"Germ free hands and happy smiling faces at Kyrgyzstan kindergardens"
Handwashing Day in the village of Bokonbayev
Making germs visible on children's hands by using glitter and blue light
„Do you all wash your hands after playing outside? And after going to the toilet?“ asks Ainura Kilnazarova from the Kyrgyz Alliance for Water and Sanitation (KAWS). A collective and sound/loud „Ooooba!“ (meaning „yes“ in Kyrgyz) by 60 preschoolers in the age of 4-6 years, is filling the room.
It is a cold October morning in the village of Bokonbaev, near Issyk Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan’s most eastern region. But not a very usual one. It is „Handwashing Day“ in the kindergardens of Bokonbaev.
WECF partner KAWS has been organising this event for two years now, learning children how to wash their hands correctly and thus preventing infectious diseases to spread. Bokonbaev’s Aqua Planet team, a group of 5 students in the age between 14-15 years, supports KAWS during the event. The students of the team are experts in the topic after getting trained by KAWS in the field of water and sanitation, explains Ainura.
In the „N2“ and „Bakyt“ kindergarden the children listen quietly while Ainura and the Aqua Planet team are making the germs on the children’s hands visible with glitter powder and blue light and then showing them that washing your hands in the right way is the way to get rid of those germs. The kids are suprised and some even need a couple of washings to be germfree. A catchy „Handwashing Song“ afterwards makes for a perfect ending to an exciting day for Bokonbaev’s preschoolers.
„And will you also teach your siblings, parents and grandparents how to wash one’s hands correctly?“ asks Ainura at the end. Again an even louder „Oooba“ fills the room and happy and smiling faces wave their germ-free hands to KAWS and the Aqua Planet team to say goodbye. A successful day and surely not the last one.
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