In line with this year’s Nutrition Month's theme of “Healthy Diet, Gawing Habit for Life”, Manila Water Foundation reached out to public schools and institutions through its Health in Our Hands (HiOH) program, a year-round campaign that teaches the value of proper handwashing in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
The Nutrition Month series of HiOH taught around 700 schoolchildren about the seven steps of proper handwashing. Aside from the pupils, teachers and community stakeholders also joined in the interactive learning sessions conducted during the school visits.
The series of events was kicked off at Juan Sumulong Elementary School in Antipolo City, Rizal. It was followed by another event in Nazareth Home Orphanage in Bustos, Bulacan.
MWF also brought the program to San Isidro Elementary School (SIES) in Taytay, Rizal. SIES Principal Dr. Eliza Babela shared the role of the hands in completing tasks and the importance of keeping them clean.
“Maraming nagagawa ang ating mga kamay pero maaari din itong magdulot ng sakit kung hindi ito aalagaan at huhugasan nang maayos,” she said.
(Our hands help us in completing our daily tasks, but they can also bring us diseases if we don’t clean and wash them properly).
Her statement was affirmed by the Municipality of Taytay’s First Lady Joan Gacula who thanked MWF for bringing HiOH in their municipality.
“Napakaimportante na maging malinis ang ating mga kamay. Kaya napakaswerte natin dahil nandito ang Manila Water Foundation upang magdala ng mga programang makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(Keeping our hands clean is very important. That’s why we are very fortunate that Manila Water Foundation brought to us a program that would help our local communities.)
After the event in Taytay, MWF took its advocacy to Ponciano A. Bernardo High School in Quezon City, with the participation of Rotary Club of New Manila, who gave away oral hygiene kits for the students.
Another event was simultaneously conducted in Antipolo City through an intimate gathering at Bagong Nayon Elementary School I. Students and teachers pledged to become new members of the Healthy Hands Squad (HHS), a group of volunteers who commit to share the value of proper handwashing to others.
As new members of the HHS, Albeno Del Monte, Jr., Department of Education Schools Division of Antipolo City Senior Education Program Specialist on Social Mobilization, challenged the pupils to live out the mission of the squad.
“Ang may malusog na pangangatawan ay may magandang isipan. Kaya sana ‘yung mga natutunan natin ay hindi lang manatili sa atin. Sana ituro din natin ang tamang paghuhugas ng kamay sa ating mga kamag-aral at kapamilya,” he said.
(One who possesses a healthy body also possesses a healthy mind. So, I challenge everyone to share the value of proper handwashing that they learned today to their fellow students and to their families.)
Aside from the HiOH program, MWF furthers its advocacy for proper handwashing by participating in the annual celebration of the Global Handwashing Day. During the entire month of October, MWF goes nationwide to educate various communities about the importance of handwashing.
By increasing people’s awareness about proper handwashing through HIOH and Global Handwashing Day, MWF helps in ensuring that the next generation will be healthy.