Health and hygiene

"Only a healthy child can learn" - Ingrid Engel

“Only a healthy child can learn” – this principle determines the Foundation’s actions in the three schools. In addition to ensuring good education, basic hygiene is therefore just as important as medical assistance in an emergency.


In the first years of the foundation, regular dental examinations were therefore organised for all pupils and necessary procedures were paid for. The introduction of daily tooth brushing during the morning break in the two primary schools has greatly improved dental hygiene. For this reason, dental treatments have become the exception today. Since 2015, fixed toothbrushing stations have been installed in the primary schools in Ban Sikeud and Ban Phang Heng, where the primary school students brush their teeth together every morning. The toothbrushes and toothpaste are kept in the classrooms. Soap dispensers are also placed at the station to practice regular hand washing.

In individual cases, medically necessary procedures were and are also financed to help students and their families in emergency situations. The public health system is only available to a certain extent; operations and more complex treatments must be paid privately – many people lack the money for this.

For example, the operation and follow-up treatment of a boy with club feet was made possible, who would otherwise be permanently dependent on crutches. Furthermore, a boy and a girl with eye problems were treated, who would have lost their sight without an operation. In addition, the first pupils with poor eyesight have already received glasses thanks to the Foundation’s efforts. A special donation enabled a deaf-mute pupil to attend a special school.

Two German doctors volunteered to examine the schoolchildren every year between 2008 and 2013. Dr Ursula Engel and Dr Roswitha Zartner-Beigel examined the spine, nutritional status and did vision and hearing tests.

In addition to preventive health care and treatment, the focus is also on education. Therefore, regular educational events on sexuality, drug abuse and crime, road safety and general health take place at the Ban Phang Heng middle school. The foundation organises the events with the schools and invites external experts such as doctors, nurses or police officers.