At present, JEN is working on the spread of hygienic concept and habit throughout school children’s families and surrounding community, by educating the children. Indeed through our project of last year, we were assured that the information on hygiene was spreading from the children to their parents. The project, intended for school children, has continued into this year heading for the equivalent success.
On the other hand, some parents in the area, where JEN has been operating, do not have children at school age or are not able to send their school-age children to school because of various circumstances.
So, JEN has newly started trying to provide health education to Mullahs, Muslim clerics, in addition to children, in order to familiarize more people with the knowledge and habit of good hygiene.
In Islam, Friday is a day for important congregational worship. Afghanistan is a religious Muslim country, where most people go to mosques for prayers regardless of having school children. However, only men are allowed in the mosques in this country. As Mullahs deliver a sermon before the congregational worships, we let them talk about hygiene there. Then the men, who still now have power as the head of a family, can give out the information to women and children, eventually to the entire community. That is what JEN has been aiming for.
We provided a three-day training for health education to 348 Mullahs over a period from late July to early August.
Personal hygiene is one of the teachings of Islam, which may be why the training was so lively that the Mullahs actively asked the trainer questions having a great interest in health education.
Here is some feedback from the Mullahs after the training.
“No government organizations or NGO have trained Mullahs before. We had known only the conventional hand-washing method. But this training included the more effective hand-washing technique and a method to make oral rehydration salt, which enhanced our knowledge of hygiene.” (Shinwari District, 54 years old)
“The people in my village have a quite poor knowledge of hygiene and have often suffered from diarrhoea and skin diseases. But Mullahs didn’t have enough knowledge either, so we couldn’t do anything about it. This training gave us much better information. I’ll surely tell the believers what
I learnt in this training, also ask them to tell their families for healthy life. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the local staff and overseas staff of JEN.” (Bagram District, 38 years old)