In partnership with Unilever, we promote handwashing among children in primary schools as a means to reduce diseases associated with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
We work directly with educators and community health workers to train them on the “School of Five” approach, a 21-day behavior change program promoting handwashing with soap.
Developed by Unilever, School of Five is a series of activities to ensure that children understand why handwashing with soap is important and enables them to develop the habit of handwashing over time. The program aims to:
- Create awareness of the need to consistently and correctly wash hands at five critical times throughout their day.
- Gain commitment from children to wash with soap (when possible).
- Motivate children using recognition and small rewards for positive behaviors.
- Provide children with talking points and encouragement to share with their families and communities.
Conducted in partnership with Unilever, activities we conduct for the School of Five program include:
- Training educators and community health workers to implement the School of Five approach and to become champions of good hygiene practices in their schools and communities.
- Raising awareness and countering misconceptions that visibly clean hands are hygienically clean. Using technologies such as a ‘glow-germ’ powder and an ultra-violet light to illuminate germs, staff are able to show that handwashing with soap provides greater protection against germs than washing with water alone.
- Engaging mothers and caregivers in the program to ensure that the habit of handwashing starts and sticks.
- Reaching primary school children through the use of comic books, peer support, reward stickers and celebrities over the course of several weeks to develop the habit of handwashing with soap over a 21-day period, and asking them to pledge to wash hands with soap over the program period.
- Evaluating program impact by using innovative methods such as quantitative handwashing diary studies and observational studies. Handwashing diaries are used by mothers and children to track handwashing behaviors over time, providing a clear record of long-term shifts in behavior patterns while simultaneously reinforcing the behavior in the home.
- Working with national and local governments to promote handwashing with soap in schools and embed it into school health club curriculum.