Wilmington group builds hand washing stations in Africa

Wilmington group builds hand washing stations in Africa
The Batish family takes a selfie with the children of a Tanzanian primary school and a completed Full Belly Project hand washing station. (Source: Fully Belly Project)
The Batish family takes a selfie with the children of a Tanzanian primary school and a completed Full Belly Project hand washing station. (Source: Fully Belly Project)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Full Belly Project, an organization based in Wilmington, is lending a hand to help kids in Africa keep their hands clean.

With funding from the Clifbar Family Foundation, Full Belly volunteers, the Batish family, are building sanitation devices in primary schools in Tanzania.

According to a news release sent Thursday night, more than 7 million children die each year from diseases that could've been prevented with regular handwashing with soap. In Tanzania, located in east Africa, 85 percent of children go through their school day without resources to wash their hands.

Fully Bell developed hand washing stations made of recycled materials that uses 90 percent less water than commonly used hand washing systems.

The Batish family arrived inb Tanzania on July 24 and plans to return Aug. 6.

"This kind of project is what Full Belly is all about," said Amanda Coulter, the Full Belly Project's executive director. "Not only are we distributing our products to those that need them most, but we are also giving someone, or family in this case, an experience in a developing country that will stay with them forever.

"Our work has always been two-fold: we better peoples' lives around the world, but we also create global citizens through our volunteer program right here in Wilmington."

In addition to providing the products necessary for the schoolchildren to wash their hands, Fully Belly's volunteers are also educating the children on the importance of proper hand washing.

The Tanzanian kids aren't the only ones benefitting.

"[We are] having the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to Full Belly for making this possible," Wilmington's Dr. Sanjay Batish said in the Fully Belly release. "What a blessing it is to be here."

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