Monica's story

Madi Kiloc Primary School is situated in the Lamwo district of northern Uganda. It is a very remote and under developed region, which suffered from almost two decades of civil war. An estimated 1.8 million people were displaced from their homes and forced to live in camps. Since 2006 people began returning back to their homes in the north and people are now rebuilding their lives. Access to clean water and santation facilities remains low, with 80% of schools having no water supply and 65% of schools lacking handwashing facilities. This results in a range of complaints including diarrheal disease, typhoid, trachoma and skin diseases. Amref Health Africa is supporting recently settled displaced people to improve their access to clean and safe water and sanitation facilities. 

With the generous support of the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, we supported 20 primary schools in northern Uganda and helped rebuild their water and sanitation hardware -  improve hygiene for 13,111 primary school children. 
In Madi Kiloc primary school, the project supported a new borehole to get clean water, a rainwater harvesting tank, and built a new latrine block with five cubicles. This has dramatically changed the life for students, particularly for girls menstruating who previously had no where to wash. It supported the School Health Club to promote good hygiene knowledge and practices including good hand washing, cleaning of the latrines. 
Monica is 15 years old. She walks to school each day from her village, 4km away. As Secretary of the School Health Club, part of her responsibilities include ensuring the rota is drawn up so that the children know when it is their turn to clan the latrine, and making sure cleaning materials are available. The children are supported by the Parent Teacher Association and the School Management Committee who budget for the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure to ensure that the project activities are sustainable. She and her fellow students take their responsibilities seriously and it is clear to see how much it means that they have clean and safe toilet facilities and places to wash. 
Since being trained as a school health club member, she has made sure her parents have set up hand washing facilities at home and she talks about the positive health messages she has learnt at the school health club. 
“My proudest moment was when we won the inter-school competition in November 2015. We performed songs and poems about the importance of good sanitation and hygiene. Our prize was a cow, which has since had a calf. We milk the cow (called Laleng – one who is always clean) and sell it to raise money for the school health club, to buy cleaning materials for the latrines.”