Photo: Lebanon Community Center – refugee training group in Nikivale, Uganda.

March 2021

Thousands of refugees to benefit in Uganda

We always enjoy connecting with new groups, finding out about their work, and exploring how health education might be included in their projects. We’ve recently been talking to community groups in Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda. Nakivale was first established about 60 years ago and is now home to over 130,000 refugees from different countries (source UNHCR).

We’re sending DVD packs in several languages, with the aim that community groups (like Lebanon Community Center, pictured above) will work together to reach as many of the population as possible with simple lessons for safer living.

Reaching across Sierra Leone through new partnership

New partner Sierra Leone Missions and Development Inc (SLMDInc) are to distribute packs of DVDs in our three languages for Sierra Leone (Mende, Temne and Krio) right across the country. They already work with schools, community and agricultural groups, health centres and more, in every region of Sierra Leone, and will be organising DVD viewings in as many places as possible over the coming year.
We’re grateful to Rockel Shipping who first helped us during the Ebola crisis and are kindly transporting the DVDs to Freetown to pass on to SLMDInc. Two newly published lessons are included in the shipment: Krio Human Trafficking and Temne Avoiding Ebola (also now available online).

We’re looking forward to hearing how all the DVDs are used, and to sharing more about this new and exciting project in the future.

Peace Team Cambodia

Peace Team Cambodia

Peace Team Cambodia shared on Facebook how they have been using the Human Trafficking DVD in Khmer. Hundreds of people have learned about Trafficking, and how it can be stopped.

If you know of any other organisations like these who can use the DVDs, please introduce us; we know that many groups are now starting their projects again after pausing because of COVID, and we are keen to connect with as many as possible.

New Ebola outbreaks cause concern

You may be aware that in the last few weeks cases of Ebola have been reported in Guinea and in DRC. We’re monitoring the situation, and have DVDs ready to send if needed. This is a reminder that for the communities we serve, COVID-19 is, like Ebola, another health challenge to add to the many they face every day, all of which need to be addressed to give communities the best chance to live healthy lives.


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Tuesday, March 23, 2020.

Action Communautaire pour le Developpement du Kivu (ADCK) Report on the Activities on Hygiene Education and on the Corona Pandemic, Goma.
By Jackson Byenda Kahalalo.

The ACDK asbl has as beneficiary groups of its actions:
the local communities, the poor, the elderly, the children, the discriminated, the victims, the displaced, the refugees, the returnees and the victims of atrocities and violence, young people working, people from armed groups and people from natural disasters.
It primarily focuses its attention on young people in particularly difficult situations, children, the elderly, women, people living with disabilities and indigenous people (pygmies).

Awareness of the community of Goma on hygiene education with the theme “usafi wa kwanza / Personal hygiene”

 ACDK Hygiene Lesson

During the activity, children and other adults followed the lesson and answered questions.

The first lesson was intended for children because here the easiest method to popularize the message is to involve the children who between them transmit the messages and then transmit them to their parents.

Due to the overwhelming heat from the sun, the lesson was held in the living room of a house and towards the end, after answering all the questions, some of the children demonstrated hand washing.

Education on COVID-19

This second lesson was reserved for adults.

At the end of the session we gave explanations and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic, a term not used in the community. Everywhere in the urban community, as in the rural community, we use the term CORONA.

Most infected people have mild symptoms and recover, but others may be more severe.

Take care of your health and protect others by following the advice below as the WHO says:

Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently with a hydro-alcoholic solution or with soap and water.
Because washing your hands with a hydro-alcoholic solution or with water and soap kills the virus if it is present on your hands.

Avoid close contacts
Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, especially if they cough, sneeze or have a fever.
Because when a person infected with a respiratory virus, such as COVID-19, coughs or sneezes, they spray small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can inhale the virus.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you may be in contact with the virus on surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus.
Because the hands are in contact with many surfaces that can be contaminated by the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you may be in contact with the virus on these surfaces.

Respect the rules of respiratory hygiene
Cover your mouth and nose with the crease of your elbow or with a handkerchief if you cough or sneeze.
Therefore, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing helps prevent the spread of viruses and other pathogens.

Stay informed and follows your doctor’s advice
Keep up to date with the latest developments regarding COVID-19. Follow the advice of your doctor, national and local health authorities, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Because it is the national and local authorities that have the most recent information on the propagation or not of COVID-19 in the region where you are.
They are in the best position to explain what people in your area should do to protect themselves.

Some questions and answers

Q: Should you avoid shaking hands because of the new coronavirus?
A: Yes. Respiratory viruses can be contracted by shaking hands with someone and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Greet with a wave of the hand or head, or bow.

Q: How do I greet someone to avoid catching the new coronavirus?
A: The safest way to greet each other to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid physical contact. You can wave with your hand or head, or bow.

Q: Does wearing rubber gloves in public places prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
A: No. Washing your hands regularly protects against COVID-19 better than wearing rubber gloves.
The virus can be on the gloves and there is a risk of contamination if you touch your face with the gloves.

Encountered Difficulties

  • Lack of hygienic protective materials during education.
  • Long volunteer journey.
  • Insufficient awareness tools and materials.
  • Lack of partners for the capacity building of ACDK asbl.

Suggestions and Recommendations

  • That the ACDK have a television set of at least 42 ’’ (42 inches) and a generator to make our lessons effective.
  • That ACDK have hygienic awareness materials to make education effective.
  • That the ACDK asbl aye of partners to support the activities.
  • That the ACDK asbl have partners to supply the needs of the community with an improved gas stove for the protection of trees and ecosystems.
  • TThat the ACDK asbl aye of capacity building.


Until recently, hygiene and sanitation were of less concern to the average person.

Currently, the awareness of the damage caused by related diseases means that this sector is taken into account in development strategies. This explains why these days, to measure the degree of development, we are not only satisfied with only socio-economic factors but much more, we integrate the health situation that is to say life expectancy and the ability to ”a community to effectively fight against diseases by establishing appropriate management systems and structures.

