Last week, HAS’ water, sanitation and hygiene educator, Bachemir Charleron, went out – as he does nearly every day – to deliver important health messages to the community, this time to students at L’Ecole Lamartinière, a primary and secondary school in nearby Petite Rivière. In addition to offering ongoing health education programs like these, HAS has also drilled a well and is currently in the process of installing latrines and hand-washing stations at the school, funded by HAS partner Ryan’s Well Foundation.
Bachemir stood in front of a classroom with children of all ages to speak about “something so common,” he told the students, “that you probably even forget about it: washing your hands.” He explained the do’s and don’ts of hand-washing technique, emphasizing that clean hands are the key to preventing illnesses like cholera. He also spoke about the importance of proper water storage in a covered receptacle to avoid serious mosquito-borne illnesses that are prevalent in Haiti like chikungunya – new to Haiti as of 2014 – and malaria.
After the students heard the messages, Bachemir challenged them to act: “My hope is that your generation, the youth of Haiti, can change things for everyone. One day, I’ll be gone and you will be in my place. It’s up to you to help your family, friends, and neighbors avoid illness in the future.”