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The ripple effect: 3 generations of change

Rima holds a book in her room and smiles.

Rima, 13.

“From morning to evening I do many things like wash my face, brush my teeth and prepare my homework,” says 13-year-old Rima.

As a member of her school’s student council and participant in trainings you’ve set-up, Rima’s become a passionate promoter of local sanitation. Now, she’s not only dedicated to her studies and personal hygiene practices, she’s eager to share her learnings with others.

Wishing to spread her newfound sanitation knowledge to those she loves most, Rima’s using her new skills to help out at home and set a strong example – especially for her younger sister, Misti.

Rima reads to a very attentive Misti.

“I help my mother with cooking, collecting water from the well and cleaning our home and yard,” Rima says with pride.

“I also cut my nails regularly and assist my younger sister.”

Rima helps Misti wash her hands

Just 8 years old, Misti looks up to Rima, and – like many younger siblings – takes pride in emulating her best friend/big sister.

“I always follow my sister’s activities!” she says with glee.

“I get up early in the morning, wash and take breakfast,” says Misti, sharing her daily rituals. “I play with my friends and sister, go to school with my sister, return with her, and – in the evening – we study together. After dinner, we go to bed and Rima and I chat.”

Rima gives Misti a piggyback; both smile.

Rima gives local health (and her sister) a lift!

Thanks in part to your support, Misti’s found an excellent role model in Rima, whose mission to improve local health continues to make quite the impression.

“I have realized the importance of washing my hands before taking food and using soap after using the latrine. Previously, I did not give much notice to this,” Misti explains.

And though she’s happy to continue following in her sister’s footsteps, Misti’s also started taking part in project activities, made possible by you.

“I have participated in some events with my sister at school. I came to know about the importance of hand washing and personal care. I also brush my teeth twice a day now and learned this from the school hygiene sessions,” she says – eager to take on a leading role as a health ambassador, just like her sister.

Yet, understanding hasn’t only trickled down to Hatibandha’s youngest generations. Applied at home, key information has also filtered up to parents.

Rima hugs Misti, as she laughs

Rima: hygiene hero and idol extraordinaire.

Rima smiles at the camera as her mother gazes at her and embraces her lovingly.

Rima and her mother, Zorina.

“Our children shared their learning on personal hygiene and practice with us,” shares Zorina, mother to both Misti and Rima. “Now they try to keep our house neat and clean.”

“With the help of community sponsors, parents are more conscious about their children,” she adds. Awareness activities that you make possible are encouraging parents like Zorina to support their children’s education, while inspiring youth like Rima really drive home the benefits.

“Before, I was afraid that I would not be able to continue my children’s education,” says Zorina. “But through counseling and participating in different sessions arranged by community sponsors, we are now determined,” she adds, with reaffirmed commitment.

Rima looks up at her mother, who embraces her and Misti, smiling.

Up, down – any way you look at it, this cycle of progress starts with empowerment – and you!

Thanks to your generosity, girls like Rima and Misti and women like Zorina are combining forces and making waves when it comes to hygiene, health and supporting girls’ education in Hatibandha.

And though the currents of change might not always be easy, one thing’s for certain: with you and girls like Rima at the core, benefits are sure to ripple out in all directions.

Rima and Misti gather beans from their vegetable garden.

Now see how you’re ensuring Rima, Misti and the entire community care for the environment – and reap the rewards!