For the past several weeks, our Partners in Development Officer, Rosemary, has been out in the field in Senya. Multiple times a week, she calls together a group of school children, ranging in age from 12 to 17, have been learning how to run their own savings programme and this last week they learned about first aid.
Nurse George joined us from the local hospital to explain what to do if someone is bleeding, either from a wound or from their nose, has a fever, and if someone breaks a bone. With children volunteering to act as victims, George talked through the steps to take when someone is bleeding from a wound, such as wearing sterile, disposable gloves, cleaning the area with running water and applying pressure. When it came to practising care for fractures, Regina ended up with a splint and a make-shift sling, so that the children could see exactly how to help. George also explained the use for all of the products that went into two different first aid boxes that will be placed in the community, so that these youth leaders can assist when they see someone needing help.
All of these meetings and classes inspired the children to take action on their own. With a local festival happening to honour deceased family members, many people who be coming from out of town. The children saw this as an opportunity to show off their pride in their community and some of their new-found knowledge. The children approached Rosemary to help support a community clean-up and malaria sensitisations of community members.
Many community members know that malaria is a disease, but they don’t know the specific causes or symptoms of the disease. During the clean-up, when the children saw groups of community members, they stopped and explained that malaria is caught from mosquitoes and the symptoms that a person experiences when they have the disease. Once the children finished sharing their knowledge about malaria, they picked their brooms and rakes back up and set about the task of sweeping the streets and cleaning the gutters.
We know what can happen when children feel empowered in their lives and last week in Senya, we saw the results of that.