How do you safely hold a children sanitation clinic in a pandemic year?

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Truth be told – we miss holding public events at Clean Up Kenya!

In March 2020 we postponed all public engagements to comply with public health and safety protocols for Corvid 19. Since then we have neither held any cleanups nor children sanitation clinics.

However in the last few months, as the government continued to ease restrictions on public engagements, we have been working hard to find a formulae to safely conduct at least one public event before the year 2020 ends. 

On 24th December 2020, we held a children sanitation clinic in Buru Buru, Nairobi. To ensure this was a safe event, the location and participants were carefully selected. Those who attended came from only one court and they already were interacting despite the Clean Up Kenya event, and most of them live under the same household.

The participants were also required to observe government directives including wearing masks.

In 2016, Clean Up Kenya launched the Kenya Children for Environmental Change project. This behavioral change and mentoring project target mostly children under the age of thirteen years.

Through specially designed sanitation clinics, the project exposes participants to actual contact with public sanitation issues in a safe, meaningful, authentic, enjoyable, engaging, and in a practical manner beyond the traditional classroom approach.

In most cases, the participants take part in safe cleanups and in some cases have organized visits to illegal dumpsites or polluted water sources, or waste management facilities, where they learn how waste affects the environment, livelihoods and the economy.

In the Buru Buru sanitation clinic, the level of engagement was limited. The kids had a mini cleanup around their court which was sandwiched between brief mentoring sessions.

The purpose of this project is to foster environmental leadership and stewardship and to develop an instrument for lobbying the policymakers to integrate environmental sustainability into the mainstream basic education curriculum as advanced at the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Fiji in February 2018

In previous children sanitation clinics, we have used football, modelling, music, art and comedy to pass the message across. The children also write letters to their leaders calling for better management of sanitation issues in the country.

To date, over 6000 children have directly been impacted by this project with a multiplier effect on 15,000 more. Some of the children we have worked with at Debbie Oyugi Kids have represented Kenya internationally at kids pageantry.

We look forward to engaging more Kenyan children in 2021 as the Corvid 19 situation eases. We would be happy if you could consider support our work to reach more children in 2021.

Some pictures of the project

ABOUT CLEAN UP KENYA

Established in 2015, Clean Up Kenya is a national advocacy organization working to hold to account government duty bodies, state officers, corporations, green-washing Non-Governmental Organizations, and domestic and commercial polluters for Kenya’s public sanitation crisis. We primarily work with communities to advance their rights to sustainable public sanitation. As experts in community mobilizing for cleanups, we have conducted numerous projects across the country with some being attended by over 1000 volunteers. At the core of our work is honest and actual involvement in communities – not PR events. We receive no funding for our work but collaborate with other like-minded organizations both nationally and internationally on projects.