The management of diseases is not limited to treatment alone, but more must be done through prevention, by popularizing practices and other adequate hygiene and sanitation techniques that can effectively fight against diseases.

Pushing by this finality, the implementation of our sessions pursues the objective of informing, educating and communicating to target and interested communities, always confronted with the problems of water shortage and unsanitary conditions, epidemic, attitudes and practices hygienic which, if adopted and properly internalized, will improve their hygienic and sanitary condition.

The content of our sessions revolves around priority axes such as:

  • General notions and knowledge about certain diseases, their causes and means of prevention;
  • The basic notions or knowledge on sanitation and waste management techniques, water.

We hope that the summary of our lessons on community education will help communities to raise awareness among themselves in order to meet the health challenge by adapting it to the real needs and specific problems in their environment.

From a health point of view, in 2008, the DRC was sixth in the list of failed states due to its inability to provide public services, the degradation of legitimate authority, corruption, crime and involuntary population displacements. In 2011, the country was in last place in the ranking according to the Human Development Index, established by the United Nations Development Program.
In the DRC, the State’s disengagement from the regulation and financing of the health sector, to which were added the problems of good governance, resulted in a serious weakening of the country’s health system.

Widespread, unregulated fee-for-service is both a cause and a consequence of the commercialization phenomenon, which is gradually depriving both urban and rural populations of access to quality primary health care.

In the DRC, the World Health Organization concluded for the year 2012 that 0.92% of the population attends health facilities, 0.71% of the population of North Kivu attends health facilities instead of 5% expected. However, although there have been several health investigations in the country, the determinants of accessibility to health services remain a concern requiring an in-depth analysis in the DRC and more particularly in the eastern part (North Kivu and South provinces Kivu).

It is in this context that at the level of health care financing, it is estimated that 70% of the charges rest on households while more than 80% of the population lives below the poverty line. This state of affairs is the basis of the low use of health services and the deterioration of the health situation, which is characterized by an excessive maternal mortality rate (1,289 deaths per 100,000 live births and high infant mortality of 126%). The rate of access to healthcare in the DRC is between 40 and 50%, according to a demographic and health survey conducted by the Ministry of Planning and the partners in 2007 and updated in 2009.

Clearly, more than 30 million Congolese do not have access to quality health care. Indeed, bloody conflicts and wars that have marked the history of the DRC especially the eastern part (East) and have generated until these days a disturbing situation in the whole area of life where the community is abandoned to its sad outcomes.

ACDK asbl on Facebook.

Education Saves Lives – Covid 19 (Corona Virus) Online Lesson
An online lesson based on the latest advice from the World Health Organisation as of March 2020.

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8th March 2020

Today is international women’s Day and the theme this year is #Eachforequal. An equal world is an enabled world, and our lessons enable disadvantaged women all over the world to have more control over the health by giving them vital life saving information in their mother tongue! What they learn through our lessons helps them in making choices that will have an impact on their lives and their families’.

Village Africa” have been using our lessons for many years, to educate women and the wider community in Yamba, Tanzania.
Mama Ade (pictured above), is the village health worker, and here she is showing the lessons to temporary staff members to ensure that they also have acces to the information.

The lessons have been particularly useful in Village Africa’s Saturday Club for girls where they watch the DVDs on malaria, hygiene, nutrition and more. They are used alongside the rest of Village Africa’s projects which include education, income creation, tree planting and health (in particular maternal health).

Education Saves Lives is still working on our new lesson which deals with issues such as dangers of child marriage, domestic violence, and the lack of girls’ access to education.
However our existing lessons on “When to have a Baby”, “You and Your New Baby”, “Becoming a Woman” and “Taking care and keeping Safe” are equally important in working towards gender equality (which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals)

For more information on our lessons that will increase your community’s health and well being in order to reduce inequalities and empower women and girls, have a look at our “lessons” area.
You too can play your part by donating to cover the cost of lessons for a women’s group who otherwise won’t have access to this valuable information.

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27th February 2020

[Pictured above: Jackson planting ‘gleveria’ trees in a mountainous area of DR Congo on the slopes of Mount Nyabyunyu, south of Goma.]

Jackson Byenda Kahalalo travelled for two days from Kalunga, South Kivu province of DR Congo, via Goma, to meet Clive Dove-Dixon (Chair of Education Saves Lives) who was visiting Kigali, Rwanda, as part of our outreach work.

Jackson Kahalalo meets Clive Dove-Dixon
Jackson Byenda Kahalalo meets Clive Dove-Dixon

Jackson works for the ‘Action Communautaire pour le Developpement du Kivu (ACDK) asbl’. Their aims are to: ‘Contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the poor and fragile populations of the DRC by concrete actions of self-care to fight against poverty and global warming.’

ACDK is a young organisation with 16 staff. They are currently focused on teaching villagers to plant trees because the forests where they live were cut down by the militia, during their troubles, for firewood.

Jackson saw an Education Saves Lives lesson ‘Planting Trees is Good‘ and wanted to get copies for his organisation to use.

South Kivu land preparation
Clearing the mountainside to plant trees

When Jackson contacted us he discovered that we also covered many other health and basic life education lessons.
Everyone was glad to see what else we covered. He therefore made the decision to take the long journey out of DRC and into Rwanda to meet with Clive and to get two sets of our lessons in French and Swahili.
The lessons will initially be used by a project in a primary school ‘EP BUBALE’ which is a collaboration with ACDK.
They will then be used to help health education in the villages and other schools.

ACDK asbl on Facebook.

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ACDK is an apolitical and non-denominational organisation created in Goma on March 10th, 2012, under Congolese law, and acting in a humanitarian and developmental character.

Main mission

The main mission of ACDK asbl DR Congo is the promotion and supervision of the poor, the youth, the protection of women and children in order to strengthen their participation in peace-building processes, the fight against global warming, socio-economic development strategies, and poverty reduction within communities.


