Wife of the President of of the Senate, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, has taken her pioneering personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) education programme to school children in Ogun State through her Non-Governmental Organization – the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).
The pilot programme which took place over two days, educated 237 children at the Ogun State Summer Camp, as part of activities to mark this year’s International Youth Day, before an anticipated roll-out across the state and throughout Nigeria.
Mrs. Saraki said: “While the Wellbeing Foundation is committed to the WHO’s sepsis resolution and improving hygiene in health facilities, our Wellbeing Youth curriculum and youth teams are leading on demonstrating the importance of PSHE- WASH in schools as a priority for increasing youth wellbeing and autonomy in beating both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
“This pilot in Ogun State has been a great success and I look forward to the curriculum being rolled out further and having ever greater impact. I’m delighted that our youth teams have demonstrated our commitment on a local level to our global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) campaign, as warmly endorsed by the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus when I met with him at the World Health Assembly in Geneva earlier this year.
“During my meetings with the World Bank, the United States State Department and Congress in June, we agreed on the critical importance of global handwashing campaigns. Our global campaigns always have local impact and go on to inform all the work that we do,” she stated.
According to Precious Ajunwa – WBFA Youth Programmes Leader, stated during the programme in Ogun State that: “As part of the programme we held a ‘Girl talk session’ where over 115 girls were educated on proper menstrual hygiene management as part of our commitment to enable girls to be able to attend education and reach their full potential.
“We adopted the participatory form of teaching approach which enables us to assess how much the children know and how much knowledge we have to impart to them.
“The questions from the children in Ogun State were thoughtful and revealing. I’m delighted that they all pledged to teach their friends in their schools and at home proper hand washing techniques as new WBFA WASH ambassadors!” Ajunwa stated.
On his part, Dr. Babafemi Adenuga, who is the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Health, said: “The curriculum imparted by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa team was informative and highly productive. I highly appreciate the work of the team and the level of detail and interaction. The Kogi State Commissioner and her team also attended in order to study the programme. We need to take this all over Nigeria!”
Besides, the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Modupe Mujota, described the campaign as a timely action that needs to be embraced by all, while Mr. Aikulola, Director of Primary and Higher Education, Ogun State and Guests Manager, Ogun Summer Camp, commended WBFA for bringing the WASH campaign to save the lives of children in the state.
The WBFA’s programme is based on WBFA’s Adolescent Skills and Drills, Personal Social and Health Education Curriculum, the first locally-developed PSHE curriculum, which is comprised of three core pillars – Your Rights and Your Body, Health Relationships, and Planning Your Future.
Within those main areas an extensive range of topics pertinent to the health and wellbeing of young people are covered, with a focus on hygiene and sanitation as part of the global WASH campaign initiated by Saraki’s wife earlier this year, alongside global partners.
The cohort of children, aged between 8 and 17 years old, were also taught the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of hand washing techniques in addition to further break-out sessions, in line with the commitment of the WBFA to support the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.