SNV-MINEDH comic strip contributes to remote hygiene learning for students

School children playing football.

Schools in Mozambique have been closed since April resulting in changes to the way students consume knowledge and information. As students and teachers learn to adapt to new modes of learning, so is SNV’s sanitation and hygiene behavioural change communication work in schools. Through the production of a comic strip that highlights handwashing with soap – combined with other safety measures to control the spread of the coronavirus – SNV is making sure that students continue to absorb the value of good hygiene practice while learning from home.

Todos contra o coronavirus (All against the coronavirus) is a comic strip produced by the staff of SNV and Mozambique’s Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) [1] based on the work of WWH and WASH United. Printed with support of the UKAID-funded CEDeS project, the comic strip is a co-production of SNV, MINEDH, Be Girl and UKAID of the Government of the United Kingdom.

In Todos contra o coronavirus, the comic strip’s characters share how they have been coping with their new realities of staying at home, keeping a safe distance, maintaining good hygiene standards, and increasing frequency of handwashing with soap. The comic strip ends with a Q&A sheet to test students’ understanding and interpretation of new knowledge. Characters [2] in the comic strip appeared in earlier water, sanitation and hygiene behavioural change communication posters for students. The same characters are set to reappear in upcoming WASH in schools training materials that are currently in MINEDH review.

Have a look at the comic strip (in Portuguese)

Have a look at the comic strip (in Portuguese)

Have a look at earlier posters published for schools (in Portuguese)

Have a look at earlier posters published for schools (in Portuguese)

Todos contra o coronavirus was developed for students in primary and secondary schools learning from home; to keep them updated with pertinent information about the pandemic and prevention behaviours. It is also being used to mobilise students to tune in to the radio and view MINEDH-approved lessons on TV.

So far, the CEDES project has supported the printing of 40,000 copies, which are currently being distributed by MINEDH. The comic strips are being funnelled through provincial offices to reach district authorities and school officials. For the wider dissemination of messages, electronic copies of the comic strip are also being made available through WhatsApp groups that bring together students, teachers and parents in one platform.

Working with the Education and WASH clusters of PRONASAR, SNV is supporting MINEDH in the dissemination of accurate and proper information for different audiences. In addition to the comic strips, information posters on COVID-19 prevention for people collecting water are also in production. These posters will soon be set-up along water points.

Prepared by: Abilio Cuamba (Governance Advisor, WASH) with David Afonso (Project Manager, CEDES)

Banner photo: A typical day in Mozambican schools before COVID-19 (SNV/PRONASAR)

[1] Todos contra o coronavirus is a comic strip inspired by the work of WASH United and Deutche Welthungerhilfe.
[2] Among the characters include a person living with albinism. Considered among the most vulnerable groups in Mozambique due to traditional myths, people living with albinism have long been living under the radar of Mozambican society. SNV and MINEDH are pushing the boundaries of this belief by featuring people living with albinism as equal and active participants in society.