Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Kechene neighborhood in northern Addis Ababa is home to the Kechene Medihanialem Church and a lively pottery scene. Near the center of the neighborhood sits Kechene Debre Selam Secondary School, dotted with beautiful trees and serving more than one thousand students, many coming from low-income families. Splash began working with the school in March of 2021 to ensure all students and staff have access to improved water, sanitation, hygiene, and menstrual health services.
Abby K. attends the ninth grade at the school. In the classroom, she loves solving equations in both math and physics. After school, you can find Abby playing volleyball with her friends — putting her education in physics into practice! At the age of 18, Abby is already tapping into the needs of her community: “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor and help those in my community who have a low income and cannot afford medical treatment.” With her desire to help those around her stay safe and healthy, Abby was naturally drawn to join the hygiene club, which Splash helped form at her school.
“My friends and I help educate our peers. In addition, we try to practice proper handwashing and be a good model for others.”
Hygiene club members receive training on health and hygiene and the importance of spreading awareness in the community to amplify the impact of the program. “The training was about hand hygiene, food hygiene, and critical times of handwashing. I learned that washing our hands before eating and after we use the toilet is important, and we can prevent diseases by keeping our hands clean.”
Abby leapt at the chance to help her fellow students. “I like telling other students what I gained from the training. It makes me feel like I am fulfilling my responsibilities to let others know what I know.”
Before Splash, “there were no separate handwashing and drinking stations, and no handwashing station near the toilets. Students brought drinking water in bottles from home, which was sometimes insufficient for the whole day,” Abby recounted. Nowadays, “clean hands keep us healthy and prevent us from catching a disease.” Students at the school have 22 new handwashing and drinking water stations around campus, supported by new filters and water storage tanks.
We are thrilled to work with awesome kids and young adults like Abby, and we know our program is in good hands with her excitement for spreading awareness and her enthusiasm for helping school administrators and maintenance staff identify and solve any issues that might arise.