Under this year’s theme “Our Hands, Our Future”, children all over the globe learned about the importance of handwashing on October 15.
In a village only 10 kilometers from the city of Mosul, where people are trying to return to a normal life after the war, Malteser International joined partner NGOs, including ACF, DORCAS, Tearfund and Welthungerhilfe, to organize a day full of activities focused on the importance of handwashing for over 350 school children. Creativity reigned free as girls and boys explored how to properly use water and soap at critical times to prevent diseases and save lives. Interactive theatrical performances, paintings and songs dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap were performed with the curious audience at Khursibat village elementary school. After an eventful day, the children each received small treats, their own soap bars and handwashing themed shirts, displaying step-by-step instructions on how to use water and soap to effectively protect our own health and thereby build our own futures, as well as those of our communities.
Founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership, the first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since 2008, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands. Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world.
As a member of the German WASH Network, Malteser International is committed to providing access to a sustainable supply of clean water, appropriate sanitary facilities and hygiene practices to all. Our projects offer measures that are specially designed to focus on menstrual hygiene as well as the special needs of girls, women, older people, and people with disabilities.
Malteser International is also member of SuSanA (Sustainable Sanitation Alliance), which is an open network with members who are dedicated to understanding viable and sustainable sanitation systems. You can find more detailed information in our WASH Guidelines, which are available for download on our publications page.