Hand washing seems like such a simple thing, yet using running water and soap may be the single most powerful health tool we can teach our VisionTrust children and caregivers. Hand washing with soap can stop the deadly impact of pneumonia, diarrhea, and infections. Research studies have demonstrated that the risk of diarrhea can be reduced up to 47% through hand washing. According to world health authorities, it may be more effective than any single vaccine or hygiene behavior. Promoted broadly enough, hand washing with soap can be viewed as an essential do-it-yourself vaccine.
Understanding the value of hand washing, we are working with children to learn and practice this critical health behavior. While in the Dominican Republic recently, we had the great privilege of working with Fausto Sylvian, a HELP (Higher Education Leadership Program) student, now in college. Fausto has lived at a VisionTrust Transitional Home for almost 10 years since his family left Haiti. His father was murdered in a fight right in front of him when he was young. His mother came with him and his three siblings to the Dominican Republic, but she was sick and later died. Fausto came to know the Lord through the school psychologist. He is a leader and a godly example to younger generations of the Transitional Home.
Fausto has used his love for the Lord in teaching and serving the children at his home for a long time. And now, he’s incorporating that love to serve as a part of the Health Education Program. I am sure that the children he touched at Las Brias del Este Learning Center recently will never forget this lesson on the simple, but powerful act of hand washing.