School Competitions

School behavior change competitions

Competitions geared at training students in best handwashing practice, such as:

Handwashing song competitions – if you give children some existing verses to a song, then they are more likely to make up new verses; it’s hard for them to start from scratch

Playground game competition – create half a game involving handwashing and ask children to find ways to finish it

Relay races involving handwashing at handwashing stations

Posters that illustrate key messages about handwashing

Essay contests for older children

Rhyme/poetry contests


Dress-up parade (Children can dress up as germs, soaps, hands, etc.)

Celebrities and leaders as handwashing champions

Sports stars, singers, actors, former political leaders, corporate leaders, and academics can all act as ambassadors for handwashing behavior change. A picture of a much-admired sports star washing his hands with soap can go a long to motivating children to handwash.

Example: In India, cricket star Sachin Tendulkar led a handwashing campaign that culminated in millions of children across South Asia simultaneously washing their hands.

Global Handwashing Day coordination group

Revitalization of an existing group or forming a new coordination group responsible for Global Handwashing Day activities. This might include a group of representatives from different stakeholder groups (government, NGO, industry, community) who might gather to plan activities for Global Handwashing Day.

Link in, if possible to WASH campaigns

– national alliances of governments, parliamentarians, NGOs, media, religious leaders, community groups, schools, private sector actors, and other stakeholders that are active in many countries. WASH campaigns aim to raise the commitment of political and social leaders to achieving hygiene and sanitation goals and effecting the necessary behavioral changes through various information and communication channels, using traditional and mass media, hygiene promotion in schools, training and building local capacity in communications, and improving networking and research.

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