WSUP’s experience is that improved hygiene practices can only be sustained if good facilities and hygiene education also extend to the wider community including public health facilities.
WSUP’s approach is therefore to integrate improvements in urban schools with action in the surrounding community, to ensure the best possible outcome for children’s health and education prospects and help break the cycle of poverty.
Improving infrastructure in schools and health centres
WSUP supports schools and health centres in the renovation and construction of sanitation blocks. Through user-centred design approaches, WSUP has developed insights into how to best create facilities that are appropriate for the different needs of boys and girls.
WSUP ensures that facilities are well managed by helping with the creation of committees which oversee operations and maintenance, and are responsible for mobilising financial resources.
Across the countries where we work, WSUP has made a long-lasting impact on facilities in nearly 200 schools.
I taught twenty-six people how and when to wash both hands with soap.
Enabling the provision of hygiene education
Sustainable behaviour change, for example to encourage regular handwashing with soap, can play a major part in improving health of children.
Improved awareness of issues around menstrual hygiene management is a vital way in which school attendance for teenage girls can be increased.
WSUP has developed a range of approaches to communicate key messages to children creatively, working closely with health authorities, community groups, and teachers. Across the countries where we work, WSUP has reached millions of children with hygiene education sessions and campaigns, creating training materials that can be used by teachers and training teachers to continue this work.
Strengthening national and city institutions
WSUP builds the capacity of national and local authorities and other organisations like UNICEF so that they are better able to address issues of poor water and sanitation.
This work can include supporting policymakers to create the right environment for improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for children, as well as helping institutions on the implementation of particular strategies.
In Madagascar, we worked with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry in charge of water, sanitation and hygiene to progress a certification process known as ‘WASH-friendly institutions’ – incentivising public institutions like schools to improve facilities.