Learning Lessons

Our Field Managers have gotten the water training sessions down to a science. They are now completely responsible for running the trainings in our new locations. They schedule and coordinate amongst themselves to ensure that everything is prepared for all 5 locations.

It’s pretty tricky considering these locations are all about 45 minutes apart from each other, and one of the lessons requires them to scout out firewood and water beforehand. On top of that, they are great trainers. They poke and prod the audience for answers, engaging them with their own Kenyan version of call and response. As I’ve said before, it only makes sense to empower the villagers to end extreme poverty. They are the ones who can empathize and connect with their audience.

We’ve also been gathering feedback throughout the lessons so that we can continue improving. We do this both by quizzing the villagers on what they’ve learned (they get a kick out of arguing with each other about what the “right” answer is), and asking them what areas of weakness they see in the lessons. As our feedback begins to trickle in, we’ve learned that the villagers are eager to learn even more. One thing we keep hearing is that they want to see the actual bacteria in the water that is making them sick. Obviously, this will take some creativity to implement in our next round of lessons, but it’s cool that they want to learn and see more. However, we’re also hearing that they like the “practicality” of our lessons. For example, we teach them to filter their water through folded cloths before boiling. Why is this better? NERD ALERT:

“The pore size range in old cloth is 100–150 μm, but about 20 μm if the cloth is folded four to eight times. The holes allow water to pass but retain particles and pathogens >20 μm. Straining through this cloth has been shown to be effective in filtering out the plankton to which cholera bacteria may attach themselves, therefore reducing the risk of cholera. This simple method can also filter out many helminths and their eggs and larvae.” – CAWST Fact Sheet.

So we’ve definitely got room for improvement in our training sessions, but we’ve got some things going for us that we can build off of as well. I can’t wait to see what the Field Managers will do with this feedback as we sit down and plan out our next round of water lessons.