As we announced in a previous blog post, members of our London group were invited to participate in a Family Fun Day at the Royal Institution in London last weekend. As part of our efforts to raise awareness about the global sanitation crisis, our activists bravely covered themselves in paint and water and some even dressed up as a giant poo!
RESULTS organised a number of activities to educate children and their parents about the importance of sanitation and hygiene and the impact that a lack of clean water and adequate sanitation has on the lives of billions of people worldwide.
“Carry the Can” One in five people don’t have access to safe, clean water. Millions of people, including young children are forced to walk long distances to collect water. To illustrate what a heavy burden this is, we challenged visitors to try and carry a 25 litre jerrycan full of water around the room. Even some mums and dads struggled to lift it up!
“How Much Poo?!” Children were asked to guess how much poo a village of 500 people produced in a year (the answer is around 30 tonnes!). We informed them that nearly 1.2 billion people have to poo in the open because they don’t have access to any kind of toilet and asked them to imagine what kind of damage all of that poo does to the surrounding environment when it is not disposed properly, let alone the danger and humiliation it causes. Just one gram of poo can contain as many as 10 million germs – yuck!
“Dirty Hands” When leaving the loos, children put some paint on their hands to represent germs. They were shown just how easy it is for germs to transfer from one surface to another and just how hard you actually have to wash your hands to make sure they are really clean!
“Clean Your Hands With Soap” This next table had basins of water and bars of soap, so that kids could wash the paint off from the “Dirty Hands” stand and show just how good (or bad) they were at washing their hands. Accompanying materials explained to them just how soap works and how effective handwashing with soap is at preventing childhood diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea.
“Make a Tippy Tap” Kids were shown how to make and use their own “tippy tap” out of a plastic milk bottle. Tippy taps are simple and economical handwashing stations that are not dependent on a regular, piped water supply. They can enable communities to wash their hands without wasting precious water.
“The Evolution of Yuck” Dr Val Curtis – our conference call guest in October 2009 – delivered a number of short lectures throughout the day in the very prestigious Faraday Theatre. Her talk ‘The Evolution of Yuck’ explored our dirty habits, discovering what disgusts us and showing how disgust can help make people more hygienic.
A huge thanks to everyone who took part in the day. Everyone agreed that it was a hugely successful event and was lots of fun!