Al Hassakeh, Syria – 15 October 2014 – As part of Global Handwashing Day activities held around the world this month, UNICEF reached thousands of children in Syria with soap and hygiene-related messages.
The annual Global Handwashing Day – now in its seventh year – is a time to emphasize the role of handwashing with soap in the prevention of common but potentially lethal waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. Children are particularly at risk.
At Al Emam Al Ghazaly School, in Syria’s north-east city of Al Hassakeh, UNICEF and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) reached out to 700 children. SARC volunteers distributed soap and handwashing awareness flyers, along with notebooks, and crayons. Children performed plays which promoted the importance of keeping ones hands clean, particularly in an emergency setting. Children also helped clean their school playground.
UNICEF, with financial support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), produced 420,000 leaflet and posters which were distributed to internally displaced people and host communities around the country, including school children, to raise awareness on improved hygiene practices.
Girls in a grade two class are all smiles after receiving soap and stationery supplies from UNICEF partner the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. ©UNICEF/Syria-2014/Ra’fat Shekhi
The distribution of soap to school students was a key Global Handwashing Day activity at a school in Hassakeh city. These girls in a grade two class also received stationery supplies to support their education. ©UNICEF/Syria-2014/Ra’fat Shekhi
Boys in a grade two at a school in Hassakeh city received soap and hygiene messages as part of Global Handwashing Day activities in Syria. ©UNICEF/Syria-2014/Ra’fat Shekhi
Boys in a grade two class in Hassakeh city are happy to receive bars of soap as part of UNICEF-supported Global Handwashing Day activities. ©UNICEF/Syria-2014/Ra’fat Shekhi
Children at a school in Hassekeh city, in Syria’s north-east hold up bars of soap they just received as part of Global Handwashing Day activities. Children learned about the importance of handwashing to avoid waterborne diseases such as diarrhea. In 2014, with the contribution from ECHO UNICEF procured and distributed 1,779,000 soap bars for hand-washing to over 890,000 internally displaced people, including school children in Syria. ©UNICEF/Syria-2014/Ra’fat Shekhi