What we do..

Clean Hands Saves Lives

child in Ghana participating in clean hands project

We encourage school children to wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet and before they eat. This is proven to be the most effective way to stop children needlessly suffering and to save lives. We work with the Ghana Education Service to deliver these programs that reach not only the school children but dept into the communities we work in.

If you provided a toilet, water, soap and a bit of education supported by local community role models it would reduce the suffering and deaths of children.

You can reduce the suffering and needless deaths of children living in poverty in rural villages.

Within rural Ghana, West Africa, our ‘Clean Hands Saves Lives’ project will provide sanitation facilities whilst also addressing behavioural change to support a lifetime impact.

The Problem

Children in remote rural villages do not have access to toilets and hand wash facilities. They defecate in the bush which leads to the spread of disease and illness. The children have no facilities to wash their hands which leads to the rapid spread of germs. This leads to people getting ill. Over 2,000 children under the age of 5 die each day in the world because they do not have access to good sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children under 5 in the developing world. Over 1.3 million children die each year because they do not have access to a toilet and the facilities to wash their hands properly.

How can Clean Hands Saves Lives help?

To ensure the necessary change takes place to improve health and life chances, the project will be implemented within two separate phases:

Providing the Facilities

Each project will begin with the help of our local & international volunteers who work alongside our team of Ghanaian builders to build a three-toilet block within a school. These toilet blocks support sanitation as the self-composting design ensures flies entering the toilet are trapped inside the pit latrine. Their larvae develop into maggots which eat away the faeces. Polytanks (plastic water tanks) and guttering is used to collect rainwater that will support hand washing.

With the use of a veronica bucket (a plastic container designed with a tap at the bottom, see the photo to the right) each classroom will have access to water and soap. All equipment can be locally replaced and repaired increasing the longevity of the project. Soap will be provided by the school as a sign of their commitment before a school is selected.

Behaviour Change

Once the necessary facilities have been provided, an intensive supporting phase will commence over an 18-month period. This will establish new patterns of behaviour to embed hand-washing to improve sanitation. The Ghana Health Service and the Education Service will join the project at this stage, providing teachers and nurses to talk to the local school children alongside headteachers who will engage village Chiefs and Elders who will support the community-wide message and enhance commitment to the project. We provide teachers and children with promotional materials to incentivise, reward and encourage behavioural change, including stickers, pencils, pens, radios and other materials.

We also engage the community as a whole to ensure the message penetrates at every level.

We will undertake games, quizzes, drama and presentations to ensure that all exposed are informed about the issues and the need for change.

We will use ultraviolet light and specialised gels to help children understand how germs operate on their hands. We will place posters of key decision makers in the communities, typically the chief and the headmaster washing their hands and promoting the initiative.

At the end of the intensive behavioural change element, the school will then go through an assessment period which will see results from inspections every term published and a league table of schools performances available for all to see. This will encourage competition and a desire to ensure that they maintain the facilities provided and that the programme carries on long after we have finished the main programme.


Abenta, Aboabo, Anamenampa

The Impact

During 2015 – 2023 we have targeted 10,000 children aged 6-16 with the facilities, resources and education to ingrain the washing of hands, with soap after toilet use and before cooking. Children are strategically being targeted to provide the greatest impact. Not only do they suffer disproportionately from diarrhoea diseases, it has been proven that once children change their behaviour, 80 per cent are then likely to pass their learning to their own families.

Be part of lasting, sustainable change for children in rural Africa

Volunteer Overseas

Volunteering will probably be one of the most worthwhile things that you ever do.

We take around 50 volunteers a year out to Africa. Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Bricklayers, Mechanics, and students, all pay their own costs and raise money for the projects they work on.

We have opportunities to work on a wide range of projects that save lives and create transformational change.

Without volunteers, many projects would not exist. Discover our volunteer opportunities.

Donate to a project, or fund one!

Every day, millions of children around the world face injustice and violence. Too many families are suffering needlessly.

But there is hope... Village by Village is a community-led organisation that works with children on effective, long-term solutions to fight poverty and injustice.

Make a one-off/monthly donation or fund an entire school, clinic, or transformational change project.

Will you be a part of this long-term change, by making a donation today?

Since 2006 we have helped over 30,000 people living in poverty

Projects We've built

Schools, preschools & libraries

Wells, rain water harvesting projects, and boreholes

Health clinics

Toilet projects with hand washing programmes

Projects we've run 

Scholarships for children to educate their way out of poverty

Teach2Teach sessions

Villages reached

Girl empowerment projects

Help us keep up the good work...