Posted by Kristopher Schmitz on Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Yesterday we held our first information session in the community of Igombe. We have decided to hold information sessions in order to both educate the people of Igombe and surrounding areas and notify people about what the centre has to offer. We scheduled the meeting for 2 o’clock so people could return from church and have time to visit us. At about ten minutes after 2 there was exactly zero people at the location we had chosen. We were not discouraged as we have learned this is how things often work in Uganda and continued to set up. One of the students helped us construct a tippy tap http://www.akvo.org/wiki/index.php/Tippy_Tap to help show the people how they could build a contraption that was simple and efficient in washing their hands. As we set up a projector which a teacher in the community had been able to borrow from her school, more people began to arrive. Once our facilitator Charles showed up with the speakers, we were able to put some music on and the interest in our gathering increased quite rapidly. We began with an introduction to both the resource centre and ourselves. Charles continued to talk about how to build and maintain latrines, the practice of personal hygiene and methods to properly collect and store water in the home. People seemed very engaged in the process and were able to voice some of their concerns over a nearby bore hole, used to collect water, which had been broken for some time. We were told that we should provide some sodas for the people who attended and so we used the help of our friend Ken in Igombe to buy some sodas from a local vendor. It was amazing to watch some friends we made in the in the community come together to help us. Ken took a visitor’s log of everyone present and informed us when the number of sodas we had acquired was no longer adequate!! People continued filing in all afternoon and we reached about 120 people in total.Everyone seemed very interested in the session and coming to use the resource centre as well! We are going to relocate the tippy tap to the resource centre and are planning to also build some around the community. We will now begin to evaluate how many people are using the knowledge they gained at the information session and plan our next meeting. We will also be continuing to promote the centre in the community and work with local students as they begin their break from school for the months of December and January.