10 October 2008 Popular Australian children’s entertainers and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassadors, The Wiggles, have created a catchy tune to help motivate millions of children worldwide to transform the mundane act of handwashing into an enjoyable habit, thereby improving hygiene and reducing the risk of disease.
The Wiggles have donated the song to UNICEF to help the agency mark the first-ever Global Handwashing Day on 15 October.
With approximately 5,000 children dying each day as a result of waterborne diseases, the UN agency has suggested handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet to help reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases by almost 50 per cent.
Helping to raise awareness and support for related UNICEF water and sanitation projects, The Wiggles have embarked on several fundraising initiatives since being name as Goodwill Ambassadors in February.
“UNICEF gives all children, regardless of race or religion, the best start in life. For that reason, we feel deeply honoured to… work with UNICEF to help improve the lives of children around the world,” said ‘Red Wiggle’ Murray Cook.
Global Handwashing Day is a public-private initiative spearheaded by UNICEF and other partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever.
The event aims to bring handwashing to the top of the global hygiene agenda, and support the spirit of the UN International Year of Sanitation (2008).
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