This project includes establishing handwashing stations at twelve (12) junior schools and eight (8) high schools in Central Equatoria, South Sudan. Diarrhea and pneumonia are globally two of the leading causes of death for children. Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases. This simple behavior can save lives, cutting diarrhea by almost one-half and acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter. (ref. globalhandwashing.org)
More than a million children die each year due to diarrhea, but handwashing with soap could prevent 2/3 of those deaths. According to a Dec. 2021 UNICEF report, only 40% of South Sudan's population has access to clean water, and a tiny 10% of the population to "improved sanitation facilities"... defined as those that hygienically separate human waste from human contact. Without handwashing facilities in schools, children are more susceptible to illness, and less able to learn and grow.
In 2020 in response to the Coronavirus outbreaks, SESSO distributed handwashing water containers, soaps, and facemasks at ten (10) junior schools in Kakuma Refugee Camp. This project would further SESSO's efforts to equip additional schools with these necessary handwashing facilities. This project aims to establish handwashing facilities in twelve (12) junior schools and eight (8) high schools in Central Equatoria, South Sudan on Global Handwashing Day on Saturday October 15, 2022.
School-based handwashing programs can result in up to a 54% reduction in absenteeism. (ref. globalhandwashing.org). This project will establish handwashing stations in 20 South Sudanese schools that have no access to such facilities, as well as provide a 30-45 minute educational presentation on the use and maintenance of the stations. This will impact the students' health and ability to learn, as well as spread awareness to their families/communities on the importance of proper handwashing.