This is a guest post by Imran Raza, president of the Pakistan Water Forum, a Project WET partner in Pakistan. The Pakistan Water Forum is a voluntary, nonprofit, non-governmental and non-political organization operating in Pakistan for the advocacy and development of water related issues. The Pakistan Water Forum advocates for the purification of water and sanitation facilities and conducts activities such as meetings, international water day observances and other educational and recreational activities to spread awareness about the menace of waterborne diseases.
Although many people around the world wash their hands with water, not all wash their hands with soap at critical moments such as after using the toilet, while cleaning a child and before handling food. If hand washing with soap became a standard practice, health experts estimate that deaths from diarrhea could be reduced by one half and one in four deaths from acute respiratory infections would be averted.
For the promotion of this cause the Pakistan Water Forum organized Global Hand Washing Day events in collaboration with the New Horizon Kindergarten School. In this event, children performed small skits on hand washing and its importance in our day-to-day life.
New Horizon Principal Mrs. Saiqa gave a lecture on the importance of water education, and school teachers also helped him in this programme. The President of the Pakistan Water Forum, Mr. Imran Raza, gave a demonstration on proper hand washing practices, and the school children then showed how to wash their hands with soap.
This new Pakistan Water Forum initiative is designed to help children get into a habit of correctly and consistently washing their hands with soap at critical times of the day. Using soap products and communication materials, teachers will work to change behaviors among school-aged children through hand washing programs and activities such as song writing, comic books and hand washing pledges. We know that when children learn and understand healthy behaviors, they help pass life-saving information to their families at home and future generations—setting off a powerful ripple effect.