In every village that a well is drilled, a Water Committee is elected from members of the village. This committee is responsible for the long-term care of the water source and collaborates with other teams trained by GAiN to bring continued development to the community.
The Water Committee’s presence and training allows the community to take ownership and responsibility for the well, and to become independent of GAiN’s assistance. This allows GAiN to move on to aid and train more villages, and also ensures that the well will become a sustainable resource for the next generation. The committee is composed of a minimum of six people, and at least 50% of positions must be held by women.
Hygiene and Sanitation Training
One third of the world’s population does not have access to adequate sanitation, and approximately 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions in developing countries. By training those who receive water wells in simple hygiene practices, such as proper handwashing or waste disposal, we can drastically reduce these statistics and begin healthier cultural norms in future generations.
The training works as a facilitated discussion to target unhealthy practices within communities, and devise steps to implement positive changes. Villagers then participate in a variety of activities and discussions, which demonstrate how practices like open defecation, washing hands without using soap, or storing clean water improperly can be harmful to their health, and cause many of the illnesses commonly experienced in their villages.
After these practices have been examined, the group brainstorms simple solutions that can be immediately implemented. One of the most important of these solutions is proper hand washing. Although it seems basic, 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by hand washing with soap. Our training teaches critical times to wash one’s hands, such as after using the latrine or before preparing food, as well as the proper technique to completely rid the hands of dangerous bacteria.
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Gender Sensitivity Training
In many developing countries, women are viewed as second-class citizens. Even though women often have a heavier workload as caretakers of the home, they have very little influence or authority in their house and communities. This unbalanced societal power often leads to fewer opportunities for women for education and work, and can also lead to domestic abuse.
GAiN’s Gender Sensitivity Training program is designed to open up communication between the sexes, to bring mutual understanding and respect of each others’ roles.
Family Health Training
Water for Life Initiative’s Family Health Teams are designed to encourage, educate, and advise families in basic health and sanitation practices.
Teams are trained to recognize, treat, and prevent various ailments that can come up in a family’ daily life, from pregnancy to childhood. They are also taught standard procedures to deal with a variety of situations, such as how often a pregnant woman should visit a health centre or when and how to wean a child off of breast milk. Perhaps the most important training teams receive is in how to support and encourage their fellow villages in forming new sanitation habits that can significantly improve their standard of living.
Hand Washing Stations
Regular handwashing is perhaps one of the most effective ways to prevent waterborne diseases. We provide a simple handwashing station, complete with soaps and skilled in-country facilitators who educate villagers on handwashing and sanitation issues.
Church Mobilisation and Multiplication
The local church permeates throughout everything we do. The local body of believers have a unique role in sustainable development, responding to injustice and facilitating positive social change in their spheres of influence. They demonstrate compassion to those in need and extend true hospitality. They also help bring the message of God’s love through the JESUS film showings, discipling new believers, training new leaders and planting churches.
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Global Aid Network (GAiN) Australia is the humanitarian partner of Power To Change Australia.
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Donations to Global Aid Network (GAiN) Australia of $2.00 or more are tax deductible.