Friday, June 3, 2016

Sadili Oval: Harnessing the Power of Sports and Using it to Break the Germ Cycle at Olympic Primary School, Nairobi

Recognizing the crucial role that sanitation and hygiene play in children’s health and development, Sadili Oval through its Court of Dreams project is using sports and games to educate children and facilitate behavior change, particularly with regard to hand washing with soap, which is by far the best way to prevent germs from spreading and the most cost-effective means to reduce illnesses.

On Tuesday 31st May 2016, staff from Sadili Oval Sports Academy visited Olympic Primary School in Kibera, Nairobi with a mission to reach pupils and teach life skills, and most importantly hand washing. The team arrived at the school at around noon and it all started by more than 400 kids being invited to do what they love the most: play. This was meant to get them excited and eager to hear the message Sadili had brought them.

The short games session was followed by our social educators’ hand washing lesson that majorly revolved around when, why and how to wash hands. The social educators took the children step by step through the process by demonstrating and explaining in detail how hands should be washed using soap and clean water. This was followed by a few of the kids being given a chance to wash their hands, just as they had been taught, in front of the rest of the pupils. To make all this even more interesting, the educators composed a song in Swahili describing how hands should be washed and the children happily sang as their colleagues did the washing.

After the hand washing, the kids went back to playing, this time for a longer period while with guidance from Sadili’s coaches. Although the kids being many and difficult to control due to the large number, everyone had fun at the end of the day. Besides, games are more than just about having fun since they come with life skills such as confidence; team work and a sense of community.

Being a Parents’ day at the school, the staff from Sadili took advantage and got a chance for an informational session where they explained to parents Sadili’s activities and the Court of Dreams project. The parents were so excited by these activities that by the end of the day, close to 200 of them had shown support for the Court of Dreams project by registering to have their children participate in it.

Do not underestimate the power of sports. 
Let them play!

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