Project proposal for Life skills-based hygiene education for School aged children in dysfunctional families,Madurai,Tamilnadu,India

I. Description and background: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child,1998 states 'the child shall have the right to freedom to seek, receive and impart information(article 12), has access to information and material which are aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health(article 17) and that the education shall be directed to the development of the child's personality,talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential(article 23). The study of the right of the child to information is necessarily related to a child's development, the processes involved in seeking information, the availability and accessibility of sources of information, and the relevant legal and social protection. The child's developmental process reveals that information plays an indispensable role. The informational process begins even before birth, and accompanies the child throughout childhood and further stages of human development. Information affects the physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of the child.Despite the fact that the number of schools and institutional homes for children in need of care in on the increase and the increasing enrolment of children in the villages and urban areas, the personality development of school aged children and the problems they face in both the home and school settings are receiving very scanty attention.. School is not just a place to learn how to read, write and to do sums. It is also a social environment where children can learn about health, how to relate to one another, and how to deal with questions life poses them. This calls for the development of knowledge, attitudes, values and the life skills needed to make appropriate decisions and act upon them.

It is certainly important that schools provide safe and healthy environments for children to learn these things. They need schools where they have access to proper water and sanitation facilities, where they can practise the health-promoting behaviour they learn, and the life skills that help them become healthy citizens, physically, mentally and socially. They also need teachers who have the attitude and skills to go beyond teaching how to read, write and do sums. If we want to address the undesired school drop-out of girls, this becomes even more important. Proper sanitation facilities then need to be built for boys and girls separately. Girls need support in the development of additional mental strengths and skills that help them deal with their often disadvantaged position in society as compared to boys. The quality of the environment and the care a child receives from and community exerts a powerful influence on his or her physical and mental development processes.

Promotion of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation in schools therefore helps children to adopt good habits during their formative childhood. What children learn in school they can and often do pass on in their families and communities, both at the time of learning and during their lives as parents and grandparents. However, the learning potential of many children and adolescents is compromised by conditions and behaviours that undermine the physical and emotional well-being that makes learning possible. In many countries, schools are some of the most crowded places. These conditions facilitate the spreading of micro-organisms that cause diseases. When water, sanitation and hygiene conditions are poor, instead of safeguarding children from the transmission of infectious diseases, school environments are full of health hazards. Hence, education on health and hygiene has to go hand in hand with physically safe and well-kept hygiene facilities to make schools safe places for children's development.

Safe and hygienic schools and effective education require the participation of parents, teachers NGOs and civil society groups and above all, children. At all ages, children and adolescents can be engaged actively in learning experiences that enable them to practise basic hygiene and sanitation and advocate it at home and in their community. It is also important to focus on children because they are the parents of the future. Life skills-based hygiene education can help to create effective education and hygienic schools by giving children not only knowledge but also attitudes and skills for coping with life (hence the term life skills). Part of this coping is in water, sanitation and hygiene and includes the learning of practical hygiene skills. Life skills-based hygiene education helps children to change behaviour and so reduce risks and prevent water and sanitation related diseases. Teaching children through life skills-based hygiene education materials involves the use of interactive and participatory methods with room for information focused sessions and child-centred sessions.

Life skills-based hygiene education focuses on the development of knowledge, attitudes and skills that support people/children in taking a greater responsibility for their own lives. It helps children to acquire and practise good health behaviours along with the underlying knowledge and positive attitudes. It also helps children to develop and strengthen their general interpersonal and psycho-social capabilities or life skills. Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and the challenges of everyday life (WHO 2000). Examples of interpersonal and psycho-social capabilities (or life skills) are assertion, negotiation, empathy building and stress-coping skills.Life skills-based education addresses real-life applications of knowledge, attitudes and skills, and makes use of participatory and interactive teaching and learning methods. It can be applied to many issues and aspects of life such as peace, human rights, or the environment Children who live in villages and backward areas in and around Madurai, Tamilnadu, India need a decent, secure, affordable home which is fundamental to the realization of children's rights. The quality of housing affects girls' and boys' health and overall environment. Their health and survival depends as much on healthy environments as on health services. In fact, these children are particularly affected by health related problems which are related to water and sanitation and they are susceptible to diarrhoeal diseases, intestinal worms and various eye and skin ailments. Inadequate living environments namely environmental chaos, stress and parenting, poor housing, absence of safe informal public gathering places, lack of easy access to opportunities for safe play, absence of constructive opportunities for young people, repeated exposure to violence in hazardous in rural and semi- urban environment etc impact the quality of life of children.

