by Valerie Matron
Valerie Matron is Timmy’s Medical Programs Coordinator in Quito, Ecuador. In addition to her work with Timmy’s medical teams, she strives to cultivate relationships with our partner Tierra Nueva and a number of other health and community focused organizations to improve Timmy’s service capacity. She has been instrumental in launching new public health projects, including the recent hand-washing campaign described below. Click here to read more about Timmy’s public health trips in Ecuador.
Public health and education projects have become a growing focus for Timmy as we seek out new ways to enhance and expand our programming. Sometimes even the simplest instructions on hygiene and personal care can have a huge impact on people that have little to no access to outside healthcare services. Learning how to properly wash your hands with soap, for instance, is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent disease.
In May, students and volunteers from the University of Colorado medical team joined Timmy’s staff in an exciting hand-washing campaign in one of our adopted communities near Quito, Ecuador. With the support of Unileverâ€”which donated 1,000 mini-Rexona soaps and 50 educational posters for classrooms and bathrooms in the communityâ€”the team helped to lead hand-washing demonstrations that showed local children the importance of clean hands and the promise of healthy futures.
Below is a photo essay of the day’s activities. This event was just a small part of a much larger campaignâ€”Global Handwashing Dayâ€”an ongoing advocacy project that Unilever launched in 2008. Leaders from government, nonprofit, and public organizations in more than 45 countries took part in the most recent campaign in 2012, and Timmy is looking forward to continuing our clean hands movement when the celebration rolls around again on October 15th, 2013!