We held our first pre-school training here in Rwanda, and it was such a blessing to be a part of. Pre-schools in Rwanda are almost all private schools. The government, being focused on ramping up Education for All initiatives, has mainly left the pre-school sector to the private market. We started to realize what potential there is in these Early Childhood educators, and wanted to plan something to support them.
Two nurses volunteered their time to conduct training on basic First Aid. The nurses were very professional, and we were able to offer the training to over 30 nursery schools in two days. The topics included basic wound care, choking, nosebleeds, burns, cold and flu prevention, and basic CPR.
The best part was watching the participants “in action” as they practiced the concepts. One session included skits, where participants worked in groups to develop skits of the correct way to respond to a given situation and an incorrect way. For example, one scenario was a child who had fallen off of a swing set and was bleeding from their head. It was easy to tell that the participants understood the concepts as they acted out the correct and incorrect way to respond to this situation.
They asked great questions and were eager to try out what they were learning. Many of the questions revolved around traditional medicine. As they were learning, they shared what Rwandans would traditionally do in certain situations. These include placing a rabbit skin on burns, rubbing bruises as hard as you can, putting salt in cuts, and blowing on someone’s forehead when they are choking.
After the training, participants asked for this information to be shared with their parents. They really felt like this training was important for their whole community, not just them as responders. A couple of schools planned to host their own training sessions to share the information with the rest of their faculty and parents. We hope that this small training goes a long way in helping Rwandan students when they are in need of basic First Aid.