The Goodwill social work centre has been taking up various programs aimed the physical, social, educational and spiritual development of children and young people who are in the 6-18 years of age. Our experiences have shown that though these activities and services which are being offered to boys and girls who hail from villages and urban slums areas have impacted the quality of their life to an appreciable extent and the extent of their participation in the programs is found to be fairly high, the need for promoting 'Life skills-based hygiene education for school aged children in dysfunctional families" is of paramount importance. The term 'dysfunctional family' is defined as one which develops a sense of powerlessness (Mishe and Mishe, 1977) that pervades the lives of the members in the family and which is unable to cope with adversities of life effectively and accomplish the life tasks. A dysfunctional family is incapable of a) giving attention to the family need b) ameliorating or preventing negative effects on the family and c) bringing about changes in family's environment through the provision of opportunities for improving the standard of living. Unfortunately, children in dysfunctional families experience crises and are being considered at risk of abuse and neglect. There are a number of factors correlated with family dysfunctions that force the children at risk. It is evident that children in dysfunctional families lead a life devoid of the rights to childhood. The problems of these children are multi-faceted which call for preventive family support services including life skills based education, which range from available services (primary prevention services), through early intervention services to assist families of children as 'at risk', to intensive crisis intervention services. The types of dysfunctional families include 1.stressed families where the parents are psychologically and economically are a at disadvantage 2.Female headed families, where mothers are deserted by their husbands or become widows 3.Disintegrated families where both the spouses have either died or separated 4. offending families indulging in 'fights',' arguments', 'drunkenness' and 'aggressiveness 5.families likely to disintegrate due to marital disagreement 6.Families of street children, working children, HIV affected, Visually impaired and orthopaedically handicapped.

Knowing the importance of the promotion of good hygiene behaviours associated with the prevention of water and sanitation-related infectious diseases among children the Goodwill social work centre proposes to launch 'Life skills-based hygiene education to cater to the needs of children in dysfunctional families in and around Madurai, Tamilnadu, South India and backward areas in and around Madurai, Tamilnadu, South India. For the purpose of the project, a 'child in a dysfunctional family' is deemed to be as one who falls within the above types of dysfunctional families, who is school going and whose age groups ranges from 6-12,who is either orphaned or homeless, who lives in an orphanage or home for destitute children or who belongs to a low income community living in villages and slums with family or who is visually impaired or orthopaedically challenged.

II. Rationale of the Programme:

In general, children in rural and semi urban India lack the basic information on the life skills based hygiene. Promotion of life skills-based hygiene education in schools and institutional home care for children helps children to adopt good habits during their formative childhood. Schools in villages and urban areas do not concentrate on promoting life skills-based hygienic behaviours nor do they have environment and hygiene education in the formal or non-formal curriculum. Safe water and sanitation are essential for a healthy learning environment. Appropriate hygiene behaviour by all users children is essential to derive the full health benefits from the facilities Children lack the opportunities to learn and explore their environment physically and intellectually Children are easy to reach and indispensable component in achieving sustainable development Accessing children to life skills-based hygiene education will protect them from dangers and risks It is a social facility enjoyed by the children in villages and backward areas in the cities Life skills- based hygiene education and networking will attract children's attention and co-operation Children have the right to participate fully in life skills education and learn about water, sanitation and personal hygiene which protect and promote environmental health rights and well being. The programme will create a healthy and safe learning environment and help children to develop knowledge, attitudes and life skills - that is, skills to cope with life - that support the adoption of good hygiene behaviours and better health and eventually reach out to families and communities to stimulate safe hygiene and sanitation practices by all community members.

