Warlpiri kids wash up for health

For Warlpiri children like Simeon, washing hands at playgroup is a healthy habit he will keep for life.

When the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT) invited World Vision to support their early childhood program, they wanted to teach and pass on knowledge and skills to look after the health of their children.

This is the inspiration behind the WETT Warlpiri Early Childhood Care and Development project, supported by generous donors to World Vision’s Australia Program.

Playgroups offer a great opportunity for parents and local Aboriginal playgroup workers to teach healthy hygiene habits through play-based learning.

Good hygiene helps reduce diseases. As playgroup worker and Warlpiri mum Sheree explains, “It’s important for our little ones to come and learn and one day go up to pre-school, teaching washing hands, blowing noses. It’s important for them to learn little things then move on to bigger things.”

The playgroup routine enables little kids to get good practice in washing their hands before and after morning tea and after visiting the toilet.

The playgroups also create a forum where local service providers, like healthcare workers, can run workshops for parents. World Vision partners with local service providers to facilitate workshops that promote child health, development and wellbeing.

Local Warlpiri woman and Project Facilitator, Robyn Lawson, explains the benefits for participating families. “Young mothers learn how to keep house clean, baby clean, wash hands after going to toilet, wash hands before meals, after play, washing hands, blowing nose – to keep baby strong and healthy.”

Looking after the health and wellbeing of their little kids is very important to Warlpiri communities. With your generous contributions, the Australia Program-supported WETT Warlpiri Early Childhood Development project will continue to run health-focused projects like this one in 2013.

Find out more about how you can support Indigenous Australian children and their communities through Australia Program.