The ACDK asbl has as beneficiary groups of its actions:
the local communities, the poor, the elderly, the children, the discriminated, the victims, the displaced, the refugees, the returnees and the victims of atrocities and violence, young people working, people from armed groups and people from natural disasters.
It primarily focuses its attention on young people in particularly difficult situations, children, the elderly, women, people living with disabilities and indigenous people (pygmies).


Overall Objective

Contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic living conditions of the populations and to the development of the DRC in general and of Kivu in particular, by the promotion of concrete self-care actions to fight against poverty and the protection of ecosystems in rural and urban areas.

Specific Objectives

  • Promote and protect human rights (men, women, youth, children and daughter-inlaw).
  • Promote the civic education of the population and the development of democratic culture.
  • Participate in any humanitarian action in favor of poor people, war displaced persons, refugee’s victims of natural disasters.
  • Supervision and assistance of vulnerable populations of all categories (senior citizens, widows and widowers, orphaned children, street children, prisoner, indigent, etc.).
  • Promotion and supervision of youth.
  • Participate in the rehabilitation of public and social infrastructure in rural and urban areas.
  • Initiate or participate in actions to promote clean and renewable electrical energy.
  • Environmental protection, climate and rehabilitation of the ozone layer.
  • Encourage agro-pastoral production for food self-sufficiency through improved seeds and improved domestic animals.
  • Improve and promote fishing in rural and urban areas.
  • Fight against sexual and domestic violence and against contagious diseases.
  • Promote accessibility to basic social services, particularly in rural areas and in general in urban areas.

Special Features

The main peculiarity of ACDK asbl in DR Congo as to its strategies, is its great determination to go as far as other actors do not want to go to achieve its objectives.

Registration Details

ACDK was created on March 10, 2012 in accordance with Congolese Law No. 004/2001 of July 20, 2001 laying down general provisions applicable to Non-Profit Organizations and Establishments of Public Utility in the DRC. It operates under N ° 023/2017 of 24/01/2017 of the register of the notary office of Goma and cooperates with the Specialized Services of the Congolese State in each of its areas of intervention as well as with International Organizations, National and Local.



ACDK asbl on Facebook

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‘Our object is to reduce the number of teenagers pregnancies and early marriages’.

Unifamily Organisation is based in Nyarugusu refugee camp in northwest Tanzania.

The camp is one of the world’s biggest, home to around 150,000 people, mainly refugees from Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Unifamily works in the camp to try to reduce teen pregnancies and gender-based violence, and they requested our DVDs in 2019.
The organisation has received 14 DVDs.

Feedback – DVD lesson titles: Becoming a Woman, Becoming a Man and Safer Sex for Teenagers.

  • Date of viewing :  11th of november 2019.
  • How many people watched the discs?  72 Teenagers.
  • What sort of a group was it?  It was a group of teenagers including boys and girls aged 12 to 19.
  • Were the DVDs relevant to your community?  Yes, the DVD was relevant to our community.
  • What was good about the DVDs?  The good about the DVD was that it gives the teenagers good instructions on how to behave and abstain with the bad sex and say no to early sexual relation. Some of our participants are now aware of what they did not know before.
  • What was bad about the DVDs?  There was no bad about the DVD.
  • Do you think people learned somethings through viewing this DVDs?  YES.

Unifamily Organisation DVDs

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17th December 2018

By Mugisho N. Theophile, Cofounder/Exec. Director, COFAPRI

The commitment of COFAPRI to empower the people in the villages of DR Congo does not only aim at income generating activities, but also empowerment by changing negative behaviours into positive ones. In this line, COFAPRI is using educative DVDs supplied by Thare Machi Education.

The people from different villages meet at a communal village place where they often screen their DVDs. The screening is something new in the villages of DR Congo. Many people are not aware of what a screen is or looks like, what a generator is or looks like, what a DVD is or looks like. However, this does not hinder them from showing their interest in attending massively the screenings on weekly basis. They have hope and confidence for changing their lives.

“Yes, I think we are underdeveloped, and we have been getting civilisation here with you as you bring us these small and circular plates where speaking images are hidden. This is like magic, you look at it, you see nothing, but it has a lot of stories and people in it. This is giving us more hope and desire. We love what those people say, because it builds our confidence and courage for a better future, and we are learning new and good things here. You can now see that many come because we like this.”
Attendee in Ishamba village.

In order to discuss any misconceptions that might appear during the screening, the coordinators always meet and first watch the educative DVD on the agenda for screening, so that they can share about its contents and go with common understanding. This is helping the coordinators a lot in being ready to answer any questions from the audience.

“We have to make sure we better understand what we are going to screen. It would cause the audience to lose hope and motivation, even shame and mistrust if the audience ask some content based questions and I, as the screening facilitator, fail to answer. I know another answer will come from the audience as they are always encouraged to discuss and come up with a common answer, but I have to be ready as well. Since in some areas they are not familiar with the tools we use, one may ask what this or that is called, and we have to know what to tell them. Other times, when answering questions, they use their own terminology that they have coined due to lack of appropriate vocabulary. In this case, we have to explain them how to say it correctly, and in this way we encourage them to discuss and develop confidence and hope for a better life where hygiene matters.”
COFAPRI Coordinator

It is in this context that the village people become familiarised with basic hygiene and its impact on their lives has been effective. This has become widespread since everyone is changing their negative attitudes and behaviours into positive ones. One of the pupils who participated to a screening in his school said:

“This was an amazing moment of watching this DVD on avoiding alcohol. I am sorry to hear this is the last session we are having this school year, but we have learned a lot of helpful notions via these DVDs. They have taught us a lot we would not know, and you have also given us materials to use at home; we loved that a lot. I never knew that alcohol and tobacco are that bad. I never take them, but these DVDs have informed me of what I can tell my friends who take them. We wish that you continue to help us and other schools in the same way because we have been changing our way of behaving, our hygienic conditions have improved, and we have known you as a good parent who cares about us. God bless you and Thare.”

See the COFAPRI video here.

COFAPRI on Facebook

COFAPRI on Twitter

COFAPRI website


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19th December 2018

One Light Rwanda was founded in 2012 in Musanze District in northern Rwanda.

