Posted by Narayan Murarka; RI Director Jorge Aufranc, Club Rotario Guatemala Sur, District 4250 on Aug 25, 2017
The Rotary Foundation has awarded a competitive Phase I grant related to WASH in schools in Guatemala, jointly to the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, District 6440 and Club Rotario Guatemala Sur, District 4250.  These clubs will now compete for the Phase II grant with a budget of $500,000.  The Areas of Focus for these grants are Water and Sanitation (WASH) and Basic Education & Literacy (BEL).
 
Background:  The Rotary Foundation issued a global challenge to Rotary clubs to improve education quality and access – particularly for girls – by working with communities to provide improved WASH services, teacher training, and curriculum enhancement.  The Target Challenge is being piloted in five countries: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Kenya.  The competitive grant process is being administered in two phases: (1) A community assessment award and (2) a project proposal award.   Further details about the Target Challenge grant are available at this link:  https://my.rotary.org/en/wash-schools-target-challenge
 
Our team just won the Phase I competitive award for $10,000 being one of 10 recipients among 46 participants.  These ten phase I winners will now compete for a Phase II project.   Three to five Phase II grants will be awarded in the budget range of $150,000 - $500,000.  Project Phase II objectives are described below
We are now working on Phase I assessment and preparing for the Phase II proposal, due on December 15, 2017, with an anticipated budget of $500,000.  TRF will contribute $425,000 from The World Fund while the host and International sponsors are expected to contribute $75,000 - combination of cash plus District Designated Fund (DDF).
 
Our History of WASH in Schools projects in Guatemala:  Our team has been working on WASH projects over several years.  We have upgraded WASH facilities at seventeen schools in Sumpango municipality, Guatemala.  A detailed description of our project outcome and impact can be reviewed from the article published in WASRAG newsletter:  http://wasrag.org/Stories/wash-in-guatemala
 
Phase II Project Objectives:
 
To integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene with basic education and literacy.
 
To address the needs of 40 – 50 schools benefitting 20,000 – 25,000 children.
 
Major milestones to be achieved during Phase II project include:
 
  • Reduce school dropout rates – particularly for girls who otherwise may leave school at puberty
  • Increase community adoption of good WASH behaviors as children become change agents within their families and communities
  • Prevent the spread of disease and reduce nutrition deficiencies, diarrhea, and other illnesses related to inadequate access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Teach equitable ways that girls and boys can support the health of their school, including cleaning toilets, fetching and boiling water, and caring for sick people
 
The implementation plan will focus on the following three specific activities:
 
WASH Facilities Upgrade:  Having proper WASH facilities at each school is the starting point.  This includes access to running water, 24/7; building drink/wash station, gender specific toilets with septic system, etc.  These activities are described in detail in the article referenced above.
 
Hygiene Education: 
  • Integrate WASH with hygiene education
  • Develop hygiene teaching lessons at basic, intermediate and advanced levels
  • Incorporate these lessons in the school curriculum
  • Encourage the formation of proper hygiene habits which also promotes changes in behavior
  • Train the teachers to implement these lessons as part of their responsibilities
 
Hygiene Needs of Girls and Women:  The project will address the unique hygiene needs of girls and women.  Menstrual hygiene management is a crucial part of creating a safe school environment for everyone.  The following two measures will be included in the project:
  • Educate – Have a hygiene education program that includes information about the biology of the menstrual cycle and safe practices of menstrual hygiene.
  • Create healthy environment - Provide consistent access to water, soap, options for waste disposal, gender specific toilets, and school facilities that afford girls and women the privacy to manage their menstrual needs.
 
This project presents major challenges.   Our team is well positioned to implement all aspects of the project. By building partnerships and alliances, we can realize project goals and make a positive impact on boys and girls alike.
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