In our last newsletter we told you about our successful campaign to educate the communities of Harare' s poorest suburbs about cholera and other common diseases. Since then we have used the same 'ripple effect' method (training a group of ten local volunteers in each area, who then spread the word to their neighbours and customers) to reach representatives of 13,000 households across seven suburbs. Given that each household has an average of ten members, the basic message about hygiene, health and disease prevention has reached 130,000 people in Harare's high-density suburbs plus the 40,000 mentioned in our last newsletter and the communities with whom we were already working in Greendale and Goromonzi.

Some volunteers reached as many as 360 people with their message, or 1900 in one case, where she addressed a whole school and a college! The secret of the success is that the people spreading the message are local residents 'peer educators' who know the community, the language and the context, and have a vested interest in ensuring that the message is received and implemented.

The results are so encouraging and the need so great that we have decided to restart this programme in 2010 visiting the suburbs we had not previously reached, and providing refreshers where necessary. We will also give a large water container to each volunteer to enable safe storage of clean water for her extended family, and hand out water purification tablets and soap where appropriate. This will cost £444 per community please get in touch if you would like to contribute.

  • Share