The organisation works with families and communities in Musanze District – providing health insurance, school materials for children, building or repairing houses, vocational training for communities, micro-credit so that families can start small business.

Feedback from Hormisdas Ndagijimana, founder:

One Light using DVDs

“TME lessons in Rwanda have reached many people. Different lessons are now seen in many health centers, hospitals and villages.

Lessons reached upcountry where roads were not smooth and sometimes bridges prevented us to accomplish our work, still more DVDs are needed in villages and we cannot do anything right now, and some parts of country have not been able to receive our training and DVDs.
As we face the said challenges, nowadays we are invited in public meeting to give lessons using microphones as we are obliged to help people, but we are always asked for DVDs.”

One Light children

“TME Clubs have reached villages. One Light Rwanda distributed the DVDs to clubs of children. Children are good messengers.
We visit the families to talk about what they learnt from DVDs.
Clubs are now running they only need to be reinforced and follow up.”

One Light Rwanda on Facebook

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5th November 2018

Thare Machi Education have been working with our partners the Association for Solidarity, Health and Social Assistance (ASASS) across Burundi since 2016. ASASS uses TME’s lessons to teach life skills and encourage behaviour change, reaching hundreds of communities through their Learn Per View and Listening program. Led by the enigmatic Jean Claude Kamwenubusa, his team have managed to show TME’s lessons to 90,000 people across 4 districts, in just two years.

TME’s lessons use simple language to explain important issues to children and vulnerable adults who wouldn’t otherwise get access to such vital information. The lessons use clear photographs, are translated into local languages (in this case, Kirundi) and feature interactive questions to ensure that viewers have understood the key points. ASASS helped to translate 32 lessons into Kirundi, and have been showing the DVDs to up to 3500 people at a time. The lessons cover a wide range of different health and social topics, including healthy eating, the importance of planting trees, safe water, HIV/AIDS, and avoiding malaria. All of the lessons help men, women and children to make positive choices and live safer lives, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty.

The project worked across 4 different provinces, Bujumbura, Bubanza, Gitega and Cibitoke of Rugombo, in both rural and urban communities. The team worked with a wide range of people, from teenagers and their parents, to unemployed young people and university students. ASASS’s work was hugely successful, not only reaching thousands of vulnerable people, but positively changing their lives for the better.

Burundi is still suffering in the wake of two civil wars and an attempted presidential coup in 2015. It is one of the world’s poorest countries, where 80% of people live in poverty and 56% of children under 5 are seriously malnourished. While Burundi has comparatively high literacy rates, the opportunity for further education is very limited, especially for girls, who are expected to marry young and are limited in their economic independence. ASASS and TME are working hard to improve the basic health of Burundians, helping them to stay in school and work, and become economically independent.

“LPVL workshop helped me and parents to learn by watching and listening to lesson in Thare Machi Educational DVDs burned in Kirundi language. We discussed, listened to each other and we communicated better. Through this session, I really did activities and I discussed issues which gave me the chance to voice my opinions and share my worry.” Participant, learning per view workshops with parents and their children.

Read the Full Report here (PDF)

About our Partner ASASS

Association pour la Solidarité et l’Assistance Socio-Sanitaire (ASASS) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization created in Burundi. ASASS supports grassroots education, health, hygiene, rural development and sustainability initiatives in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Lessons in Kirundi

We have over 25 Educational Lessons in Kirundi available. View Kirundi DVDS View Kirundi Lessons Online Topics covered include Health Care, Healthy Living, Healthy Environment, Mother and Baby Welfare, HIV/Aids, Addiction and Sex Education. Our lessons are available on DVD and for viewing Online

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26th October 2018

Our DVD lessons are on their way to Russia, thanks to our new user group Love Russia.
Love Russia have been working in western Russia since 1993  to support a wide range of vulnerable people, from orphaned children to adults with learning difficulties.

Love Russia recently ordered several of TME’s DVDs on a range of health and social topics including HIV, alcohol addiction, healthy eating, becoming a woman, and Healthy Eating. TME’s lessons use simple language to explain important issues to children and vulnerable adults who wouldn’t otherwise get access to such vital information. The lessons use clear photographs, are translated into local languages (in this case, Russian!) and feature interactive questions to ensure that viewers have understood the key points.

Love Russia intend to use the DVDs to support their projects in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Ryazan. One of their key areas of intervention is the Genesis project. Many orphanage leavers struggle to adapt to life after the orphanage, as they become used to having everything done for them; from being told when to shower to being handed food every mealtime in the canteen. The Genesis project works to remedy this by mentoring the young people on key life skills, helping them to adapt to life on the ‘outside’. TME’s lessons could be used to support the mentors’ work by teaching the young people how to live healthily and avoid making dangerous choices.

Love Russia are especially excited to use the ‘Becoming a Woman’ lesson, as many of the orphan leavers become pregnant at a young age and aren’t well-equipped to look after their child, thus continuing the cycle. TME’s ‘Becoming a Woman’ lesson teaches girls about the different changes that occur during puberty, as well as how and why to practice safe sex, and how to build healthy relationships. TME’s DVDs offer an impersonal way of delivering such personal content, which can really help in environments where sessions are delivered by males, or the subject is seen as taboo.

Another of Love Russia’s area of focus is the Moses project, which focuses on mums in crisis due to drug addiction, abuse, or simply because they don’t have the  resources to thrive. These vulnerable mothers are also taught life skills and are supported in Love Russia’s crisis centre to get back on track. Love Russia intends to use TME’s lessons on HIV, breastfeeding, the dangers of alcohol, and becoming a woman to compliment the incredible work of the mentors.

12 of TME’s DVDs are currently making their way to the team of mentors working in western Russia, and we look forward to hearing how they will be used to contribute to Love Russia’s transformative work.


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3rd April 2018

By Mugisho N. Theophile, Cofounder/Exec. Director, COFAPRI

COFAPRI first connected with Thare Machi Education in October 2014 has been working hand in hand with TME in a very satisfactory way since 2015.

