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Global Handwashing Day, October 15


You have questions about Global Handwashing Day. We have answers.

For frequently asked questions related to handwashing in general, please see the main Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing page here. For questions not addressed here, contact us.

What is this year’s theme?

The theme for Global Handwashing Day changes each year. In 2016 the theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!”

For handwashing to be effective it must be practiced consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasizes the importance of handwashing as a ritual behavior for long-term sustainability. Habit formation is currently a hot topic in behavior change and the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. This theme taps into that interest and is also a gateway to discussing what the sector knows about how habits are formed.

This theme can also be modified for specific contexts if organizations would like to highlight the specific impact of handwashing on key areas, such as a nutrition or education. For instance, an organization could say “Make handwashing a habit because it prevents diarrhea!” or “Make handwashing a habit because it impacts nutrition!”

Where can I get advice or suggestions of things I can do for Global Handwashing Day?

We are excited that you are interested in celebrating Global Handwashing Day!

If this is your first year celebrating Global Handwashing Day, we recommend downloading this Planning Pack. It includes all the materials necessary to get you started, such as:

All these items can also be individually downloaded by clicking the above links, or visiting the resources page.

Regardless of how many times you have celebrated Global Handwashing Day, the Planner’s Guide  remains the best source of information and tools for planning an event celebration. It is updated annually and includes:

  • Background information
  • Detailed celebration ideas designed to help religious organizations, schools, healthcare centers and more plan effective messaging and events
  • An event checklist
  • Spotlights on sustainability (p. 17), small doable actions (p. 20), social norms (p. 22)
  • And much more!

Can I use the Global Handwashing Day logo?

Yes! The Global Handwashing Day logo can be downloaded here. The logo can only be used in a way that is directly associated with Global Handwashing Day (15 October) and by organizations who are in some way supporting the vision of this day, namely: “to promote a global/local culture of handwashing with soap”. The full guidelines for using the logo are available here.

What are examples of successful Global Handwashing Day activities others have done?

Global Handwashing Day activities from last year may be found on the interactive Global Handwashing Day map. Other activity examples are available in case studies and the activity list of the Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide.

Can I register or promote the Global Handwashing Day activities I am organizing?

Yes! Please let the PPPHW what activities you are planning ahead of time by completing this form. We will then add your event to our index allowing us to know what events are planned globally. This can also help us connect you with potential partners. After your event, please upload pictures and a report to the interactive Global Handwashing Day map.

How can I find others near me who are hosting Global Handwashing Day activities?

One way to find Global Handwashing Day activities near you is to reach out to similar organizations. This can provide an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organizations. You can also contact the PPPHW to see if others in your region have registered an event.

How can I fund the activities I want to do for Global Handwashing Day?

While the PPPHW is unable to provide funding for specific Global Handwashing Day events due to overwhelming global demand, there are many ways to secure funding for Global Handwashing Day activities or materials. Collaborating with other organizations is one way to reduce the cost of events.


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