Most of us do not wash our hands enough. It's gross but it probably won't kill you. For children under five, it's a different story. Over half a million kids die every year from diarrhea - largely preventable by simply washing hands with soap. HappyTap designed the LaBobo - a playful sink that inspires handwashing. It's working in homes. Now, we want to help schools. This project equips 100 rural schools in Vietnam and Cambodia with LaBobo sinks and a fun, kid-friendly curriculum
Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under five. It is responsible for half a million child deaths per year and irreversible developmental damage. This is a frustrating reality because handwashing with soap can cut the death rate in half. Governments and NGOs have focused on teaching people how to wash their hands. Today, families know how and when to wash their hands, but they're still not doing it. HappyTap saw the opportunity to turn this knowledge into practice.
HappyTap designed the LaBobo sink in close collaboration with mothers in the Lower Mekong. The result - a bright, playful sink that instantly attracts children and makes handwashing fun. We often say the LaBobo is a behaviour change tool - that's development speak for a product that is more than just a sink but one that was designed to motivate children and their guardians to make a lifelong change.
Designed with Vietnamese and Cambodian mothers, the LaBobo makes handwashing with soap easy for rural families without indoor plumbing. It is also toy-like so kids find it fun and love using it. An easy and fun task has a much better chance of becoming a habit. In rural schools, LaBobos have proven to be effective teaching aids and much needed sinks. We call LaBobo a behaviour change tool - much more than just a sink, designed to motivate children and adults to form lifelong habits.