At that time TME sent to COFAPRI a portable DVD player together with 12 DVDs to start off with.
The screen is just large enough to allow between 2 and 3 people to easily watch a video at a time. Watching coupled with practice materials enabled the audience to better understand the contents.

“The portable was good at that time, but its size was very small, yet we soon had many people who wanted to watch since this was a new thing for them. So, we could divide them in small teams of 3 or 5 maximum and watch. It was not easy, but we did all that we could like often giving them practice materials so that they can associate the words with the acts. Things went very well, and today we now organise screenings with more than 50 people to watch at the same time. The issue of a huge audience is still there, but at least they can learn.”
COFAPRI Executive Secretary, Ms. Bahati, who often conducts screening sessions when in the villages.

It was only a year later, that is in October 2015, that COFAPRI was then effectively using the DVDs in the villages and in some primary and secondary schools in the villages. We aim to reach all the schools and villages to make sure everyone has got a chance to learn from the DVDs.

Local people (women, men, boys and girls in villages, and pupils in schools, as well as their teachers and directors) highly appreciated the videos. Some children find the DVDs strange as they had never seen DVDs before, but they better appreciate the contents when coupled with practice materials.

“Ha ha ha ha let me laugh first because I am going to say something good and that all of us know and like. These glittering plates are like mirrors in circles, very small but what they include are incredible images. If you look at it, you see nothing but if you use it, ha ha ha ha that is when you see how magic it is. It speaks and it has men, women and children in it, there is also music and you think you are near them. What they do is helping us to understand that we can change. We just watch and later, we practice. We like the practice part because with it we get tools to use at home and here, and then we explain what we are doing. So, we learn twice: using the language in public and saying what we have seen in the plates there. Is this not good you friends? This is new to me and we need it a lot in our schools and why not in our families?”
Pupil from Bushuke Primary School in Kalango village, who has watched the DVDs on several occasions.

The aim of the DVDs is to educate the local population about ways to change their behaviours in a positive way in order to improve their hygienic conditions. For COFAPRI and TME, hygiene matters a lot. Watching an educational DVD on “Keeping Our Hands Clean” and doing practice and distributing equipment like small hand towels, small hand washing basins and pieces of soap for children to use at home has been very helpful to them. These DVDs have been empowering both the audience and their communities at large, and their lives are hugely changing.

“Nothing gives us more joy and as we see our attitudes and lives changing to satisfaction, we feel very much motivated to watch more and more whenever we have a programme. The only big challenge is the huge number of us who come. Practice materials to distribute to everyone are not enough, yet we need them. Such an exercise is very helpful to all of us because as we see and get the message, then we too need to do like them in the tool there. All of us here, the people, the children, the leaders and everyone like it and want it to be done in all the villages you have never reached.”
One of the women who had watched some of the DVDs in Mabingu.

COFAPRI on Facebook

COFAPRI on Twitter

COFAPRI website

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By Hormisdas Ndagijimana, One Light Rwanda – 22nd December 2017

Since Rwanda recovered from Genocide, people have been involved in developing the country and the government has emphasised and developed many programmes including health programme. The country had been degraded and everything was destroyed, for that reason many efforts and commitments have been put together for sustainable development. Many programmes have been implemented and the lives of people considerably changed by time.Although lives in Rwanda have been remarkably changed the gap is still there especially in terms of behaviour change, as statistics shows, most of deaths are caused by lack of information on many diseases. This gap is now filled by TME lessons and trainings which are carried out by One Light Rwanda, a small organisation which is based in Northern Province and its correspondents in 5 Provinces of Rwanda. The contribution of TME is great and this is a success for Rwandans’ behaviour change. All lesson made by TME are of great importance because Ministry of Health has approved them to be relevant and rich of information to help people.

Rwanda people got the chance to know Thare Machi Education through their lessons.
From January 2014 TME lessons have been shown in Rwanda, students, young, adults, old men and women have watched/seen TME lessons. TME lessons are now popular in Rwanda health centres, where more than 20 lessons have been seen and discussed.

In 25 districts of Rwanda TME lessons have been seen by more than one million people (1,237,457) from January 2014 to Dec 2017*.

This number increases day by day because people talk to each other to spread the message to other friends. This target has been possible thanks to Rwanda Ministry of health, Health workers program and Rwanda Biomedical centre.

TME lessons have been key elements in Rwanda daily life of the people upcountry and towns, what is impressive is that there is interactions during sessions, where people discuss on the response which is correct or false. For instance Uwiminana Claudine said:

“We knew that feed breasting is good but we ignored it as we wanted to have breasts of small size to stay young, we preferred to give powder milk to babies instead of breast feeding.”

Hakizimana Frederic (mother of 16-year-old daughter said:

“Talking to my daughter about sex, it is a curse because it is not Rwanda traditional, but after seeing the DVDs being a woman, I change my mind, I start immediately arriving home.”

TME lessons are needed all over the country, especially in Hospitals, Health Centers, and villages, at schools, churches and Youth centres, the only challenge is the lack of sufficient DVD players. TME Rwanda started a campaign to look for one family in village which can help villagers to watch DVDs. This moment, people and local authorities request TME DVDs copies to show more people in villages, because the message from TME lessons are clear and simple to understand, the impacts is seen immediately.

* The population of Rwanda is about 12 million. This means that roughly 10% of the entire population of Rwanda have had the opportunity to see a TME lesson during the current programme.

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7th September 2017

We are delighted that the report into an evaluation of our lessons, carried out in Rwanda, has finally been published, and confirms that the lessons do help to improve health among children and families.

In the districts of Rwanda’s Northern Province where our Basic Hygiene DVD was shown, a statistically significant reduction in infection with intestinal worms and parasites was shown, and there was also a reduction in recorded cases of diarrhoea and dysentery.

