World Vision’s WASH work in schools involves the construction of drinking water, hand washing, and toliet facilities (technical-- hardware). It also encompasses the training of community resource people from schools and health institutions who spearhead school sanitation and hygiene programmes to promote behaviour change (human development-- software). Both components strengthen the learning environment surrounding children, promoting academic achievement and school attendance. For example, in order to increase the retention rate of adolescent girls, private sanitary facilities for females must be available. Additionally, poorly maintained or absent sanitation and hygiene facilities is not only bad for the environment, but can invite the spread of diarrohoeal and respitory diseases along with worm infestation, among schoolchildren.
Every child deserves the right to be as healthy and happy as possible in their given circumstance. Investing in WASH in schools has long term benefits, as it is proven that children are far more receptive to new ideas and have the ability to develop good habits in their most formative years. These students become powerful agents of change, reinforcing what they have learned regarding good hygiene and sanitation at their home with their families. Through key partners like Sesame Workshop, World Vision provides fun and educational resources to teachers and students to promote important hygiene behaviours.