Thanks to generous support from the Starwood Foundation, we have replicated the Soap In Schools Program in Tanzania. As in Kenya, we’re focusing on a network of schools, conducting a baseline study to understand local hygiene needs, and implementing programming to improve health and school attendance.
In Tanzania, we conducted a baseline assessment across 15 schools serving nearly 5,000 elementary aged youth in two rural communities. The studies showed that, in the previous 30 days, over 80 percent of all kids had experienced a hygiene-related illness. And as a result, chronic school absenteeism – defined as students missing more than four days of school a month – was nearly 50 percent.
Through a partnership with local schools, we’ve launched an ongoing handwashing education program designed to instill proper handwashing as a regular routine in the communities. We will make sure the kids understand how and why to wash their hands, and that they have access to the necessary hygiene supplies. With that support in place, we expect to see a considerable decrease in hygiene-related illnesses in the coming months.
As in Kenya, Clean the World will conduct thorough assessments of the program every 90 days. Stay tuned for an update on our progress in November!