Making Connections: Water, Nutrition and Education

TKP schools are brimming with students eager to learn, play and explore. But for many students, access to clean water, toilets and nutritious meals is an even bigger draw for attending school. With more than 1,000 students (and their families) counting on TKP schools for basic needs, we focus on the whole child, catering to health and educational needs on every campus.

Our schools strive to meet UNICEF and World Health Organization standards for water, sanitation and hygiene (known as WASH). Teachers, staff and students are trained on this set of guiding principles, which includes: proper hand washing with soap and use of choos (pit latrines).  Neither our schools, nor local homes in Kilgoris have running water, so adherence to WASH standards plays a critical role in the health of our students. WASH standards help reduce the amount of diarrheal disease and waterborne illnesses at schools, which in turn equals better school attendance and performance. 

Students at Intimigom Primary School line up before lunch to use the hand washing stations on campus. 

Students at Intimigom Primary School line up before lunch to use the hand washing stations on campus. 

While the students learn health and sanitation principles at school, Francis Koskei, TKP’s student health officer holds parent training sessions so that the entire community can benefit from his knowledge.  We recently sat down with a group of parents and asked them to share the impact of health and sanitation teaching.

“We learned about the importance of having a toilet in our home. Francis also taught us about how hand washing kills germs and the importance of keeping our cooking areas safe and clean.” – Parent at Nentekeny Preschool

“We no longer drink water that has not been boiled and we practice SODIS* for clean water at home.” - Parent at Oltikampu Preschool

*SODIS is a water disinfection technique that uses the sun’s UV rays to disinfect water in plastic bottles and can easily be done at homes in Kilgoris.

“With the children teaching us what they learn at school, we have seen better disease and sickness control in our community.” – Parent at Oltikampu Primary School

While some of these quotes might seem surprising to our readers, they show the critical impact of TKP’s partnership with the Kilgoris community. Francis’s health teaching is unique to the school setting in rural Kenya and continues to lay the foundation for community dialogue. Hearing from these parents gives a small glimpse into the ripple effect your generosity is having on the community.