Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kasambiika: Water Chain Sensitization


          Our first sensitization started with ideas from a lantern-lit brainstorming session: Tom would draft an introduction in Lusoga (always a crowd pleaser), our fearless team leaders, Gladys and Debbie, would explain our mission while the rest of us would present on the different components of the water chain. We spent the week perfecting our ricebag masterpieces (a term used very loosely) which illustrated the different stages of the Safe Water Chain: Collection, Transportation, Treatment and Storage.
            With the help of Swaga, the best VHT in the game, we spent all of Monday placing event posters around Kasambiika. Thanks to the hours of mobilization our other VHTs put in, people seemed excited. The night before our sensitization, we stumbled through our translation rehearsal and smoothed out the miscommunications. By our last rehearsal on Tuesday morning, Team Kasambiika was more than ready for our Water Chain sensitization.
           Using information from our surveys from the previous weeks, our main goal was to emphasize maintaining existing water sources, treating drinking water, and keeping transportation/storage containers clean. The only thing we forgot to account for was “Africa Time.” We spent two hours waiting for a crowd to accumulate while enjoying everyone’s favorite game: Twenty Questions. Eventually, there we were, standing in front of 20 women, green UVP shirts glowing, ready to educate on all things water. It was great. Some highlights include Tom’s Lusogan introduction, Sarah and Debbie’s clean water demonstration, and Gladys reminding everyone that “water is your friend.”
            We later found out that our sensitization’s attendance was low because of a death in the community and that the funeral the next day would affect tomorrow’s sensitization as well. Our sensitization for Kasambiika II was rescheduled for the following week. This was unexpected, but nothing we couldn't handle. We paid our respects at the funeral ceremony the next day, which turned out to be more of a celebration of life. People appreciated that we came and we were extremely grateful to have been invited. 

         Despite a couple hiccups here and there, Team Kasambiika held a successful sensitization 
with a positive response, surely a sign of more good things to come. 

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