Every year 1.7 million kids do not live to celebrate their 5th birthday. Diarrhea and stomach parasites can cause major issues in the bodies of little kids. The crazy thing is that the diseases that they die from can be easily prevented by just washing their hands with soap and water.
On October 15th, Pure Water, along with 200 million people in 100 countries celebrated Global Handwashing Day. By raising awareness of the importance of washing hands with soap and water, we hope to increase the number of 5 year old birthday parties in Trojes and, ultimately, all of Honduras.
The Pure Water staff visited two schools in the Trojes area. One in a community and the main school in town. The main school has over 600 kids. We split them into two groups: 1st – 3rd grades in the morning, and 4th – 6th grades in the afternoon. I have a whole new respect for teachers.
The team did a great job of reminding the kids proper hand washing technique and when to wash their hands. We taught them a song about hand washing to the tune of La Bamba. We played games. For one in particular, we gave every kid a necklace with either a picture of a bar of soap, a water drop, or a hand. The goal was to form groups with the three components of proper hand washing. I think they had fun with it. However, with 300 kids in an auditorium everything is a little more difficult. Colgate donated toothbrushes and toothpaste and Purex donated bars of soap. The kids also got coloring books with lessons about proper hygiene and staying healthy.
We hope that in the future the message of Global Handwashing Day can spread past the reach of Pure Water to cover all of Honduras and Central America.