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, a social business in Vietnam, designed the LaBobo - a playful sink that inspires handwashing. It's working in homes. Now, we want to help schools. This project equips 100 schools in Vietnam 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.
Designed with Vietnamese 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.
In the immediate future, this project serves 5,000+ students to make hygiene lessons come alive with practice and fun. As a social enterprise, HappyTap sells the Labobo to consumers to achieve the social goal of preventing disease and the business goal of sustainability. The HappyTap team partners with teachers and schools to encourage families to adopt the LaBobo and soap in the home, towards the critical long term impact of influencing a generational change in life-saving hygiene habits.