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Friday, 14 October 2011

How to wash your hands

Well, its been a busy week, starting with World Porridge Day before heading into National Curry Week and National Chocolate Week. After all this focus on food, it seems only reasonable that we finish off with Global Handwashing Day on Saturday.

Although perhaps we should have all washed our hands before embarking on a national week of eating.

If you need any reminders about why handwashing is important, refresh your memory with a doctor’s view of this most essential practice.

Once we’ve got the ‘why’ sorted we need to make sure that we’re washing our hands the right way, for example making sure that we use soap and not just water. If you’re unsure, there are some rather detailed instructions out there!

Apparently, it takes 15–20 seconds to wash your hands properly. If you don’t want to just count to 20, you could try singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself – probably in your head – as this is about the right length.

If you don’t want people to think you’re dropping hints about your birthday, you could invest in a musical handwash timer. These handy (no pun intended) gadgets fit onto your soap dispenser and, when pressed, light up and play music for 20 s.

Unfortunately some families can’t afford soap. Felizo Bigirimana is 35 and lives with his family in Burundi. Hygiene conditions are better now that they have their own latrine, but they don’t always have enough money to buy soap.

Felizo Bigirimana in front of his farm plot 
Cord (one of Toilet Twinning’s founding charities) has set up a Community Seed Centre that provides good quality seeds and cuttings to people like Felizo. This helps them to start growing produce to feed their families and sell for income.

By twinning your toilet, you’re helping Cord and Tearfund to support families like Felizo’s to have access to the basics that we so often take for granted.

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