aware of their current environment and prepare them to address both individually and collectively water, hygiene and sanitation issues in their own surroundings.“
Divided into small groups of 5 or 6, the students examined giant boards and watched cartoons especially made for the occasion. All along the tour, the facilitators explained and told students about the water cycle, the link between water, hygiene and sanitation, and particularly the place of water in sustainable development goals.
Training creates ambassadors for proper handwashing
For Balola Medard, the Director of the Nyalungeba Institute of Bukavu, where young Rehema studies, this photo exhibition came just at the right time!
“Our province is facing an important cholera epidemic that has already killed many. We need to train children so they can become ambassadors for proper handwashing and the responsible use of water in their schools and their respective communities”
Promoting hygiene and sanitation guidelines
Organised with the Congolese Ministry of National Education and the hygiene office of the Health Provincial division, the travelling exhibition is expected in six different sites and aims at informing 22,000 students and 5,000 teachers about hygiene and sanitation guidelines in schools and communities.
The exhibition is set within the “Clean Schools and Villages” national campaign framework that aims at improving conditions of access to water, hygiene and sanitation in schools and thus contribute to reducing morbidity rate and mortality rates from diarrhoeal diseases while improving school attendance.
“I think hygiene rules are going to change tonight at home. I am also committed to raising awareness and informing, every day, 5 classmates about efficient water management” Rehema declared at the end of the tour, looking pleased.
More info about water and sanitation in DRC:
- – Women, the secret of sustainable access to drinking water
- – Cholera prevention: “Let’s all drink clean water”
- – Sanitation and Water for all : challenges in the DRC
Translated from French by Astrid Gouriten
Djaounsede Madjiangar est un Spécialiste de la Communication de l'UNICEF pour la RDC, basé à Goma. Il est convaincu que pour une vie harmonieuse dans la société, chaque enfant doit être élevé dans un esprit de paix, de dignité, de tolérance, de liberté, d’égalité, et de solidarité.
Djaounsede Madjiangarstrong is a UNICEF Communication Specialist for Eastern DRC, based in Goma. He believes that for a harmonious life in a society, every child should be raised in peace, dignity, tolerance, equality and solidarity.
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