Global Hand-washing Day is only eight years old and already it is celebrated by more than 200 million people around the world. In 2016 Global Hand-washing Day reached the island of Daru, capital of the remote, sparsely populated Western Province of Papua New Guinea.
Live & Learn, in partnership with World Vision International, and with the support of the Provincial Education Department, visited all five primary schools and one special education school on the island of Daru on October 14th 2016 as part of Global Hand-washing Day. Some 1,019 staff and students attended the day’s presentations and witnessed the island’s first hand-washing demonstrations. Bars of soap, donated by Colgate Palmolive Pty Ltd, were distributed to each school following the hand-washing demonstration.
Tippy-taps were constructed on site and their use demonstrated to the assembled school children. Many children were keen to test out the new hand-washing device, and many promised to build their own at home for their family’s personal use. The hygiene teachers from all six schools pledged to build additional tippy-taps on their premises, and two schools have contacted Live & Learn post-Global Hand-washing Day to say they have done so.
The first ever Global Hand-washing Day event on Daru was a great success in terms of spreading the message about the importance of hand-washing to school students. Students and staff agreed they would like to see the event repeated the following year, and that next year they want the event to be even bigger. This event was supported through funding to both Live & Learn and World Vision International from the Australian government, through the CS WASH Fund.
Article written by Ben White and the Live & Learn WPSMIP team in Daru