Following Global Handwashing Day on 15 October, UP Nigeria sent 14 enthusiastic school children (AKA 'Hygiene Heroes') to educate their peers in 12 neighbouring schools about the importance of handwashing. Thanks to their passion and dedication, 2,845 children have been inspired to fly the flag for good hygiene.
Meet Isabella Isaac Magnus, a Hygiene Hero from Abi LGA, Cross River State (pictured above, right).
Isabella loves talking, singing and dancing, and her dream is to become a doctor when she grows up. She recently visited another school in her area, where she taught her peers about the importance of hygiene and showed them how to construct a tippy tap – a simple, low-cost handwashing station. She also showed teachers and pupils how to wash their hands, and left them amazed at her boldness and expressiveness as a true ‘Hygiene Hero’ on a mission to save lives.
"Because I understood that handwashing saves lives like the handwashing song [Wash Your Hands O by Sunny Neji] says, I have decided to tell and teach people how to wash their hands so that they can live long and live healthy lives," Isabella explains.
Meet Sylvia Udokwu, a Hygiene Hero from Ikom LGA, Cross River State.
Sylvia is an active member of the Environmental Health Club at Foresight Primary School. This year's Global Handwashing Day was a great opportunity for her to spread the message about good hygiene.
She visited another school in her area, where she spoke to pupils and staff about the importance of handwashing and she gave a demonstration of how it should be done. Sylvia's enthusiasm for hygiene was so infectious that the school immediately decided to set up their own Environmental Health Club!
When asked why she is so passionate about handwashing, Sylvia replied: "I want to save lives, I want to teach people about hygiene, I want to create awareness about keeping ourselves and our environment clean, to eradicate sickness and disease."
This is Clifford Uchenna, a Hygiene Hero from Ikom LGA, Cross River State.
As part of the peer-to-peer learning activities that UP ran for Global Handwashing Day, Clifford gave a speech at another school in his area. He gave a lively handwashing demonstration and showed the children how to use locally available materials to construct tippy taps (fork sticks, wooden cross bar, nails, rope, plastic bottle). He also set up a Hygiene Corner in the school.
But where does Clifford's commitment to handwashing come from? In his own words: "I want to teach people how to prevent diseases; diseases caused by bacteria and viruses such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, monkey pox, typhoid and other infections. The rate of children dying is too much and I don’t like seeing children die so if I spread this information, children will not die."