Hand washing celebration in Haiti
Students who attend The National School of Lavanneau near Jacmel, Haiti, wash their hands before eating lunch on May 5, 2016. They spent the morning singing songs, reciting poetry and performing demonstrations about proper sanitation and healthy hygiene. Lavanneau is one of 60 schools where IMA World Health, with Episcopal Relief & Development funding, is improving water, sanitation and hygiene through Healthy Schools, Successful Children project. (IMA World Health/Kara Eberle)
$1.96 million | Episcopal Relief & Development | 2015–2018

According to a Ministry of Education report, more than 74 percent of Haiti’s schools lack a water installation, 84 percent lack treated drinking water and more than 40 percent lack functional toilets or latrines. In 2015, IMA partnered with member agency Episcopal Relief & Development to improve students’ health, school participation and educational success through water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in 60 public and Episcopalian schools in the Southeast, South and Grand’Anse departments. The project aims to provide or build latrines, reservoirs, water filters, and handwashing stations in schools as well as establish frameworks that enable schools and communities to sustain progress and maintain the infrastructure beyond the project’s lifespan.

Improving WASH behaviors of students, teachers and communities to prevent disease is one of the goals of the project. At project startup, IMA conducted a baseline survey in all three departments to assess students’ understanding and practices and used this information to tailor WASH education and behavior change programming at schools. Mentored by project-trained teachers and school directors, students have formed 70 school health clubs to raise awareness around WASH, model healthy behaviors and maintain a healthy school environment. The hope is that working with youth in schools will promote sustained improvements in hygiene practices within the wider community.

Key achievements

  • 897 teachers and school directors trained on water, sanitation, and hygiene programming.
  • 21,361 students reached with water, sanitation, and hygiene programming in schools.
  • 89,032 community members reached with water, sanitation, and hygiene information and behavior change messaging.