Generation U made their second trip to Uganda this year as they continued to launch and develop their water hygiene program. The program has been extremely successful in bringing reliable and safe drinking water to villages.
Generation U has prioritized hygiene since the start of this organization. “Hygiene was an ongoing important aspect, but wasn’t understood as to the value and importance of it,” Co-founder Nich Cornwell said. “As we went into our second trip, once we developed it, we
launched it in February.”
The curriculum includes sections on waterborne disease pathways, healthy water habits and community development.
The June 2023 trip was exclusively about the deployment of the hygiene curriculum. The team landed on the ground and spent three days in six villages. The Busime, Bugali, Osapiri, Salama, Lawagoshia and Nakola Villages. Cornwell said about 150 to 300 hundred people
attended the hygiene curriculum talk in each village.
The course utilizes the World Health organization’s standards and is pictured because of language barriers in different villages.
Generation U brought microscopes on this trip, an impactful component of their educational piece.
Cornwell said nobody had seen a microscope, so they taught the people what they were and how they were used. Cornwell and Founder Joel Cobb went to locations where villagers previously got water and put it under the microscope for adults and children to see.
Cornwell said it was shocking where they got water, saying they would get it from wallows, streams, lakes, and swamps. Cornwell and Cobb had someone trusted by the village to take them to water locations to get samples to bring back and put under the microscopes for
villagers to see.
“To see the response and reaction of even some of the folks that understood that it was not healthy, but absolutely had no idea that there would be microscopic organisms inside that water,” Cornwell said. “They can now understand that one little drop with hundreds
of microorganisms and their consuming liters.”
Cornwell said people would look into the microscope and take a double take at what they were seeing, and it was difficult for them to describe what they saw, but they used the word many.
Ensuringthat children understand the importance of proper hygiene and sanitary water is a priority for Generation U. Giving children the tools and knowledge is a key component of the training.
“If you don’t teach the children about the clean water or the effects of dirty water, once somebody has typhoid and they defecate that that stool or that urine now carries typhoid, so that kid is now the one that is going to spread it,” Cornwell said.
with the help of Moses Baras, Generation U National Director, the team held a hygiene class seminar in Busime, Uganda in front of 1,500 people.
Generation U has launched a campaign in collaboration with a Ugandan soccer program called WASH. WASH will serve as a way to spread hygiene information across the region as the athletes and players are ambassadors both on and off the field.
“We will host soccer tournaments and support the athletes/players as ambassadors to help bring the message of hygiene not only to Busia and the region but all of Uganda,” Cornwell said.
The program aims to add athletes and teams as it grows. Cornwell said they have already begun efforts to go to local water sources and educate people fetching water, traveling to local hospitals and health clinics to share the hygiene curriculum.
Generation U is developing an athlete program to collaborate with the WASH program utilizing lessons learned on the field and applying them in real life, like honor, discipline, teamwork and leadership.
Generation U has built 26 freshwater wells in Uganda, serving over 208,000 people daily.