III. Objectives of the project:

  1. To impart Life skills-based hygiene education to school aged children in dysfunctional
	 families who are in the age group of 6-9 and 10-12.
  1. To provide participatory learning experiences to the children that will aim to develop the
		knowledge, attitudes and especially skills needed to take positive actions to create or
		maintain hygienic conditions
  1. Prepare children to share environment related health information with others on a child-
	 to-child and child-to-community.

IV. Project Location: The project will be implemented in Madurai city and its neighbouring areas,Tamilnadu,India. Madurai is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, India and is also considered as the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu.It is one of the three metropolitan cities in the state of Tamilnadu having a total population of 1.2 million, of which 19.06 percent are slum population which is distributed among 72 wards in and around the Madurai city corporation. It is reported in the Government of Tamilnadu, Slum population 2001 that Madurai (Corporation) has a slum population 175875 of which 88725 are males and 87150 are females. The total number of slums is 185. A very high proportion of the families of working children live in slums and backward areas and most of them (father and mother) work in unorganized and informal sectors. Some of them take up self-employment to eke out their livelihood.

a.Local context (economically, socially, and politically): Since its inception, Our centre has been organising various programmes for children,youth,women and workers in unorganised sectors including agriculture in Madurai and its neighbouring villages in Madurai east village Panchayat union block and Madurai West Village Panchayat union block in Madurai district,Tamilnadu,South India. There are 106 revenue villages located within the Madurai East Panchayat union block whereas Madurai West Panchayat union block has 82 revenue villages. The total population of Madurai east Panchayat union block is122235,of which 61958 are males and 60277 are females whereas the Madurai West Panchayat Union block has a total population of 190245 of which 96225 are males and 94020 are females. As to the socio-economic indicators of the Madurai East Panchayat Union, the number of female per 1000 males 973. The percentage of Schedule castes (socially oppressed class) to the total population is 20.19. The percentage of workers to total rural population 41.70 whereas the percentage of female workers to total workers is 41.98.Since this is an agricultural community, the percentage of agricultural workers to total workers is 70.28 whereas the percentage of agricultural labourers to total agricultural workers is 76.89.The density of population per sq.meter is 553 and the average size of household is 4.The percentage of literacy is 53.28.

b) The socio economic indicators: The socio economic indicators of the Madurai West Panchayat union block reveal the fact that the number of female per 1000 males is 973.The percentage of schedule castes to the total population is 15.11. The percentage of workers to total rural population 37.98 whereas the percentage of female workers to total workers is 28.21.Since this is an agricultural and semi-urban based community, the percentage of agricultural workers to total workers is 20.65 whereas the percentage of agricultural labourers to total agricultural workers is 74.32.The density of population per sq.meter is 1172 and the average size of household is 4.The percentage of literacy is 81.36.

The Goodwill social work centre has been reaching out to 100 villages and hamlets in the above two union blocks and casting its net wide to work with poor and disadvantaged sections of the rural, semi-urban and backward areas in and around Madurai,Tamilnadu,India. The map showing the geographical areas is given below:

V.Curriculum and lesson plans: The centre will design and develop a curriculum on Life skills-based hygiene education containing four major themes and sub themes as shown below:

Themes and sub themes

  1. Water, sanitation and waste
• Water sources in the school compound		
	 and the community
• Water transport, storage and handling
	 at home and in school
• Waste materials, including human
	excreta and rubbish at home, in the
	school compound and in the
• Water quality and purification
  1. Personal and food hygiene
  • Personal hygiene
  • Nutrition - Food hygiene, eating patterns, water availability

