Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy World Water Day!

Water is a vital part of our lives. It's there when we brush our teeth, wash dishes, grab a quick drink, and hose the lawn. But for many children in rural regions of Bolivia, it's hard to find access to clean water, and even harder to stay healthy when the only available water is contaminated.

Yesterday we celebrated World Water Day, a day to remember the importance of water in our lives, and learn how we can help others access water. For the AAVia Foundation, this day reminds us to be grateful for the water that we have here in the United States.

So, what can we do to help Bolivian children have access to clean water?

A child practices hand-washing in Ancocagua, Bolivia. Photo by Nia Haf Photography

The AAVia Foundation is proud to support Clean Hands, Healthy Schools, a hand and dental hygiene program run by the School of Nursing at Pucarani, Bolivia. Led by 50 of the nursing students and their instructors, the program teaches elementary school children about the importance of using clean water, washing their hands, and brushing their teeth.

Clean Hands, Healthy Schools gives these children valuable knowledge that helps them prevent basic illnesses throughout the rest of their lives. The lessons include:

  • How to sterilize water for use
  • When to wash hands
  • Hand-washing methods
  • How to brush teeth
  • How to use hand sanitizer
  • When to use nail clippers

As well as hand-washing practice with the nursing students, and follow up visits to ensure that the lessons are being implemented by the children and their families.

A nursing student helps a child wash hands in Cohana, Bolivia. Photo by Nia Haf Photography

In 2015 Clean Hands, Healthy Schools worked with 10 elementary schools, teaching over 500 children while also providing the same education to their teachers, parents, and village leaders. In 2016, this will continue to grow to reach more schools and more children.

Each one of the children receives a pack of supplies to help them continue their healthy habits: a bar of soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hand towel, and a pair of nail clippers. Funding from the AAVia Foundation made these packs and various education supplies possible.

Kids in Cohana, Bolivia practice hand-washing. Photo by Nia Haf Photography

We look forward to continuing their work with this incredible program to continue providing this vital education to children. Together, we can give these kids the healthy habits that will change the rest of their lives.

Funding for the Clean Hands, Healthy Schools program is made possible by your tax-deductible donations. Thank you for your support of these children.

--Mackenzie Malia
AAVia Foundation Co-Founder & President

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