October 26, 2020
In the Philippines, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) is the only local organization that is a member of the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP). MWF is the social development arm of Manila Water, a water utility subsidiary of the Philippines’ oldest conglomerate, servicing over seven million people in Metro Manila. Founded in 2005, MWF aims to enable change through sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education in marginalized communities in the Philippines.
In celebration of the 2020 Global Handwashing Day, MWF continues to build on its parent company’s strengths to contribute to the global campaign, using a participatory, responsive and holistic approach. Through its Health in Our Hands (HiOH) Program, MWF furthers the advocacy of handwashing with soap and clean water as a way to prevent communicable diseases and illnesses such as COVID-19.
Anchoring on this year’s theme, “Hand Hygiene for All”, MWF highlights inclusivity with its wide-ranging campaign, reaching as many people as possible, even in a time of restricted movement and physical distancing.
MWF embarked on a month-long celebration of Global Handwashing Day with several initiatives in October, aimed at addressing the issue of water access, sanitation and hygiene, and providing access to the information, supplies, and facilities needed for safe handwashing across the three island groups in the country – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This includes the construction of handwashing facilities across the National Capital Region, starting last October 12 with the installation of a 10-faucet hygiene facility at the Ramon Magsaysay High School in the City of Manila, followed by turnover of hygiene facilities at the Marikina Sports Center, and more installations at the La Mesa Ecopark and at the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, an institution providing services to persons with disabilities.
On October 15, MWF organized a virtual celebration bringing together collaboration partners from the public and private sectors such as the GHP, the Department of Health, Department of Education and UNICEF Philippines. MWF partnered with Procter & Gamble, Safeguard Philippines and PHILUSA Corporation, for the distribution of thousands of hand hygiene supplies to city jails, orphanages, homes for the elderly, indigenous communities among the Mangyans in Mindoro and the Dumagats in Sitio Calawis in Antipolo City, Rizal. Hygiene supplies and information and education materials will also be provided to public institutions in Boracay, Cebu City, Davao City and Zamboanga City.
For more information about this year’s MWF Global Handwashing Day celebration and HiOH program, you may refer to the website here.
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