More than 200 Tunisian children have learned about good hygiene and water conservation practices, thanks to an Islamic Relief initiative.

Children dance with mascot Mr Clean.

Children dance with mascot Mr Clean.

Last month, Islamic Relief Tunisia joined in summer scout camps in the south-western city of Gafsa. In special awareness sessions, we showed children aged up to 12-years old how to wash their hands and brush their teeth correctly – emphasising the importance of personal hygiene in preventing disease.

Fun and games with a serious message

The success of the initiative saw the National Association of Tunisian Scouts inviting Islamic Relief to attend its Jamboree, which brought together scouting groups from across the country. During the large gathering at Monastir, we laid on games, songs and activities designed to involve and enthuse children. Our fun mascot, Nadhif, Mr Clean, also taught children to protect the environment and avoid wasting water in a theatrical play, and leaflets with child-friendly messages were handed out.

Hayat, right, enjoyed the workshops.

Hayat, right, enjoyed the workshops.

School staff Khaled Ben Hmida, who observed the workshops, felt the engaging sessions were a good opportunity for children. “These activities are excellent because learning while playing help children remember more, and faster,” he said.

“It was good to see how we should wash our hands and brush our teeth,” added Hayat*, 6, of Baten Zamour school. “We had a great time in the workshops.”

The initiative has helped shape our ‘Drop of hope’ project, which is funded by Islamic Relief USA to provide 110 Tunisian schools with drinking water. Volunteers have also received specialist Child Hygiene and Sanitation training (CHAST), enabling them to improve hygiene awareness in the schools.

*Names changed for protection purposes