The Kid Power Handwashing Project
“Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.” ~ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I have been enjoying myself making Kid Power Organics soap! In the process, I have been imagining ways in which the soap could have a positive impact on the lives of the children who attend Light of Future Schools in Cambodia. After lots of thinking and brainstorming, I have decided to establish a handwashing project in partnership with Cambodian Care Ministries entitled, “The Kid Power Handwashing Project” at three Cambodian Care Ministries Light of Future Schools (LOF) in Cambodia during the 2016-2017 School Year. In a previous post I discussed how handwashing with soap is one of the best personal hygiene strategies a person can use to avoid getting sick and prevent spreading disease to others, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC).
* Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia.
* Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing our hands with soap removes germs much more effectively. Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance.
* Good handwashing practices early in life may help improve child development in some settings.
Currently, I am establishing a small group of Kid Power Organics interns to help me with the project. Cambodian Care Ministries will be selecting the moms and caregivers of LOF students who will participate. Together, we will initiate the project in August 2016 by:
1) establishing handwashing stations at LOF schools in Cambodia and
2) training this group of moms and caregivers to be the Kid Power Handwashing Ambassadors.
The Kid Power Handwashing Ambassadors will educate students, parents, and caregivers about the benefits and recommended technique of handwashing with soap. Each school day, they will assist the students in washing their hands at LOF according to CDC handwashing procedures prior to snack time. These ambassadors will also be responsible to maintain the handwashing stations. They will receive a small stipend for their participation. Funds for the stipends will come from sales of Kid Power Organics products and private donations to Cambodian Care Ministries.
Light of Future School Students will have the opportunity to earn incentives and prizes individually and as classrooms for successfully washing their hands daily.
I am looking forward to August 2016!
(photo credits: Alexis Lopez, Kratie Province, Cambodia, August 2016;Daniella Freeman, Kid Power Organics Soap, March 2016; Koy Chhim, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 2016; Koy Chhim, Kratie Province, Cambodia, February 2016; and Shutterstock stock photos/graphics)