Photo credit: Jennifer Enrique
PEPY’s Child-to-Child methodology revolves around identifying problems, researching the issues, and planning a course of action to work for positive change within a community. With this in mind, the educators from the Child-to-Child team worked with staff from the Chanleas Dai Health Center to create a health presentation to inform and engage members of Samroung village in Snuol commune, Siem Reap province. The topics covered included prevention of head lice and tooth decay. The presentation included a skit to explain health issues, as well as preventative care demonstrations to show practical solutions.
Child-to-Child educators created the “Healthcare for Children” presentation after the children in the Samroung Child-to-Child program identified common health issues. They noticed that poor tooth care and head lice were big health problems for their community. The educators then organized a presentation to teach the community’s children how to take care of their teeth and to help them get rid of head lice.
“Almost all of the children in the community have never brushed their teeth, and head lice is the most bothersome and itchy trouble for all the community members, whether they are young or old, male or female,” said Ry Romdos, a Child-to-Child educator.
A 40-year-old woman Khet Hoeurn shared the same observation, adding that she and her 5 children all have head lice and never brush their teeth.
In response to these issues, the PEPY Child-to-Child educators performed an original skit to illustrate the effects of tooth decay and head lice. Chanleas Dai Health Center staff demonstrated tooth care and how to get rid of head lice. The demonstration included proper use of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and anti-lice shampoo.
“I never brush my teeth because I have no brush and toothpaste. I also want to brush my teeth,” said eleven-year-old boy Sout Sann, who is studying in grade 3. “It’s my first time to participate in this kind of event, and I am really excited,” he added.
Head lice are contagious; when one member in the family has it, it will infect everyone. “The lice on my head bother me. They make my head itchy all the time. I always rub my head even in the classroom. I really wanted to get rid of lice for a long time but I don’t know how to,” claimed Lek Roeun, a 17-year-old rubbing her head while waiting to shampoo her hair. Roeun is so excited to learn how to get rid of head lice. “I am really, really happy to participate in the event and learn how to cure my problem.” Basic issues like head lice, toothaches, colds, parasites, and diarrhea are the main health problems among children and members of the commune, according to He Pheakdey, one of the Chanleas Dai Health Center staff.
By researching and providing health care information on head lice and tooth decay, the PEPY Child-to-Child educators are providing their students with an example of how to approach problems and make their own solutions. “The Child-to-Child program is designed to teach the children to identify the problems of their own, their families and their community and then find the solution to it,” said Chum Lout, the community program officer, adding that “this approach will help build those children’s capacity to lead their lives better by themselves in the future.”