Sanitation was a huge challenge to some of the communities where World Vision operates, including Gitoki sector in Gatsibo District. This would therefore lead to people suffering from diseases caused by poor hygiene. It was a huge health burden in Gitoki sector.
World Vision, under its Health and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) programme, as well as its Empowered World View programme, offered trainings in the formation of hygiene clubs and mindset-change to members of the Gitoki community to help them develop new ways to join efforts for mutual solutions.
A group of more than 50 youth from Gitoki sector came together to form 'Ejo Heza' (Better Tomorrow) group, with a mission to put into practice the knowledge they had gained through the trainings. The group members were determined to start up an initiative that would not only improve hygiene in their community but also put food on their table.
Through support from World Vision, the Ejo Heza group received intensive training and start-up products to produce soap and petroleum jelly to sell, which gave the group a base to improve their lives not only health-wise but financially too.
Theopille, the Ejo Heza Lead Advisor shares: “We were able to produce 500 litres of liquid soap, and 120 bottles of petroleum jelly within only two days. All this was sold within one week to mainly people within our community. Sanitation and hygiene began to improve in our community and were also making profit.”
Ejo Heza group President, Serevelian testifies that there has been a lot of positive change in regards to community hygiene in Gitoki sector, but also financial transformation for people in this community.
Adeline, a 12-year-old daughter to one of the members of Ejo Heza, tells us that she is glad that her mother joined this group because she is enjoying the benefits as well. "Ever since my mother joined Ejo Heza, our hygiene at home has greatly improved. Lately, we always have soap to bathe, wash our hands, do laundry, and the dishes. My mother also bought for me scholastic materials, clothes and enough food,” Adeline happily mentioned.
The Ejo Heza group comprises of over 60 people from Gitoki sector who, all of whom received training. They are playing a big role in improving hygiene in their community but also securing a brighter, healthier and financially stable future for their families and those around them, through World Vision's support.