Jovilyn teaches other children proper handwashing amid COVID-19 in Philippines

Jovilyn reminds other children to wash their hands thoroughly

Nine-year-old Jovilyn regularly reminds other children in her Philippines community how important proper handwashing is during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jovilyn lives in a highly-urbanised town that has recorded more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases up to February 2021.

“It is important that we still wash our hands, wear masks, and, if possible, children must not go out in public unless for health or emergency reasons,” Jovilyn advises children.

Learning from her mother Marissa, a government worker, Jovilyn practices handwashing constantly. Asked when children should wash their hands, Jovilyn replies, “After touching dirty surfaces or objects, after touching money or coins, before and after eating, after using the toilet, after handling garbage or pets, after coughing or sneezing.”

She adds that washing your hands is not as simple as dipping your hands in water.

“We should wash our hands thoroughly. My mother says there are lots of viruses and bacteria on our hand. So, children must wash hands with a clean running water for some seconds,” she tells us.

She told me to sing Happy Birthday twice. Use soap to wash away the dirt. Then dry your hands with a tissue or clean towel.

Marissa smiles at her chatty daughter. “Washing your hands has many benefits. It can kill not only coronavirus, but also other viruses or bacteria that may cause illnesses like diarrhea,” Marissa explains to Jovilyn.

Jovilyn knows how to wash her hands properly

Jovilyn’s community recently became a recipient of 10 portable handwashing facilities. The project is a collaborative effort among car company Lexus, BASECO Inter-Agency Network of which World Vision is a member, Partnership of Philippine Support Agencies Inc (PHILSSA), Oxfam, and Mission Alliance.

The handwashing facilities are currently stationed near schools, public market, health centres and village halls which previously lacked handwashing facilities.

The local fire station currently supplies water to the handwashing facilities so people can use the faucets.

“These handwashing facilities make it easier for us to wash our hands. I used to wash my hands when I get back home because we have limited faucets,” Marissa says.

“This is an urban town where lots of people are using a single faucet. But now, I can wash my hands anytime I want,” she adds.

At World Vision, we believe in clean water, sanitation and hygiene for every child. Find out more.