Global handwashing day 2016: Bhutan

SNV | Gabrielle Halcrow from SNV, on 17/10/2016 18:51 AEST

Handwashing as a compassionate act

In Bhutan, celebrations for Global Handwashing Day have traditionally focused on schools and activities were again held across the country.  For this year though, on the 15th October 2016 the first ever celebration was held with  monasitic Insitutions, culminating with a celebration a the auspicious Dechenphodrang Monastery, meaning the “Palace of great Bliss”. It is also known to be Thimphu’s original Dzong dating back to the 12th century.  In collaboration with the Monastic body, unicef, MOH, SNV , seven different monastic institutions and nunneries and approximately 200 plus student monks, nuns and their teachers joined at the monastery to observe the Day under the slogan of “Making Handwashing a Habit”. It was a day filled with excitement for the youngest student monks and nuns who participated in art competitions, skits and competitions to design the most innovative handwashing facilities.  Preparations had been held in the weeks leading up to the day including with visits from health officials at each instituion to encourage and reinforce the messages. The event was opened with the traditional ceremonies, including the  lighting of the butter lamps and a speech by the special guest, the venerable Lesgtsho Lopen Sangay Dorji, who encouraged the students to link handwashing with their practice; “Making handwashing a habit and helping others to practice is one of the quality of a compassionate human being”. Photo: Lham, Zilukha Nunnery