|© UNICEF video|
|WASH Specialist from UNICEF Tanzania’s Young Child Survival and Development Section, Rebecca Budimu (back left) and Head of the Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene section of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mary Swai (back right) with children in Tanzania.|
By Saira Saeed Khan
NEW YORK, USA, 16 October 2009 – The ‘Golden Poo Awards’ were held yesterday in London as part of Global Handwashing Day celebrations. The award honoured the work of two women: Head of the Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene section of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mary Swai, and WASH Specialist from UNICEF Tanzania’s Young Child Survival and Development Section, Rebecca Budimu.
The award was collected by the High Commissioner of Tanzania on behalf of the winners.
The two award-winners were selected as ‘Hygiene Champions’ for their noteworthy contributions and unwavering dedication towards advocating improved hygiene and sanitation practices in Tanzania over the span of several decades.
Ms. Budimu has been working with UNICEF as a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist for the past 14 years, often as the only WASH staff member in the country. As a child, Rebecca’s family did not have a latrine, but instead used the bush. This experience reinforced her commitment and understanding for adoption of good hygiene and sanitation practices – particularly at the household level.
In her work, Ms. Budimu has focused on raising awareness about the benefits of improved hygiene and sanitation issues as well as championed and supported local artisans on latrine construction.
Ms. Swai has spearheaded the development and revision of hygiene promotion tools in Tanzania. She advocates for increased community engagement and innovative approaches as viable solutions.
Role models for girls and women
The two winners are fantastic role models for girls and women, not only in Tanzania, but throughout the world. Their collaborative efforts have affected policy change at the highest levels, resulting in the adoption of improved sanitation and hygiene practices in Tanzania.
The Golden Poo Awards are jointly sponsored by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, PooP Creative and the Department for International Development.
Nominations for these awards were received from around the world.
Global Handwashing Day is an annual event to promote handwashing with soap around the world, and was spearheaded by the Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap.
To view the Global Handwashing Day website please visit www.globalhandwashingday.org