The authors also say that:

“People involved in healthcare provision who were interviewed indicated anecdotally that positive changes had been observed in relation to hygiene practice and cases of related diseases. One also described how the DVD had been a useful training aid for community health workers (lay members of village communities), strengthening their capability for teaching people within their communities.
This was confirmed by the community health workers who attended the training session at which feedback was invited.
A question about whether they had found the DVD useful elicited an enthusiastic positive response, accompanied by broad smiles.
They explained that the DVD had given them additional information about key messages that they needed to disseminate within their villages.”

Health workers trained

As a result of the preliminary research report, our user group One Light Rwanda were requested to provide health workers from every health centre in the country with a set of lessons in Kinyarwanda, and also giving them training and support to ensure the lessons are used. This work has been funded by the Isle of Man government, and is finally nearing completion. With over 550 health centres across the country (source Rwanda MoH, March 2017), each with a large team of staff, and new centres opening all the time, this has been a real challenge, often made harder by difficult travelling conditions. Over 12,300 health workers have received training and now have access to lessons – by the time the project is completed every single person in Rwanda will have the potential to view the lessons, and learn how to live a healthier life. All the feedback has been really encouraging, with health workers reporting on how well the lessons have been received across the country.

Read the full report here

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Collaboration Project with Goodwill Social Work Centre

The Goodwill Social Work Centre in Madurai has been using our lessons for several years.
Between 2015 and 2017 they carried out an extensive project in Madurai to distribute the DVDs as widely as possible, and during that time an amazing two million viewings of DVDs were recorded, and local health co-ordinators reported reductions in Dengue fever. This work was partly funded by The Beacon Trust.
The report below covers just a fraction of the entire project.

23rd September to November 2016

Dr.J.Christopher Daniel Ph.D, Executive Director, GSWC

The Goodwill Social Work Centre (GSWC) has made collaborative arrangements with the Tamilnadu Voluntary Health organisation (TNVHA), Chennai, Tamilnadu who has shown active interest and willingness to work in close association with Goodwill to assist in the organisation of the project among its member NGOs/institutions in the newly selected districts and adjoining districts within the state of Tamilnadu.

TNVHA is a state level non-profit, secular, registered Association of Voluntary Organisations working for health promotion in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
The organisation is actively involved in its core areas of community health and development programmes which includes networking, capacity building, lobbying, advocacy and field studies with the active participation of member NGOs in the state of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

This is a capacity building programme conducted by Goodwill Social Work Centre in association with the Tamilnadu Voluntary Health Association (TNVHA) at Trichy (one of the newly selected districts) and the networking NGOs selected for distribution of the DVD sets who have been working in the five selected and adjoining districts, not so far included in our project.

The programme includes the promotion of healthy living, using the DVD lessons for village women and details of DVDs duplicated at our centre and distributed to target organisations and processing of orders received from local agencies through TME, UK and the direct involvement of Social Workers in organising programmes.

The structures and the member NGOs are supported by the state level government secretariat.

Goodwill has identified seven adjoining districts wherein we can extend this project.

Phase II – Promoting Healthy Living for village women

Capacity Building Programme –organised in association with the Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association (TNVHA), Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Goodwill Social Work Centre organised a programme to introduce health education through the DVDs at two villages namely, Kodangipatti and Senthamangalam in the Madurai-Dindigul districts border areas.

The DVD shows were conducted for the women workers of MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) – State Government sponsored.

All of them hail from either socially or physically dysfunctional families.

The MGNREGA scheme is one of the largest “rights-based social security” programmes in India, which is open to all rural people who are willing to take up manual labour as unskilled workers.
MGNREGA is based on the ‘principle of self-selection’  –people who opt to do hard manual labour at minimum wages – will request and be given work by the state government.
The act thus promises to provide enhancement of livelihood, security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year.

The MGNREGA scheme mainly focuses on the eradication of rural poverty and making villages self sustaining through productive assets, which turn them into sustainable livelihood for rural people.

Mostly in such villages people live under highly disadvantaged conditions. Facilities are inadequate. They are dependent on agriculture and jobs as agriculture coolies/ labourers.

Basic sanitation and health facilities are lacking.

The Goodwill team visited the project location and organized the DVD shows in an open space under the trees.
Our social workers interacted with the Women viewers and explained the use of the interactive DVD lessons to acquire knowledge about health related issues and how to apply those in their lives.

Dr.J.Christopher Daniel,Ph.D

Executive Director, Goodwill Social Work Centre

Tamilnadu, India


Dr. B. Manimegalai (the Civil Surgeon and Block Medical Officer, Uppiliyapuram Block) requested the Goodwill Social Work Centre through Mrs. Revathy, District Malaria Officer, Deputy Directorate of Health Services, Government of Tamilnadu, to organise a series of  Health awareness programmes on Malaria prevention including dengue awareness using TME DVD lessons for the outpatients visiting Government run Primary Health  Centres, namely ‘100 days workers’ under MGNREGS and village women and men.
According to the District Medical officers and District Malaria officer concerned, the number of people admitted in the primary health centres/hospital has come down to 80-150 from 250-300. The dengue reduction rate ranges from 27 percent to 50 percent.

The DVDs were distributed to the following NGOs and institutions in the region:

  • Vaigai Trust
  • Light Trust
  • Raise India Trust
  • People’s Association for Rural
  • Women Development (PARWD) Trust
  • Integrated Community
  • Development Society
  • Chevaliar Roche Society
  • Rural Institute for Community Health
  • ODAM (Organisation of Development Action and Maintenance)
  • WORD (Welfare Organisation for Rural Development) Trust
  • The Salvation Army – CHDP
  • TMSSS (Trichy Multipurpose Social Service Society)
  • SEEDS organisation
  • Nambikkai Foundation
  • Community Development Organisatio
  • Village Education and Action for Development (VEAD)
  • Upahaar Social Service Organisation
  • Shed India
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15th November 2016

By Mugisho N. Theophile, Cofounder/Exec. Director, COFAPRI

On every October 15th, UNICEF commemorates Global Handwashing Day. Congolese Females Action for Promoting Rights and Development (COFAPRI) also recognised this day recently with organised sessions for school children in the rural villages, with the support of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education.

