Health and wellness don’t seem to fit into the dire circumstances that accompany refugee camps. JAM International is taking a longer-term view of the refugee camps and utilizing them as an opportunity to change hygiene habits that impact the longterm health of refugees.
Juan, a 35-year-old mother, fled to Uganda from South Sudan as internal conflict ripped through her country. Arriving at the refugee camp, she noticed how people in the camp suffered from diarrhea and dysentery and struggled with her own ten-month-old baby who developed an uncomfortable skin irritation.
“Back home in South Sudan, pit latrines and handwashing facilities were not considered important. We used to relieve ourselves in the bush, and that’s just how life was. So, when we arrived in Uganda, the whole talk about hygiene was new to most of us,” says Juan.
Along with World Vision, JAM International conducts Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) training at the camps and educating individuals on the correlation between good hygiene and disease. The training provides hygiene solutions to people attending, which includes skills such as boiling water to kill bacteria before drinking it as well
as practical solutions such as a bar of soap.
JAM also distributes non-food items such as pots for cooking in, utensils and an individual bucket to each family. These items may not sound like much, but for people like Juan they are literally the difference between health and disease.
“I am now able to bathe my baby in a bucket with soap used only by my family.” Say Juan. “We also no longer need to share pots and eating utensils.” She says.
These seemingly simple provisions ensure that families like Juan and her children don’t need to see their food parcels to pay for the loan of pots to cook in or a bucket to use for bathing. JAM has also ensured that Juan has a tarpaulin, mosquito net and sleeping mats so that her family is able to rest out of the sun and safe from threats such as malaria.
Since the WASH education and with the help of JAM’s non-food item provision Juan and her family are healthy and able to start planning for their future.
If you would like to help JAM International to provide families with the non-food items that keep them healthy get in touch with us today or visit our WASH programs page for more