Access to safe water and toilets are imperative to solving the global water and sanitation crisis. Critical to the long-term success of these solutions is the need for education, specifically with regards to personal hygiene. Without the practice of good hygiene, the transformative power of safe water and personal toilets fall short of their full potential.
Teaching children good hygiene at an early age ensures they'll always follow hygienic practices. What's more, kids will pass along their newfound knowledge to their whole family - parents, grandparents, older siblings - with a kindhearted effectiveness more powerful than peer to peer education.
Take the story of Litun’s family. Litun lives with her parents and brother in a geographically remote area in Rangpur, Bangladesh. She is six years old. Throughout her young life, Litun and her family have experienced many health issues related to poor hygiene.
Like Litun’s family, a large percentage of the population here live under the poverty line. Until now, options to affordably bring a water connection or toilet into their homes were unavailable. Through something we call WaterCredit, the burden of reliable water and sanitation access has been removed. Though poor, families in Ragpur are choosing to finance needed water connections and toilets. To ensure these solutions most effective, Water.org refuses to set them into motion without offering hygiene classes as a part of the program.
Presentations are held at schools or community centers where borrowers and their families learn about the importance of things like hand washing, regular bathing, clean food prep and water storage. Eager to get the most from their solutions, we have found community members of all ages to be receptive to the programs offered - children most inspired by the fun educational program.
Following her family’s session, Litun returned home insisting her father wash his hands after visiting the toilet. When sharing this story with us he proudly acknowledged his daughter’s insistence on such a practice as he too, now understands the value of good hygiene.
Give water credit for making good hygiene and healthy families possible in Ragpur.
Learn more about how Water.org is working to bring hygiene education programs to the communities we serve. Watch this fun video from India.