It all began with a statistics. More than 3.5 million children do not live to celebrate their 5th birthday. The cause? diarrhoea, pneumonia and other infections which are largely preventable with good hygiene. With the world facing new viruses with every new day, basic hygiene should be part of every activity and its importance repeated again and again.
I volunteer at a children’s space and I was wondering why haven’t we touched upon it yet? Maybe to give a sign there were pictures of ‘global hand wash day’ all over the internet. And knowing google tracks all our moves, since I was searching for related items it showed it to me even more :). And so I decided to do an activity on hand washing on October 15th.
I wanted it to be a fun and informative activity. Also short enough to hold their attention. And I found this awesome awesome video by unicef Japan. The best part was it doesn’t have any words so no language barrier.
But couldn’t just start with this dance. I had to first hold a discussion. I found this another video – a story of 5 friends and special agent Handy!
The only problem. It’s in English and my trusted partner Ana was on vacation! I still downloaded the videos and a little apprehensive about how I will be able to communicate and hold the activity I went to the foundation. As if someone heard my fears and lo! Augusto is visiting foundation today 🙂 Augusto understands English and that’s all I needed. I told him the full plan of how we will first talk to kids about hand wash and ask questions of why is it important, when should they wash hands.. do they know where all germs can live in our hands and how to wash hands properly to shoo them away. I don’t know if he had other plans for the day but I volunteered him myself to help out in the activity 😛 We started with the story of five friends which Augusto kept translating for them in between.
And then we revealed to the kids that Augusto was actually special agent Handy and he has come today to inspect all our hands… He went to the kids one by one and then one by one each kids washed his/ her hands and came back to get the certificate of germ buster from Special Agent Handy!
We ended with the hand wash dance! 🙂
And then the kids went back singing:
“Lavar lavar lavar as mãos, lavar com água e sabão. Lavar as mãos para expulsar os micróbios. Lavar lavar lavar as mãos…”
“Wash wash wash you hands, wash with water and soap. Wash the hands to throw the germs away. Wash wash wash you hands..”