Live & Learn believes that investing in safe and improved WASH facilities improve girls’ health and keeps them in school. This in turn empowers girls to reach their full potential and become agents of change within their communities.
Education is the cornerstone of a healthy and productive society. Yet around the globe, girls miss out on attending school more so than their male counterparts. Factors that can be attributed to low attendance rates for girls include a lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Without these basic WASH services, girls miss out on critical development opportunities. Girls are particularly affected as they have additional needs, especially when they hit puberty and need effective and dignified ways to manage menstruation. Providing these facilities is one step toward ensuring access to education and economic opportunity.
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
The Theme for 2017 is The Power of the Adolescent Girl. We asked teams to gather info on girls in the School WASH Clubs and highlight something they have learned or done through the Arts for Advocacy or WinS program. Below are some of the mini-stories to they shared to celebrate International Day of the Girl.
I have the power to change the life of my parents because I can read and write. When I go home my parents listen to how I talk about hygiene and the importance of hand-washing and make my younger siblings follow my example. At school we (School WASH Club members) help drive hygiene promotion across the school. I feel more confident to help other students keep clean and healthy.
Daisy, Grade 5 and member of the School WASH Club – Vanuatu.
“I have become a strong WASH champion. I was a shy school girls’ soccer team captain. Now with the WASH Club program I feel confident to talk about hygiene. Students can be strong-headed in my school but they listen to me because the school WASH committee and the school administration is with us. I feel more confident to stand in public and talk about health and hygiene because the principal is encouraging me. Even boys now listen to me and it makes me feel stronger.
Karine, Grade 7 and member of the School WASH Club – Vanuatu.
Entymon is one of the Koloale student members of the School WASH Club in the Gilbert Islands, Micronesia. She was brought up in a home where hand-washing was not practiced. Through the involvement with the School WASH Club she now washes her hands after critical times, and she also encourages her family to wash their hands. In School she is a change agent in promoting hand-washing and hygiene among the students, sharing the important message with other children and family members.