Young African entrepreneur improves community health
Health and Wealth: Young African Entrepreneur Improves Community Health
Last year, eleven-year-old African entrepreneur Gideon and his family and neighbors in Bukunya struggled with frequent illnesses. He would miss school or his mother and father would have to give up days of working in the home and their small family farm because they were sick or caring for others. Many of these illnesses were due to Bukunya’s lack of access to safe water, sanitation, and knowledge of healthy hygiene behaviors (WASH). Most days, Gideon was able to attend school in his community in the Kaliro District of eastern Uganda, but many children were not as fortunate.
Then an investor came along. Lifewater began working in Gideon’s school, Nawaikoke Primary School, last year, helping to establish a WASH Club. The Club is comprised of students who put their talents to work to spread the news peer-to-peer about healthy WASH behaviors.
Gideon learned a lot. He learned about the importance of using a latrine, washing hands with soap, and keeping dishes clean. He brought this knowledge home to his family and quickly persuaded them all to try these new habits. His mother saw immediate improvements and became a WASH Facilitator in their community and began teaching her neighbors about sanitation and hygiene.
Gideon learned how to build a latrine cover, a dish drying rack, and a tippy-tap – a simple, low-cost handwashing device that uses very little water. He built all of these for his family.