Global Hand washing Day (GHD) was created by the Global Public Private Partnership for Hand washing in 2008 to:
• Foster and support a global culture of hand washing with soap.
• Shine a spotlight on the state of hand washing in every country.
• Raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing with soap.
Global Hand washing Day was originally aimed for children and schools, but later spread to anyone Promoting hand washing with soap. Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Hand washing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals.
During Global Hand washing Day students and communities are taught the importance of washing their hands with soap and water at critical times. The slogan “CLEAN HANDS SAVE LIVES” drives the campaign in promoting the importance of hand washing.
In October 15 2012, Kenya MUN Chiromo in partnership with Unilever Kenya took the 2012 campaign to statehouse primary school in Nairobi County. Statehouse primary school was chosen due to its proximity to our campus and from earlier studies done, statehouse primary has a majority of pupils from poor neighborhoods in Nairobi who don’t enjoy the basic requirements of clean water and soap thus they don’t usually clean their hands. Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
The hand washing experience was attended by fifty three students from Chiromo, forty of who were members of Kenya MUN Chiromo and the rest were students from the college whom we invited. On Monday, which was the first day of the hand washing week we arrived at the school with soaps which we had collected and bought ourselves, we briefed the administration on the campaign and demonstrated the actual hand washing to some selected pupils and their girl guides. We were assigned student girl guides from the school who would inform the rest of the school about the campaign on our behalf and do the actual hand washing the whole week to their small groups of pupils.. Friday would be our final day where each girl guide and her team will present to the whole school on what they have learnt and prices would be given.
The major challenge we encountered was co-operate sponsors pulling out the last minute to the actual week. We had proposed to five cooperate sponsors for financial and material support like buying soaps but only one sponsor honored us.
We recommend that adequate preparations to be done prior to the hand washing week in terms of logistics and proper communication to be done to sponsors before in order to get their assurance.
We learnt the following from the experience; the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:
1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Prepared by Cliff Mokua – Projects/Conference Director director, Kenya MUN (Chiromo Chapter)