  1. Water and sanitation-related diseases
		 that have an impact on health

  • Diarrhea
  • Skin, eye diseases, dental problems
  • Worm and lice infestation
  • Area specific diseases, e.g. related to
	arsenic and fluoride pollution
  • Malaria, Jaundice, Chikungunya etc
  1. Facilities for water, sanitation and
	 hygiene within schools, households
		and the community

  • Basic knowledge about environmental
	hygiene at home, in school and in the
	community																					 • Defecation practices at home, in school																						and in the community
  • Operation and maintenance of household and schOOL
  • Technical and managerial aspects of facilities at home and in school

A training manual will be prepared in English and translated in vernacular which will describe the lesson plan for each topic relating to life skills-based hygiene education for children. Each lesson will detail the existing knowledge of the children, relevant aspects that can influence the lesson, objectives, attitudes, life skills and hands-on skills to be developed. The required knowledge, required attitude, required skills and methods for each lesson plan will be listed in the manual. In addition to lectures participatory learning and teaching methods such as, Class conversation, Concentric circles, Problem-solving discussions, Forum discussion, Continuum or rope-voting, Calling numbers/Jigsaw puzzle, Role-play, Brainstorming, Pantomime, Songs, Games, Demonstrations, Voting, Ranking, and field visits will be carried out with the whole groups of children. Curricula and lesson plans in life skills-based hygiene education start from the children's knowledge and skills and the local beliefs, values, behaviours and conditions that are most relevant for the local context.

VI.Duration of the project:

The duration of the project is 36 months. The project will be implemented in a phased manner. It is estimated that the project will cover 3000 children who are in the age group of 6-12 within a span of three years. The total number of schools and Institutions providing home care for children(both boys and girls) will be 30-35 which are located with in the Madurai East and west panchayat union blocks including Madurai city,Tamilnadu,South India.

VII. Organisation of the Programme:

  • Rapid needs assessment in the schools and institutions providing home care for children will be undertaken by our project staff-Identifying schools and institutions-Identifying groups of children for the Life skills-based hygiene education programme as per indicators laid down for 'child in dysfunctional family' as listed in Item I-Selection of Educators for the project.
  • A curriculum on life skills-based hygiene Education' containing a brief description of each unit of lesson, teaching methods to be used and the number of hours required will be designed in the local language(Tamil)-Our Educators will undergo intensive orientation training on the Life skills-based hygiene education, which will include both theory and practicals. In addition,short training courses will be organised for building individual capacity on 'Life skills-based hygiene education and role of school teachers and home care givers' for teachers and home care givers in selected schools/ institutions.
  • Implementation of the programme in each school and institution-Organising 10 programmes of one month duration in ten schools/institution per year-Total number of training programmes for three years will be 30 which will cover about 3000 children.
  • The Life skills-based education and training sessions will be held in the evenings and week ends.
  • For each subject included in the lesson plan, the educators will conduct a pre evaluation to examine the existing knowledge among the children and after each unit of lesson, a post evaluation will be done.Evaluation instruments will be designed and developed for assessing the knowledge 'before' and 'after' our interventions.
  • Learning methodology: Use of group work for participatory methods in the programme.
  • As a supplementary programme, the centre will organize free general medical check up camps, dental, skin care camps and eye check up camps for the children in collaboration with local Government and private hospitals, Madurai, South India. Treatment and supply of medicines will be provided to the children free of cost.
  • The centre will organise advocacy to pressurize local governmental organizations primary health care centres to make water,sanitation and hygiene related facilities and services available for children in schools and institutions providing home care for children
  • Monitoring and evaluation-Mid evaluation,Annual and post evaluation will be made during the tenure of the project.
  • Documentation and Report writing

Note:The project is designed as an intervention-oriented research within the framework of quasi-experiemental.It will comprise pre and post assessment surveys to assess the knowledge,attitudes and practices among the selected population. The primary data will be collected from the participants through interview method. The data will be analysed using elements of quantitative and qualitative research approaches. In addition, the focus group discussions with children will be made. The collection of data will result in the form a study report which will be a useful source of information for replicating the project elsewhere.

