The public health program was launched in 2012 after two years’ of needs assessment with the guidance of local leadership. ACF believes that with good health care and knowledge people can focus on important issues like higher education, income generation, and community well being. Expanding on the existing processes and resources, ACF’s goal is to provide public health education and resources that achieve long-term health for the region of Zawiya Ahansal. The program has three projects.
Annual Community Health Awareness Days.
The Awareness Days are an annual two-week period of community education programs that promote the importance of clean water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition. The program is led by ACF board members in partnership with the local government and association leaders. The Days are open to the public. During past years, the Days focused on general sanitation and hygiene and refuse. In 2014, the Days will focus on nutrition and incorporate a variety of activities including: roundtable discussions (community leaders and government officials, elementary school students, female and male heads of households); presentations at the elementary school and tutoring program; community educational workshops, fieldtrips to water sources, and current agricultural methods, tools and techniques.
Community Refuse Program.
ACF will continue oversight of the Community Refuse Program that was created in 2013. ACF collaborated with local community leaders and craftsmen to design and build a community refuse oven. This project is providing the first ever garbage disposal system for the region and its 15,000 inhabitants. Since completion, the local association and local government have adopted the program. The project has spurred interested in the youth of the region who have since created a youth group focused on thee environmental health of their region. In 2014, ACF will continue working with the community to develop the program with the addition of recycling education and disposal.
Sustainable Food Systems Program.
ACF is launching the Sustainable Food Systems Program in the summer of 2014. The program will focus on the long-term health and sustainability of the region’s food system; including water and soil quality, farming techniques, food harvesting, food storage, and nutrition. A key component of the program is two community gardens in which local community leaders will work with ACF to test higher yield and higher nutrition crops. Additionally, in 2014 ACF will build the first in a series of laundry wash stations along the region’s river. The goal of these stations is to remove laundry detergent contamination from the region’s water sources, rebuild the health of the river, and ultimately, the native fish population. Local community leaders, gardeners, and craftsmen will perform the majority of the work under supervision of the ACF.