Hygiene and Sanitation Training
One third of the world’s population does not have access to adequate sanitation, and approximately 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions in developing countries. By training those who receive water wells in simple hygiene practices, such as proper hand washing or waste disposal, we can drastically reduce these statistics and begin healthier cultural norms in future generations.
So far, 82,807 people worldwide have participated in Water for Life Initiative’s (WFLI) Hygiene and Sanitation training. The training works as a facilitated discussion to target unhealthy practices within communities, and devise steps to implement positive changes. By starting the training with a questionnaire to determine the current condition of a village, GAiN team members can lead a conversation that specifically addresses that community’s needs. Villagers then participate in a variety of activities and discussions which demonstrate how practices like open defecation, washing hands without using soap, or storing clean water improperly can be harmful to their health, and cause many of the illnesses commonly experienced in their villages.
After these practices have been examined, the group brainstorms simple solutions that can be immediately implemented. One of the most important of these solutions is proper hand washing. Although it seems basic, 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by hand washing with soap. Our training teaches critical times to wash one’s hands, such as after using the latrine or before preparing food, as well as the proper technique to completely rid the hands of dangerous bacteria.
An important aspect of the Hygiene and Sanitation training is that it is facilitated and not taught. This means that the topics covered are issues raised by the group, and solutions are reached through guided discussion and brief training sessions. Rather than simply delivering knowledge, our training creates a sense of ownership and responsibility, meaning it is much more likely that new habits will form and continue, even after GAiN has left the village.