Pears Foundation visit to Ethiopia
In early May the NALA team made a trip to Amhara region to visit the NALA- JDC Dembia project together with Sir Trevor Pears, Executive Chair of the Pears Foundation and Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, the director of JHub. The Dembia project targeting five villages includes both community and school interventions to teach about prevention of parasitic disease, specifically schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths. The visit was to the village primary school where the team sat in on lessons given by Gondar University student volunteers. This was an opportunity to see firsthand how the NALA model is being implemented at the ground level and the interactive methods being utilized for engaging children to convey messages of behavioral change. Next was a visit with the village health extension worker who spoke of the overall community challenges pertaining to health, and specifically of the WASH infrastructure related solutions that are the focus of the NALA-JDC project. The visit to the village ended with a walk to the nearest hand dug water well, where a brief explanation was given on regulation of usage amongst village dwellers and arising challenges pertaining to the ongoing maintenance of this valuable water source.