Manila Water Foundation is leading a month-long and nationwide celebration of the Global Handwashing Day 2017 in a bid to raise awareness on the importance of proper handwashing in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
At the kick-off event of GHD 2017 at the Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City on Oct. 5, MWF bared plans to hold several events in schools, communities, and malls in line with this year’s global theme, “Our Hands, Our Future.”
Since 2013, MWF has been among the biggest supporters of the campaign by rolling out local activities and events, such as demonstrations and actual handwashing, which complement the organization’s vision on water education.
This year’s celebration focuses on teaching children how to properly wash their hands.
“If you teach children how to do it, they will keep on doing it. When they grow up as adults, then they will be forming the habit and passing [it] on to [next] generations,” MWF president Geodino Carpio said during the launch.
UNICEF chief of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Section Luis Maule, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of teaching individuals while they’re still young.
Maule said UNICEF strongly believes that children can be agents of change, as in its experience in educating students about proper hygiene and sanitation, positive change was seen at homes, in schools, and within their communities.
While it is important to teach children to properly wash their hands, the task is not an easy one. Celebrity mom and this year’s celebrity advocate Bettina Carlos shared her struggle in reminding her daughter to wash her hands after every activity.
“I’ll tell her, ‘anak, it’s the things that you do not see that hurt you the most’,” related Carlos. She adds, “Because it’s the germs and bacteria that you do not visibly see that can actually cause you to get sick.”
According to Maule, research shows that handwashing might be the single most cost effective way of preventing diseases for “it doesn’t need anything special—just soap, water, and our own hands to take care of ourselves.”
Thus Carlos avered that her job as a parent is to teach her daughter to watch after her own welfare, so that her daughter would know how to take care of herself when her mother is not around.
Because in the long run, Maule stressed, “our children’s future is in our hands, and together we can ensure that can be a healthy and happy one.”
Following the launch at the Mind Musem, MWF will bring the celebration to key locations in Luzon and Visayas. The organization has also launched an educational audio-visual presentation which is currently being played on MMDA’s electronic billboards at key locations along Edsa until Oct. 31.