Can you go a day without brushing your teeth?
For most of us, that’s quite impossible. Several Filipino children, however, don’t even own a toothbrush.
During our field visit to Sarangani in Southern Mindanao, we learned that some students have no toothbrush of their own.
Instead, their whole family shares a single toothbrush.
One toothbrush serves the mouths of many; from father to mother to children. This cannot be good for the family’s health.
While many of us might take toothbrushes for granted, several Filipino families cannot afford it.
In the Philippines, children remain the 3rd poorest basic sector, according to government statistics. Such poverty prevents kids from enjoying their rights and basic needs, such as proper hygiene and sanitation.
Many schools in the remotest parts of the country don’t have clean water and functioning toilets. Some girls can’t access sanitary napkins; meanwhile, others don’t feel safe in their school’s bathrooms.
Several indigenous children we met experience such problems.
Simple gifts, big impact
We at Save the Children want to emphasize the importance of hygiene to a child’s overall health and well-being.
We help fix bathrooms, as well as provide soaps, toothbrushes and toothpastes to schools as part of our health and education programs.
We also train students on proper nutrition, brushing of teeth, nail-clipping, hand-washing, and other essentials of personal hygiene.
The children we trained would then share this knowledge with their friends, families, and neighbors.
These may seem like very simple gifts, but these actually mean a lot to children and their communities.
By helping children maintain their hygiene, we’re saving them from further health complications.
Help us reach more kids. Together, let’s put happy and confident smiles on children’s faces!