Education isn’t only for the mind – knowledge of how to keep their body, mind, and surroundings healthy is also important to a student’s well-being and success in life. Personal nutrition, hygiene, self-care; understanding stages of life and human sexuality; emotional balance; care for the environment, sanitation, and sustainable agricultural practices; disease prevention; and confidence in one’s capabilities and potential are all part of being physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
Teaching elementary and middle school students to take responsibility for their own mental, physical, and emotional health
One Global Village sponsors a Health and Healthy Behaviors program, currently provided to students at Siraba School and Piébougou Middle School. The program was developed and is taught by Ms. Hawa Haidara, who graduated from University in Bamako with a Masters degree in Education Sciences, and wrote her Masters thesis on communicating within families about adolescent sexuality. Her program for our students introduces and reinforces a wide-range of healthy skills, mindsets, and behaviors. She has been impressed with how quickly students have gained both confidence and the vocabulary to discuss topics and issues that are normally not taught in schools in Mali, nor often discussed in the home.
In keeping with One Global Village values, Ms. Haidara advises girls and boys equally to take responsibility for their own health and that of their village. She inspires and encourages students to advance their studies, to fully explore their potential, and to seek opportunities to bring their knowledge back to their community. Ms. Haidara teaches girls about menstrual health management and how self-care can help them stay in school (rather than skip classes or drop out of school entirely) and educates all students to try to reduce stigmas about this natural part of human development. The Middle School Director is impressed with how the Health Education program helped increase attendance of Siraba School graduates continuing on to Piébougou. We are proud of the dedicated students who walk 16 km to middle school each day, and grateful to Ms. Haidara and her program for encouraging and inspiring them to care for themselves – body and mind – through education.