Students, teachers and supportive parents marked Global Hand Washing Day at one of the WPSMIP pilot schools in Vanuatu this week. Global Handwashing Day (October 15) is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand-washing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases. It is an opportunity to learn, design, test, replicate, and share creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. Between 15-21 October the Live & Learn WASH in Schools teams in different countries have worked with our partner schools to conduct special events to promote washing hands with soap.
309 students and 14 teachers participated in the activities at our partner primary school in Vanuatu. The program for the day was planned by the children who are involved in the school WASH Club. All grade 6 classes and the kindergarten class performed 12 short dramas to show the risks of poor hand washing and poor toilet use. Posters made by students throughout the school were also displayed, with paintings and drawings inspected by teachers and visiting parents. During the formal speeches the school principal commented:
“The administration of the school is proud to inform everyone that the number of students practising proper hand washing with soap has increased. There is soap available to encourage the students to practice proper hand washing…It is also a pleasure to see that our water bill has increased as a result! But this is a good sign that students have started taking this matter seriously.”