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Celebrating Clean Hands for All on Global Handwashing Day

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Hundreds of students of and community members assembled to celebrate the Global Handwashing Day on October 15 at Mariano Marcos Memorial High School (MMMHS) in Sta. Ana, Manila. Manila Water Foundation—the social development arm of the Manila Water enterprise—led the celebration by organizing a jampacked day filled with fun learning activities that emphasizes the importance of proper handwashing with clean water and soap.

Celebrating Clean Hands for All on Global Handwashing Day

Participants received hygiene kits from Cleene and joined a medical mission from FamilyDoc. Community members also joined a cooking demo that highlighted the importance of handwashing before and after daily activities like food preparation. Participants and esteemed guests also signified their commitment towards proper hygiene by affixing their handprints on a pledge wall. It was then followed by a student poster-making contest highlighting the importance of observing proper hygiene practices and a storytelling session about hygiene by Adarna House. Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and GHD 2019 ambassador, Robi Domingo also shared an inspirational message and call-to-action about the proper handwashing. Partners from the private and government sectors also joined the celebration.

Turnover of a 10-faucet hygiene facility

A significant part of the GHD program is the turnover of a 10-faucet handwashing facility within MMMHS. “We are very thankful that MWF chose us to be the host school and beneficiary for this year’s Global Handwashing Day. The new handwashing facility will greatly help promote the habit of handwashing and proper hygiene among our students and keep them away from diseases,” MMMHS principal Roland dela Cruz said.

Celebrating Clean Hands for All on Global Handwashing Day

More than 3,000 students and faculty members will be benefitting from the facility.

A Call for Clean Hands for All

This year’s GHD theme, “Clean Hands for All,” aims to be inclusive by making interventions such as access to clean water, soap, and information about these available to all especially to vulnerable communities. It aims to share that handwashing is an integral part of fighting the spread of diseases and improving overall health, no matter what race or gender.

Celebrating Clean Hands for All on Global Handwashing Day

“The theme, ‘Clean Hands for All,’ demonstrates proper hygiene practices that encompass every member of the society. The ‘seven steps of proper handwashing’ has been vetted by medical professionals from the Department of Health (DOH) as a way of telling people about the perfect way of washing our hands to eliminate bacteria and germs. It’s also important to note the critical times to wash hands,” MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal elaborates.

True to the theme, this year’s GHD activities also involved MWF’s partner Aeta communities, beginning in Sitio Monicayo Mabalacat, Pampanga last Oct. 4 and will continue in Brgy. Sapang Uwak, Porac, Pampanga on Oct. 29.

Beyond GHD

Celebrating Clean Hands for All on Global Handwashing Day
Manila Water Foundation with Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (9th from left), 2019 Global Handwashing Day celebrity ambassador Robi Domingo (10th from left), and other key stakeholders led the ceremony of the Global Handwashing Day Celebration.

MWF is a member of the Global Handwashing Partnership which is a coalition of international stakeholders who advocate on hygiene as a pillar for development. Since 2013, MWF has been one of the most visible and active proponents of the GHD in the Philippines because part of its core advocacy is hygiene education. MWF will be closing the month-long celebration of GHD in another Aeta community at Barangay Sapang Uwak in Porac, Pampanga, but will continue to spread awareness about proper handwashing and other hygiene practices all year-round. Through its Health in Our Hands program, MWF aims to continue its mission in helping make the Philippines healthier through proper hygiene.


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