Perepetua Emmanuel, 28, Village Health Worker

“My name is Perepetua Emmanuel. I’m 28 years old, a mother of two boys and two girls. I trained as a Village Health Worker; this is voluntary work but I am very happy to see my people in the village improve their sanitation and hygiene conditions as well as seeking health centre services when pregnant instead of going to traditional birth attendants.

After my training as a Village Health Worker, I requested our village (Nyamalimbe) chairman for permission to go house-to-house teaching people about good sanitation and hygiene practices. The village Executive Committee also allowed me to go to schools. At Nyamalimbe Primary School, working hand-in-hand with teachers, we started a campaign promoting sanitation and hygiene in the school. We trained children to be good sanitation and hygiene ambassadors among their peers and homes where they come from.

I train people how to construct tippy taps, I tell them about the benefits of handwashing with soap, especially after using latrines and before handling food. I am very happy to see that many people put into practice what I tell them. This motivates me and keeps me going.”

Training Village Health Workers is an activity of the Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality, a partnership among four Canadian organizations – Amref Health Africa, Children Believe (formerly Christian Children’s Fund of Canada), Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and WaterAid Canada – with $24.9 million in support from the Government of Canada over four years.