May 17, 2018
"migib sinbela, be konjo samuna initateb,
endezi, endezi endezi…"
"Before eating food, let's wash our hands with soap,
like this, like this, like this…"
Five Japanese volunteers led kindergarteners in song on a warm Monday afternoon after lunch recess. With the lyrics written out in Amharic, accompanied with vibrant illustrations, the goal is to bring awareness to appropriate hygiene practices, encouraging children to wash their hands.
Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) can be found volunteering in various kindergarten and primary schools throughout Ethiopia; this month, five volunteers came together at Felge Yordanos Kindergarten in Addis Ababa to explain the effects of bacteria and the benefits and proper methods for hand washing.
In a story titled Ciao Ciao Bacteria (Bye Bye Bacteria), Kanako Nishida, a primary education volunteer told the story of a young boy, who went to the market to buy food, ended up getting sick from all the bacteria since he didn't wash his hands before eating. The children excitedly followed the hand drawn illustrations. The artwork showed how the young boy was able to feel better once his mother taught him how to wash his hands before and after eating his food.
Subsequently, Hara Satsuki and Chihiro Saga, both community development volunteers at the Wereda Water, Mine & Energy Office in Southern Nations and Nationalities Region (SNNPR), displayed a poster of hand and asked the children to identify the parts of the hand that accumulated most bacteria. The children took turns posting bacteria and germ cutouts on the palm, between the fingers, the thumb, the wrist and the fingertips.
The highlight of the hygiene presentation was teaching the children the original song composed and written by the volunteers. Miki Kawamura enthusiastically taught the lyrics while the other volunteers followed along with gestures. The song showed how to scrub the back of each hand, followed by each finger, the palm of the hands and finally the wrists. You can watch the video of the song below.
Students Felege Yordanos Kindergarten learning how to wash their hands the proper way.
Ms. Kanako Nishida reading Ciao Ciao bacteria
Ms. Hara Satsuki and Ms. Chihiro Saga showing the parts of the hand with the most bacteria
Ms. Miki Kawamura teaching the children a song about how to wash their hands. A diagram depicts the proper way to wash, the illustrations of the tortoise, dog, mountain, flower and scooter coincide with the song and are a tool to help the children remember what to do.
(left to right): Ms.Hara Satsuki, Ms. Kanako Nishida, Ms. Miki Kawamura, Ms. Nao Urta and Ms. Chihiro Saga singing songs to the children.