Populations living in vulnerable neighbourhoods of Beirut and of municipalities in the Mount Lebanon governorate often live under precarious conditions in terms of shelter and access to water, hygiene and sanitation.
ACTED has been working since April 2016 on improving populations’ resilience through integrated community-driven water, hygiene, sanitation and shelter support to the most vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese residents of these vulnerable areas.
ACTED’s interventions in the area relied on an innovative “neighbourhood approach” that focuses on improving the delivery of humanitarian assistance in urban areas by mobilising local communities to meet their urgent water and shelter needs.
Inside a same city, each neighbourhood is characterized by different physical, social, economic and identity features. In case of a humanitarian crisis arising in an urban area, basing the interventions on neighbourhoods can be crucial to ensuring efficient humanitarian aid is delivered. Community-based processes enable to have a better understanding of the different features at the neighbourhood level, for example of the available local resources, opportunities and constraints that will help defining the most suitable and efficient interventions.
ACTED recently intervened in the neighbourhoods of Nabaa (Metn district) and Ghoubeireh (Baabda district) of Mount Lebanon governorate, conducting awareness sessions on hygiene topics and activities with the purpose of expanding the scope of learning for neighborhood residents.
Reaching out to the children of ACTED’s neighborhoods, hygiene promotion sessions have been initiated in various schools. A number of topics have been covered through the hygiene promotion sessions, such as the infestation of lice and the spread of scabies, including their causes, symptoms, treatments, as well as prevention methods.
One of the most vital elements of ACTED’s hygiene related school interventions is oral hygiene. As such, the ACTED hygiene promotion team covered the multiple aspects of oral hygiene, with a focus on how to tackle it, and how to maintain it. Throughout the school activities, information was disseminated in a fun manner by engaging the children through painting and crafts revolving around the subject, where students were tested through various games and questions aimed to revise the information given during the session. Following a round of some questions and answers, the sessions ended with a small engaging activity with emphasis on oral hygiene. Each student received a picture of a mouth with yellow teeth and a challenge to paint the yellow teeth white, making them healthy and clean. The picture was then glued on a stick, and each child received a ‘white smile to wear’. Brochures with the information provided during the session were distributed to the students and ACTED staff members encouraged them to share the lessons they learned through the sessions with their parents and family members.
ACTED’s Hygiene Promotion strategy for children and youth aims to combine prevention and enlightenment in a fun and engaging manner. By utilizing interactive activities, ACTED is able to reach out to a larger number of young beneficiaries, and promote sustainable behavioral change.