Sessions were organised in five schools, with a total number of more than 1,500 children who watched the videos and practiced washing hands. Women also participated in the sessions. The sessions happened in various villages, with different schools and on different days.

For this memorable occasion, one way we helped local people and children was to teach them the importance of remaining constantly hygienic. In this vein, both women and children gained moral and comprehensive encouragement and material support for growing consciousness and deep comprehension of the need for clean hand washing with soap.

The attendees watched a video on the reasons why our hands should remain clean all the time, and the possible consequences if we don’t heed the advice. One of the major points that was emphasised is that hand washing is a pro-active, simple, inexpensive and effective method of avoiding getting contaminated with germs that ultimately cause us illnesses. Having our hands washed with soap must be encouraged because it can save our lives, since we stay clean and healthy and hence avoid a lot of diseases.

The audience was inspired and marshalled around the video and learned reasons why they have to develop the practices of washing their hands with soap at critical moments on daily basis.

We are always grateful to COFAPRI for the different good things they bring us in our schools around here. Today, we have watched images on how and why we have to wash our hands with soap and that we must develop this habit at home and at school.

After greeting people, when from the toilets, after cleaning the board, after covering our mouths for sneezing, after blowing the nose, etc, look for soap and wash your hands.

What made the difference was that we watched the video, got more explanations, answered questions and then made practice with soap. Importantly you also gave all of us pieces of soap to use when we are at home. This was really great and we will never forget the constructive instructions we got from you. Be blessed!”

Pupil attendee.

COFAPRI’s use of hand washing, learning by doing, is spreading amongst schools in the villages of the DR Congo. This has been a wonderful moment to raise awareness of the reputation of washing hands with soap every moment when needed.

This said, the practice has also been making it pleasurable and amusing for these school children to always remember that washing hands with soap is a must and it helps us shun some germs that cause lots of unknown and known diseases.

A teacher who also attended the session adds:

“If we could have all NGOs around here doing the same as COFAPRI, we would gain a lot. In my opinion, washing our hands with soap is something that is taken as an unnecessary performance or manner in our area here.

I think there is another reason why people here seem to be less interested in it. It is because people are uneducated and others even lack soap and clean water. Poverty is rampant in our villages here. If you lack food to eat, will you get money to buy soap?

But good enough, COFAPRI is helping us to overcome these beliefs that soap is not a necessity.”

Teacher attendee.

COFAPRI is influencing the children, as well as their parents, to make washing hands their way of life in their homes and villages. In this way, all means are now being put in place to make sure people are influencing others to wash their hands every time and several times a day.

Giving the people soap for washing hands at home after watching the videos has been massively affecting many already. The word has begun to be passed around as neighbours are now prompting each other. This has become a stimulating peer-influence, which has already been easily nurturing and supporting a general culture of washing hands with soap in all the villages where the organisation has members.

The only big challenge COFAPRI is meeting, in this respect, is that there is not have enough means to supply soap to all the people in all the villages where we work. Otherwise, the exercise is very much appreciated and it is changing the lives of many.

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4th June 2016

We sent one of our handheld voice recording kits (funded by the Isle of Man Government) to Rwanda, for use by our user groups to make new recordings.

Pictured above, getting to grips with the kit, are Mugisho (left) of COFAPRI and Hormisdas of One Light Rwanda, who has been instrumental in last year’s research project and the ongoing training of health workers in Rwanda.
Hormisdas is due to record the last four lessons in Kinyarwanda so that we can have a full set of lessons available for Rwanda.
Then Mugisho will record lessons in a language new to TME: Mashi, of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Mashi lessons have been requested for use in remote areas of DRC where COFAPRI are working.

Meanwhile, many congratulations to the team at COFAPRI in Democratic Republic of Congo.
They were recently awarded a trophy by community leaders in recognition of their life-changing work. COFAPRI are working in areas where other organisations simply can’t or won’t go, reaching local people with their projects, including our lessons.

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4th June 2016

Yann Hausammann, who’s previously worked in our UK office, travelled to Kenya to set up the computers and train some volunteers – here’s his report…

“Going to Kenya for a month was definitely a challenge for me, but knowing it was for Thare Machi Education, I was quite confident. Up until now our local partner in Kenya, Edward Odhiambo, has been translating and recording lessons in his own language, Dho Luo, then sending his recordings to the TME office in the UK so we could work on the DVD authoring process (adding the new audio to an existing template) and make the final DVDs. My main goal for this month in Kenya was to teach local people how to do that DVD authoring process so they would be able to create a new lesson for TME, starting from an English script, going through translating, voice recording, and finally DVD authoring.

My first stop was with Edward, in the town of Ndhiwa (in Homa Bay county, in the west of Kenya, near Lake Victoria). There were some significant challenges there, first finding students who would have time and be interested in doing the training and willing to continue after I left. However, the main problem was that the power supply to Ndhiwa was unreliable, often down for hours at a time. It was not possible to run the computers, so we decided that Ndhiwa was not the right place for this part of the project. While I was there, though, we were able to make a number of new recordings in Dho-Luo, which was good.

Once we’d realised that we could not do the training in the west of Kenya, I went to Nairobi to meet up with Kenny Kaburu and his team of Straight Talk Foundation (another of our user groups – they have a small recording studio as part of their work involves radio broadcasts). I ended up teaching to only one student, but one VERY passionate one! It was an intensive few days, but I can gladly say that the student I have been teaching to is now ready to author DVDs on his own and will even teach other students how to do the same! The name of that student is Edwin, I’m pretty sure you will see his name again soon in one of our reports, talking about the first official DVD made in Africa!

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22nd January 2016

”We madly love this big mirror with moving and speaking people; they are amusing. They are saying things we often see in our villages here…  Many people are changing after they have watched these things.” Mihingano Alphonse

By Mugisho N. Theophile, Cofounder/Exec. Director, COFAPRI

COFAPRI first connected with Thare Machi Education in October 2014 has been working hand in hand with TME in a very satisfactory way since 2015.

