Updated: Aug 8, 2018
The School Based Management (SBM) team of Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid implemented awareness campaigns last week to promote healthy hygiene practices, the importance of school, and how to be a great student.
The campaigns, run in partnership with UNICEF, targeted 12 schools throughout Baghdad, Iraq. Mercy Hands recruited and trained volunteer facilitators from school-based management committees - made up of parent-teacher associations, mother groups and school administrations. Over the course of two weeks, volunteers delivered fun and interactive sessions to children aged 6 to 12.
Hadeer Albo Heae, Communication for Development Officer at UNICEF, added: "Changing behavior is a long and complex process, and awareness campaigns require significant planning that takes into account the problem, solution, current behavioral patterns and local customs."
The campaigns are part of a six month SBM program, which aims to mobilize the community in taking a more active role in school development.
Narjas (pictured above), is a member of a mothers group and chose to volunteer as a facilitator. Commenting on her involvement in the campaign, she said: “I like to participate in school activities and spend time with the other mothers. Having the opportunity to give ideas in an enjoyable way and make children happy has been very special to me.”
Nadia Soto DeAvila, Education Program Manager for Mercy Hands, added: “Campaigns like this are so important because they allow for community awareness raising on school identified priorities through a participatory approach. They reinforce healthy practices and behaviors to students through fun and engaging activities led by their teachers and parents. Through this technique, school communities build capacity through self-empowerment while tackling cultural norms."
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