In late August, Clean the World Foundation Managing Director Sam Stephens visited our Soap in Schools program locations in Kenya to see what kind of progress we made after six months of full-time operation.
We’re working across a network of 12 schools serving over 4,000 elementary-aged children in rural villages throughout the country. Our baseline study showed nearly 70 percent of the children suffered from some hygiene-related illness in the 30 days leading up to our launch in February. We implemented ongoing hand washing education classes and soap distribution to the targeted schools to ensure the youth had regular access to soap and proper hand washing facilities. After 90 days, we saw more than a 50 percent reduction in hygiene-related illnesses among the same population.
At the six-month mark, we’re happy to announce we have continued that level of improvement. In fact, incidences of hygiene-related illnesses are down roughly 60 percent among all 4,000 kids! And as a result, school attendance is up more than 50 percent, as the kids are healthier and able to attend school more regularly. This reduction in illness is an enormous impact on their health as well as their futures.
We’ll wrap up the initial pilot program in November and look forward to providing an update then. In the meantime, be sure to watch for updates on social media for this and our other Soap In Schools programs!