Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Celebrated annually on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
This year’s theme for Global Handwashing Day was “Raise a hand for hygiene”. It is action-oriented which can be used particularly well for advocacy programs. For instance, the act of raising a hand is one of affiliation. This can help create a strong social norm of good hygiene in a school, community, or region.
Similarly, the day is also observed every year in Bhutan in schools and other institutions. This year the Global Handwashing Day was observed on October 15 in Yoeseltse Middle Secondary School in Samtse with fund support from RSPN and SNV-Bhutan Office. It was observed as part of Sanitation and Hygiene component of SDF funded WASH Project with objectives to:
- Bring community, school and key stakeholders institutions together to celebrate the handwashing day for the promotion of sanitation and hygiene.
- Foster and support global and local culture of handwashing with soap and educate its benefits.
The officials from Samtse Dzongkhag, Yoeseltse Gewog Administrations, Yoeseltse Dratsang, Ministry of Health, RSPN, SNV and students and staff of YMSS jointly celebrated the day, where students presented various cultural programs and also demonstrated had washing. A local hardware supplier from Samtse also showcased the sanitary and hygiene related products. A posters competition on Handwashing theme by the school students of YMSS was organized.to commemorate the day. A Mass Handwashing Station was installed in YMSS, inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Dasho Dzongrab of Samtse Dzongkhag.
RSPN would like to thank PHED-MoH, CSHP-MoE, Education Sector of Samtse Dzongkhag, Yoeseltse School Management, Yoeseltse Gewog Administration, Yoeseltse-BHU, Yoeseltse-Dratsang, SNV-Bhutan Office, LNW Consultancy and all individuals who contributed in making the event successful.
Reported by: Tsheten Dorji, Project Officer, WASH