Mission of Healing 2021: February's Theme is Personal Hygiene
|A favorite pastor picking up January
Mission of Healing materials for
his local congregation
We rolled out the Socially Distant Mission of Healing 2021 with an introduction in January, and now we are ready to get busy with some learning and fun with our first theme: Personal Hygiene. Let's begin with a little song in Spanish which has no need for subtitles.
The World Heath Organization has issued a #BabySharkHandWashChallenge to encourage proper hand hygiene as part of its campaign to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. My husband found this information just this morning, and you may thank him for the song now permanently stuck in your head.
We plan to share English language resources on the first Friday of the month and to distribute the Spanish materials in El Salvador during the first or second week of the month, depending on the pastors' meeting schedules. As I explained in January, the idea is to create or find videos which can be pushed out for families to watch on their cell phones and to create or find print materials which can be used at home or in small church groups. Each family packet of print materials includes an instruction page like the one below. This page gives the video links, a list of the print materials, ideas for home activities and discussion questions for a family or small group.
We try to be very aware of environmental, cultural and economic factors as we prepare materials. For example, we can encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, but how will that work for families without running water, or when the water source goes dry, or if there is no ability to get soap? Educational materials which are relevant and inclusive, whether created from scratch or acquired from reliable organizations, must be based in good research, scientific rigor, cultural respect and local expertise. Creating safe spaces for families to talk about their challenges and realities is an important work of the church.
By recording at least one video with Salvadoran and/or US Mission of Healing team members, we hope to keep the feeling of personal attention and friendship strong. February's homemade video is only available in Spanish, but even if you do not speak any Spanish, you can see from the pictures what the general points are, and it gives you a sense of just how home-made our resources are.
When we look for educational videos created by others, sometimes we are lucky to find the same video in both English and Spanish, like this one.
Now, you might think this is sort of a boring video, maybe too much science for you. However, if you think about the fact that all of the students in El Salvador are learning virtually right now, as are all of the students in my home city in the US, this video is perfect for providing a simple, biology-class explanation of how a virus replicates. Supporting school learning with health themes is a win-win in my opinion.
As you can see in the image of the February instruction page, there is a large number of handouts which accompany the videos. As I mentioned in January, each month has a prayer card which families are encouraged to use throughout the month. The February prayer focuses on friendship. In El Salvador, the month of February is called el mes de amor y amistad or the month of love and friendship. We have traditionally held the Mission of Healing during February to celebrate the love and friendship we share as local communities and international partners working together to promote health and wellness.
|This story includes a coloring, cutting and pasting
story board activity with it.
|By gathering multiple free site images, we
create coloring books of our own. And
if we cannot find anything, we draw our own images.
|We try to include coloring pages for adults
and for older youth as a way for them to have
fun and reduce stress. Happy month of love and friendship!
The educational materials for February include information about safe food handling. We wanted to talk about personal hygiene not only as what we do for the outside of our bodies to keep us healthy, but also what hygiene practices we can use to keep us from getting sick by what we put into our bodies. Our source for this information came from the US CDC (Center for Disease Control) Spanish language resources. We tweaked the information to fit the local culture in El Salvador. The English information on the CDC site is OK too!