OLPCorps UCSD Congo Activity2

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Week 5-10 The Sanitation and Health program

All children will participate in health related projects and computer literacy learning activities directed by a Registered Nurse. Health related activities will include prevention of bacterial, parasitic and viral infections using modern information from the internet. This information will involve hands on learning through multiple programs on the computer. In the fifth week, the team recruited health professions, volunteers and elementary school teachers we will direct a health activities curriculum. The recruited boys and girls, of the age of six to twelve years old will participate in the health and sanitation program at the partner schools and the CAADEC facility, local non-profit organization. The parents will sign a disclaimer that requires them to bring their children to the program site, at the elementary school. There will be two sessions per day, one in the morning and another one in the after noon. Children will participate in the classroom curriculum addressed in the other activity proposal as well as the health activities addressed in this proposal to maximize their participation in the program. As much as 40 million adults get sick from germs transmitted on dirty hands, we will have the children first draw and record what they think germs look like and what they do. After, they will perform a science experiment using microscopes donated from the University of Minnesota to note, through the making of slides that contain hand bacteria from the kids, what the bacteria looks like, how much is there and what they think is the appropriate way of cleaning their hands. Here the children will observe the germs and use the measure activity on the XO computer to record data. We will also assist the children in ways to use the internet using the XO computer to look up information about disease prevention by showing them how to connect and access the internet and use the search engines. There will also be a demonstration of how to properly clean your hands, before eating and after using the bathroom by teaching a 30 second song, which is the length of time needed to cause enough friction to remove bacteria. We will teach kids how to clean and collect water through the draw and write activity.

Each child will draw their own picture and/or write a story that shows how unclean water has affected their lives. Then a demonstration will be done on how to clean the water and use it for cooking. The kids can each record the information using the record activity on the XO computer. They will then have access to it at any point in their lives, which will encourage sustainability. Our hope is the kids will begin to draw connections between unsafe sanitary behavior and patterns of disease in their lives. When the children realize that prevention is essential to improving quality of life and with the use of computer programs and internet, these children will strive to learn more about what causes the onset of disease and implement it in their community.

Another goal is to improve sanitation, quality of life and malnutrition by encouraging women and children to eat local products, such as legumes, eggs and spinach that are traditionally perceived for poor according to Uvira custom. Malnutrition is a problem among the women and children in Uvira, which arises due to protein deficiencies that causes Kwoshiorkor and Merasmus disease. These diseases can cause mental impairment, developmental challenges and are entirely preventable. The area is full of legumes that can prevent these disorders and are available to the people. With education on the importance of having amino acids in a regular diet the kids can have enhanced well being and affect local change. This can be done through assisting the kids in creating posters that show what a balanced diet looks like. The information they use will be done through their own very basic research online and put into pictures on paper, as guided by the members of the team. These pictures can be kept in their home or somewhere in the community to benefit other people.

From here the children will be required to pick one day, near the end of their learning experience with the computers, and to invite their family and friends to show them what they have learned and also teach them how to use the XO computers. It will be an open house to the community to celebrate and partner with their children, grandchildren or friends. Hopefully this will empower families and children to continue to share their knowledge and emphasize to the parents the importance of learning from and with their kids. The parents will be invited into this learning process. It is highly important for them to understand what their kids are learning, to know that they are respected by including them in this process of knowledge and expansion.

The kids will also be encouraged to share their knowledge with their teachers and classmates who do not have access to the computers. Based on the student’s preferences they can create a project to share with classmates that highlights a program, activity or tool they are particularly fond of.