When the Fields of Life health team first visited Jehovah Jireh Primary School in early 2013, we had fairly good knowledge of the health challenges in the school, but not the characters that would be pivotal in overcoming the challenges.
On arrival, we had lengthy discussions with the staff, followed by an inspection tour of the school. As we prepared to leave, we found a 10 year old boy sitting under a tree; everyone seemed to know him. Out of curiosity, we asked one of the teachers about him; he called Saul and was in primary two.
During our second visit, Saul was teaching the primary two class how to keep the latrine clean. His teacher, Mr Ssemanda, told us that Saul started doing this following our first visit. Though he was not a class prefect, he would lead the entire class in cleaning. When asked questions about his role and why he was doing this, Saul told us “I find no problem in organising the children to do cleaning. They listen to me”.
During the first school health competition, organised to identify the top three performing schools and children in the health programme, Jehovah Jireh Primary schools submitted a list of three names into the competition; including Saul. Out of 54 children from various classes, Saul emerged the third best and the youngest based on criteria of exemplary participation in promoting good sanitation in school and at home, with good knowledge of basic hygiene.
We are hopeful that more planned talks on health issues will result in many more Sauls emerging and change the health situation in Jehovah Jireh Primary and other schools in Uganda.
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