VIII. Activity Plan- 36 months

1-3 Months:

  • Rapid needs assessment in the select schools /institutions
  • Curriculum design and preparation of training modules,
  • Collection and preparation learning and communication materials
  • Selection of Educators and orientation training for Educators
  • Short training courses for school teachers and home care givers
  • Forming groups of children for the programme.
  • Pre-evaluation survey for children

4-36 months: Programme implementation

  • Organising life skills-based hygiene Education in select schools/institutions
  • Participatory Training exercises
  • Communication applications
  • Fields visits and Exposures
  • Post assessment survey-unit wise

6th month of every year - Mid evaluation 12th month of every year-Annual evaluation 36th Month-Final evaluation Report writing and Documentation

IX. Expected outcomes Life skills-based hygiene education offers an effective approach to equipping children with the knowledge, attitudes and skills that they need to help them avoid risk-taking behaviours and adopt healthier life styles. The expected outcomes will include

  • development of knowledge most relevant to the elements of life skills-based hygiene education being addressed;
  • development of specific psychosocial (or life) skills – such as assertion, negotiation,

empathy building – most relevant to the local challenges to health, hygiene, and well-being;

  • development of positive attitudes and motivation to use the skills and knowledge to

promote health and hygiene;

  • development of necessary hands-on skills such as proper hand washing and use of

latrines, as well as skills in proper operation and maintenance of facilities and, where relevant, building skills for construction of facilities;

  • opportunities to model and practise the knowledge, attitudes and skills within the

school context and local environment.

Children will have the skills to critically analyse local conditions and find solutions that fit local means and culture. They will also have the relevant knowledge to guide their actions. They will develop positive attitudes to adopt and sustain a healthy life style during their days in school and during the rest of their lives.

X.Project costs: For three years in Indian Rupees

Personnel costs

1)Project Coordinator (Rs.10000x 12 months x 3 years) 360,000 2)Life Skills programme officers/ Educators 648,000

			 (Rs.6000 x 12 months x 3 x 3 years)						
3)Auditor's fees (Rs.10000 x3 years) 						 30,000																									Sub Total:				1038000(USD25950)											

II.Programme Expenses

1) Organizing LSBH education,

		training,educational kits,field study,personal	 540,000
		hygiene and health camps &exposure visits
		for 	15000 children for 36 months)		
		 (Rs.15000 x36 months)

2)Rent for the Goodwill field office 360,000 (Rs.10000 x 36 months) 3) Stationery and postage (Rs.5000 x 36 months) 180,000 4) Telephone rent per month (Rs.5000x36moths) 180,000

5) Traveling allowances to FIVE Project staff to visit

	 project locations (Rs.1000 x 5 persons x 36 months)	 180,000
Sub Total:		 144,0000(USD36000)				

III. Non-Personnel costs (Capital investment requirements) 1)Purchase of two computer systems at the rate of Rs.30,000 x 2 systems 60,000 2) 1UPS /Invertor & 1HP Deskjet Printer 15,000 3) Purchase of Xerox machine (Photo- 90,000

Copier) with voltage stabilizer						

4)Furniture for the office 50,000 5)Preparation and developing learning materials 100,000 6)Purchase of teaching aids and audio visual aids 125,000 7)Purchase of a four wheeler(Jeep) for field Visits by field staff and for the use by children 600,000

	 Sub Total:								 1040000(USD26000)						
				 Total grant requested: Indian Rupees: 3518000(USD: 87950)

Name and address of the Project Holder:

Prof.Dr.J.Christopher Daniel,M.A.,Ph.D Executive Director Goodwill social work centre No:5,South street Extension Singarayar colony Madurai-625002 Tamilnadu,India

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Created March 6, 2008 by Dr.Christopher Daniel
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