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All that I am or ever hope to be I owe it to the community. Just as the community has given to me my intellectual capacity, I ought to give back to it in the same breath. The skills acquired in arts are such an important asset when it comes to community service delivery. Application of which was in training trainers of trainers to use theatre to educate the community about water, sanitation and hygiene.
Water, sanitation and hygiene have always been a topic of importance in my community. People's lives have in one way or the other been affected by problems associated with water, sanitation and hygiene, whereby the health burden is high and the present state of knowledge is poor. A large number of people in the world don't have access to improved water supply sources while another half of them do can't access any type of improved sanitation facility. Many people die yearly due to diarrheal and other waterborne diseases; most of whom are children less than 5 years of age. Mostly affected are the populations in developing countries, staying in extreme conditions of poverty. This is caused by lack of priority, inadequate financial resources, unsustainable water supply and sanitation services, poor hygiene behaviors, and inadequate sanitation in public places. Provision of sufficient quantities of safe water, sanitation facilities, and introducing sound hygiene behaviors are necessary in reducing the effects of these factors.
My skills in arts, specifically theatre are a godsend. Theatre majorly focuses on day to day activities of people; drama is all about what happens in the society only that this is brought out in a comical way. It, therefore, constitutes a perfect and funny way of raising awareness. The campaign targeted all members of the community, but mainly focused on the youths as they can influence the present and future situation and constitutes future citizens. The training however had a number of challenges. Though the trainers needed knowledge of the subject matter, in this case: water, sanitation and hygiene, they also need the skill to facilitate groups and manage trainings.
All in all, much has been achieved. It is reported that the increased levels of awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene is now productive. In an effort to address the pro-poor issues, efforts were put in place leading to increased supply of water to the informal settlements in most parts. High commitment of the trainers of trainers that took part in the training ensured its full implementation and success. Regular evaluation of the action plans and interest groups represented in the training improved interaction between companies & communities as stakeholders in the subject matter.
This however is not the end of my noble campaign to give back to the community in the same measure. It is only a start and I look forward to actually make a mark in the world through the knowledge acquired from college and my own knowledge pursuits. It is in giving that we receive!!!