Podcast: Integrating engaging techniques

March 24, 2021


Hand hygiene is a fundamental practice to reduce the spread of diseases. Yet, the practice is not common enough in rural Africa, due to a lack of knowledge about its benefits and reduced resources. NGOs and sanitation agencies are dealing with the spread of knowledge on hand hygiene. The Iwash initiative created several educational materials to share the hand hygiene practice and a Do it Yourself approach for creating hand washing stations.  Iwash supports wash-professionals who teach hand hygiene practice in rural areas. After running several workshops with them, we noticed that the way of teaching may be improved by actively engaging learners. In the workshops, wash professionals tend to be prescriptive and not engaging with the participants, additionally, hierarchy works against open discussions between professional and participant.

Today I am going to talk about two  techniques to enhance participation for hand hygiene and building hand washing  stations.

The first technique is to engage the participants when washing hands by showing the spread of viruses or bacteria  with paint or glycerin and glitter. A great way to understand and to be engaged is showing the actual spread by asking your participant to touch first the paint and the touch objects and other participants’ hand. Ask them to touch some food, and daily objects that they use. After everyone has som paint on their hands show in practice how to wash hands. You  will see that the paint will take a while to get off from their hands, and this can be a simulation of bacteria and  viruses.

The second technique is related to building washing stations, the core concept of our workshops is that everyone should leave it being able to adapt and build a Hand washing station with easily accessible material. A good way to stimulate your participant is asking what type of container, building material and  accessories they have at home, and ask them to draw it for you, when everyone is finished to share  you can cluster the most common material and draw with them their own customized  hand washing station.

This technique is not to create a feasible technical drawing  but it is for showing them that it  is possible to use their own material.

Thanks for listening and I really  hope you can put into practice these two techniques.