Blog, Mission Possible Aug 2015: Providing the means to a cleaner and healthier life 30th August, 2015
Medicines and sanitation are key to a healthy and clean life, but as volunteers on our Mission Possible deployment have found out they are not easily accessible for those living in the poorer parts of Tanzania.
Volunteer Nasir Islow describes his experience of visiting local health facilities and how the Mission team helped provide sanitation at a local school.
We started the day by visiting the only health centre in the district and at first sight it wasn't the most modern health centre considering it catered for the needs of thousands of villagers. The supply of medicines was very scarce too as it was only restocked every three months.
After hearing these things from the doctor of that health centre, I realised how fortunate we actually are. I especially felt strongly about this because I know myself how I hate being in hospitals and the long wait that always comes with it. But for these people it’s like the treatment may not even reach them.
We also visited a local hospital, and the state of it wasn’t very pleasant - the equipment was very poor and the state of beds was also very bad. There were cases of little kids who had been diagnosed with malaria, some worse than others, and to me it seemed like at times there was a sense of helplessness where they don’t know whether they will live much longer.
For me these visits were a real eye-opener because these situations were things I’d see on advertisements and I would take them in, but they would be somewhere in the back of my mind. Having actually been there and experienced it at first hand means that it has really raised my awareness and I hope I can take this experience to spur me on further in life.
As for the next day, it was my turn to present the information I had collected on sanitation to the local schoolchildren and try to educate them about the importance of sanitation. At first I felt a sense of anxiety building up in me but as I realised the reasons behind doing this, the anxiety disappeared and was replaced by confidence.
As a team, we made it more interactive with the kids and brought one pupil up to the front and used him to demonstrate how to correctly wash hands after using the toilets and before eating etc.
A huge part of sanitation is the toilets, thus a portion of my project was to help renovate toilets for the children of the local school. This was a very physically demanding experience and at times I felt like I could do no more but I pushed myself and made sure I didn’t quit because I also saw the state of their previous toilets and quite frankly they were shocking; a hole in the ground and if that filled they would just close it off and dig another hole elsewhere.
On the final day, on which we had organised a sports day for the kids and an awareness session for local villagers about the importance of looking after their environment, I managed to check on the toilets. They were complete and ready for the students to use.
Having seen this, I certainly felt a sense of achievement as most things had gone to plan but the most heart-filling thought was the fact that now we had set them on the road to a healthier and cleaner lifestyle by also providing them with tools and equipment, such as mops and brushes, to keep not only the toilets clean but also their surroundings.
Finally, I think the experiences of visiting the medical centres and going out to the schools has left a mark on me for the better, and I hope I can take this as motivation to spur me on and continue to raise more and more funds for people who are less fortunate then us.
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