By the end of 2015, we had received a total of 72 educational DVDs from TME. The DVDs teach society about various health issues like: Ebola, Avoiding Drugs, Birth Control, Avoiding Malaria, Clean Water, Basic Hygiene, Making Compost, Avoiding Smoking, Dangers of Alcohol, Keeping our Teeth Clean, etc ….The DVDs we have received are in French and Kiswahili.

The audience (school children, teachers and headmasters; women, men, and village children) estimated at 750 people, have so far watched them in their respective locations. They learn a lot from them.

The Congolese Females Action for Promoting Rights and Development (COFAPRI) always thinks of ways to improve lives of rural people, importantly women and children in the villages of the DR Congo. It is in this context that we have been in touch with Thare Machi Education (TME) in the UK, in order to reach out to villagers in the DR Congo and teach them on ways to change their lives – thanks to the DVDs that TME often send us.

New Equipment, New Centres

COFAPRI has also purchased basic equipment, with the support of TME, in order to reach out to a sizeable population in their different locations.

Areas where COFAPRI operates have no electricity so people travel to our centres to watch the DVDs, where we have a generator. The equipment is still not enough, considering the increasing number of people who are coming from different villages to watch the DVDs. We cannot be moving the materials from village to village; they can break along the way. Although we have set two centres where people will be meeting monthly to watch the DVDs, the number of attendees is still very high.

The two centres where people from different surrounding villages will be meeting to watch the DVDs are Munya and Ntendera; but in the future, we’ll need more centres of meeting as the number of interested people will have increased. It is in this context that COFAPRI has been suggested by hospitals, universities, and churches to work with them.

TME has been in frequent contact with COFAPRI in order to see together how to improve lives of rural women and children in Congo.

Recently, TME helped COFAPRI reach out to more people in the villages of the DR Congo. Thanks to the new equipment, COFAPRI is now able to reach more people in different areas. The people are pleased about the DVDs, as the images and messages are truly helping them change their lives.

The DVDs have been more popular than ever due to the equipment.

The DVDs that were watched were selected based on the needs expressed by the audience. We started by asking them what are the main points they would like to discuss. After discussion, then we showed them related DVDs and they were extremely happy.


The following testimonies given are from some of the people who got opportunity to watch the DVDs:

“Before I was a true smoker, and I could not know it was bad. I used to smoke because all the men here smoke. After I had watched the people in your stuff there, I learned that tobacco is harmful to our health. In the discussions with you (that is Bahati), I got additional information that when we smoke, we also put our lives in danger.

Again, this causes me to misuse our family budget as I take their money to buy tobacco. My teeth have been dirty, and my breath is not good. People say I smell [like]tobacco. Thank you. I have now changed; I no more smoke, as before. It is not easy to stop at once, but I am committed to stop. I thank you for bringing this in this area. It will change many.”

Iragi Michel 

‘”My favourite activity was to drink beer, and I used to buy it to all my friends who drink. I thought without beer my life cannot exist.

I used to fight with my husband because he never drinks beer, and I was drinking and coming back home drunk and too late. Look at me, here is a big scar. It was because of beer. I took a lot of it and I could not walk well. I fell into a hole and I spent the whole night there. In the morning my husband and my son had been looking for me everywhere the whole night but could not find me. Already discouraged and hopeless, someone told them I had fallen in a hole. They came and met me there. Pulled me out and took me home but I could not stop.

If I see the money I used to spend on beer, I feel shame, I feel guilty. I have damaged my family’s budget and my health because of beer. If I recall how much time I made my children and husband suffer because I did not cook, as I was running here and there in the village searching where they have decanted, I feel I am to blame. But in all this, I ask for forgiveness to all of you. My husband did well to let me know you exist in a neighbor village. When I came to your centre, I learned a lot of things. You did well to bring us these images that are speaking. They teach us what we did not know before. We thank you a lot.”

M’Luhambo Chantal 

In fact, the videos are helpful as they use the languages the majority of the people can understand; that is Kiswahili. Other DVDs are in French. The latter is not the language everyone can speak. To get the message in it, an interpreter is needed to make the message go well in the ears of the audience.

Due to this, the people suggested to have DVDs in which they are speaking Mashi, the local language, for the people who are members of COFAPRI. This would require to record specific DVDs, and if possible pictures, for the people. This sounds nice since the audience will not need any third party to convey them the message. If the message watched gets straight in the ears of the people that would be more helpful than sending the message via an interpreter.  

‘”We madly love this big mirror with moving and speaking people; they are amusing. They are saying things we often see in our villages here. One can think they knew what people do here. The only difference is that the moving people in the mirror is that I do not know any of them. They do not look like the people here, and their language is different from ours.

On which land do these people live, and who is their king? The person who imagined to put these people in this mirror is great. We need next time to see our neighbours in the mirror and also if they can put men and women who speak our language, that would be wonderful. Many people are changing after they have watched these things. Our message is: ‘Do not forget to tell the creator of this mirror the message we are sending him through you. Tell him, we love this and it is helping us change our bad behaviours to good ones; but we need to hear our language.’”

Mihingano Alphonse 

Future Plans

As mentioned earlier, we have been in contact with local leaders, hospitals, other institutions well as church leaders for we intend to extend our activities in urban areas as well and there, we can work with the same categories of people as it is in the villages.

Health conditions in the urban DR Congo are also decaying due to the effects of repeated wars in the country. Masses of rural people have fled to urban areas, and this has caused inflation of population. Having lots of people from different corners of the country, and with different behaviours, has made life conditions worse than before. We believe the messages contained in TME educational DVDs, and the images, are so powerful for impacting on people’s behaviours.

We hope TME can still help COFAPRI meet the needs of the local people. The people appreciate their contents; and accordingly, they have suggested to watch DVDs that are explained in the mother tongue. Also the people suggested they need more materials and DVDs so that all people can have access to watching them in their different villages.

They acknowledged that their lives are changing, thanks to these videos.

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