Proper safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices are key components to healthy families—and the children of the General Merino community in Peru are quick learners! Local mothers serving as WASH Promoters recently hosted a fun event to teach their kids proper handwashing. Water Mission staff from our Peru team were on hand to support the event with training materials and expertise.
First, children memorized the steps for handwashing and demonstrated their skills in front of the group. Next, they played a game to see if the girls or the boys could place the handwashing steps in order. The friendly competition kept kids engaged and allowed mothers to promote the importance of healthy hygiene for their families.
Handwashing plays a significant role in Water Mission’s work of helping reduce waterborne and water-related illnesses. According to UN-Water, nearly half of the world’s population lacks safe sanitation, and one in three people lack handwashing facilities at home. To raise WASH awareness, Water Mission equips local WASH promoters to teach communities:
- How water is contaminated,
- How to treat water and store it safely,
- How to wash hands with soap, and
- How to properly use sanitation facilities.
In General Merino, WASH promotion works in conjunction with our safe water and sanitation solutions. More than 320 residents benefit from a Water Mission safe water project here, which has improved the vitality of an already active community. Community members attend general assemblies, activities, and most are highly involved in the local church.
One young resident, Caleb, shows a particular level of commitment to his faith, family, and school studies. Caleb attends the local evangelical church and loves saying opening and closing prayers at events and singing Christian music. His mother is a local WASH promoter, trained to encourage healthy WASH behaviors in neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals. Families like Caleb’s carry influence within their communities and create lasting change for generations to come.
Water Mission has been present in Peru since 2006, with an in-country team of experts training and equipping communities to manage long-lasting safe water and sanitation solutions. Few roads exist between the Loreto capital, Iquitos, and small towns like General Merino, making transportation of goods difficult and costly. The 2,700 rural communities in this region are often under-resourced. Water Mission is a safe water charity serving some of the hardest-to-reach communities in this area.
We believe that in remote areas like General Merino, a well-rounded, long-term approach is necessary to support health, education, and livelihood. We empower residents, such as WASH promoters, to take ownership of safe water projects and ongoing community training.
Join us in applauding these dedicated mothers for their creativity in promoting the health of their kids! Please also consider coming alongside us to bring safe water, sanitation, and hygiene training to other mothers and children in hard-to-reach communities, like General Merino.