In order to effectively teach children and their families’ better sanitation and hygiene practices, a cultural change must occur.
A change that that can often take up to a decade. This is at World Water Relief, we commit up to 10 years of continuing WASH education and system maintenance to each of our project schools. To make WASH education fun and valuable, we established 15-member water clubs at every school. Each summer, the World Water Relief hygiene coordinators in Haiti and the Dominican Republic meet with the clubs once per week to teach proper WASH practices and introduce new topics. Last summer the focus centered on Cholera, intestinal round worms and waterborne parasites.
Every $1 invested in water and sanitation gives an economic return between $3 and $34 and 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.
We serve the southwestern region of the Dominican Republic, near the city of Barahona, and the central and southern areas of Haiti. These areas are often overlooked or ignored by governments due to their distance from major cities or marginalized because of their demographics.
Diarrhea is the 2nd biggest killer of children under 5 years old and every minute a child dies from water related illness.
That is why, we focus on children, since they are especially vulnerable to the impacts of poor sanitation, water and hygiene. When they are unhealthy, they often miss school, fall behind, and lack a proper education.