Over one million Nigerian school children are expected to join thousands more in the UK and millions of people around the world in the biggest celebration of Global Hand-washing Day next month.
Concern Universal, an international development and relief organization, announced this, Wednesday, stating that the aim is to help stop the spread of preventable diseases.
“At events across Nigeria and the UK, children will be empowered as ‘Hygiene Heroes’ – hand washing promoters in their schools, families, and communities – and will also compete to show that they have the CareX Factor,” said Tim Kellow, Concern Universal’s Country Director.
“This talent competition enables children to get creative about hand washing by performing their own version of our exclusive campaign anthem – Sunny Neji’s ‘Wash Your Hands o.'”
Global Handwashing Day is a worldwide celebration involving over 200 million people coming together every October 15th to promote a simple and life-saving message – handwashing with soap saves lives.
Hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhoea cause one in five Nigerian children to die each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Mr. Kellow said that nearly half of these deaths could be prevented by simply washing hands with soap.
Concern Universal said that it is partnering with Carex Soap, a UK soap brand, to reach more than 2,000 children from 150 schools to participate in events across Nigeria over the next month.
“Children representing each school will take part in hand washing games and demonstrations that will empower them to return to their schools and communities and spread the campaigns vital message,” Mr. Kellow said.
“Schools will also compete to show that they have the ‘CareX Factor.'”
The winners of each event, as judged by a panel of local leaders, will compete against other regional winners at the final event on October 15th for prizes and a chance to perform with Sunny Neji and his band.
Following the success of last year’s campaign which featured Sunny Neji and 2face Idibia, and Carex Soap and Etisalat, according to the organizers, a bigger campaign is planned this year to involve more people than any other in the Day’s history.
“This year, we are delighted that Sunny Neji will again be our Campaign Ambassador and that Carex – UK’s most popular soap brand – has increased its support, enabling us to reach thousands more school children in Nigeria, include hundreds of UK school children, and feature more special guests and opportunities for supporters around the world to join us,” said Mr. Kellow.
Participants are expected to come up with their own song and dance interpretation of Sunny Neji’s ‘Wash Your Hands o,’ record and post it on Concern Universal’s Facebook page.
The events kick off in Makurdi, Benue State, followed by events in Agatu, Logo, and Gwer East; and then in Bekwarra, Obanliku, and Abi in Cross River State.
The campaign will culminate in a grand finale celebration in Calabar on October 15th.