Name: Nihma Cande
Where: Guinea Bissau
What she does: Campaigns for better water and sanitation
Impact: Raised awareness amongst mothers about good hygiene practice
Nominated by: Anshu Rastogi, Plan International
Nhima, from Guinea Bissau, has devoted herself to changing and educating the lifestyle of her village, her community and external environment. Three years ago, a tragedy hit Nhima’s world – a plight that no parent should ever have to deal with. She lost her eight year old son to cholera. Since then, Nhima has vowed, whilst she has the power and will – no other child in her community will suffer the same fate.
Through her vital and relentless work as a member of the community management committee for water and sanitation, she helps to raise awareness amongst mothers about good hygiene practice. This involves gaining the trust of women at the deepest level, which in turn allows her to impart knowledge regarding how mothers should look after their children, taking care of what they eat, what they wear and the hygiene of themselves and their child.
Her work doesn’t stop here; she is also the focal point of the Bambadinca district for water and sanitation. By attending, debates, leading youth groups and taking part in local radio talk shows, she disseminates her advice and education on cholera prevention through lively conversation and the media.
Nhima says: “I would like mothers in Bambadinca to look after their children, to look after their hygiene needs. I don’t want any more children to die from an illness that can be easily prevented. I often say to the mothers, god can give you luck, happiness, wealth, but god can not give you good health”