Yes, participatory sketching works!

We had two days in a row working with children in different schools, one in Guara and one in Chaquizhca. Last year I visited the school in Guara twice for health education and so this time we came back with the booklet to see how well they remember the information. We were surprised that they could remember almost everything as they were drawing the answers to the evaluation questions. We used storytelling and participatory sketching to help them absorb the information more easily, and it works! The children are really interested in drawing and coloring is probably their most favorite thing to do. There were not a lot of students in the Guara school, about 10 in total but they were all very engaging and captivated with the booklets we delivered to them and with the drawing and coloring activities that we facilitated. Some of the drawings are so good that you hardly can tell it is from a 6-year-old girl, every picture that they draw just makes us more proud and happy about the process that we were going through. More than that, we feel more than pleased that the information from the booklet would be helpful to keep them away from Chagas disease and to live a healthier life. 🙂

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the booklet and drawing of one student

 We did the same activities with the school in Chaquizhca. The only difference is that there are many more students in this school than the one in Guara, which makes it more difficult for us to facilitate. However, we also received quite satisfying responses and beautiful drawings. We are happy with what we have got so far from both schools. There will be another activity in the school in Bella Maria next week and that is supposed to be done with storytelling and participatory sketching this summer. I am glad that we have made some impression about Chagas, which would help them to live healthier.

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On the other hand, knowing that I will hardly see these faces again after this summer, it is really hard when they come and ask every morning: “When are you coming back to our class?” Although I may not ever come back here to see them draw and color and ask me questions again, I hope they will remember me anytime they look at the booklet and remember the information I tried to remind them of through participatory sketching. That would be the biggest reward ever for me and the Healthy Living team after all our hard work and efforts to get the community to become more engaged in our fight against Chagas disease. I hope what the children have learnt will last long in their memories and will be helpful for them long in their lives. There would be nothing better that I could wish for the children and the communities here, and that is also what I have been trying to do with all my heart.

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